Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
After many months, Something Awful (and now also The Bad Guys Win) comedy/insanity writer Zack Parsons (previously) has finally confirmed the long-promised finale of his and Steve Sumner's series of Call of Cthulhu 1990's Handbook campaigns starring Kurt Cobain, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Eazy-E as they battle forces beyond human ken: the custom module Hard Ticket to Baghdad. (He also eventually finished the Tooth Tooth series because word is bond, god.) Beneath the fold: the entire story so far, including the recent 'solo project' campaigns. [more inside]
Newly unearthed — and not for the faint of heart — Kurt Cobain 's 1988 experimental sonic collage / mixtape, Montage of Heck. Recorded on a four-track cassette recorder when he was 21. Here's some notes on what you're listening to. And Consequence of Sound has additional info. Not recommended for work speakers, probably. What if this had started the alternative revolution instead of Nevermind?
"In this excerpt from Keith Cameron's new biography Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle, spanning the end of grunge's golden era (Fall 1993 to Fall 1994), we have Mudhoney opening area tours first for Nirvana and then Pearl Jam - the latter of which is shattered by Kurt Cobain's suicide - and joining Vedder & co. for a tour of the White House, during which President Bill Clinton meets with Eddie Vedder to discuss whether or not he should address the nation about Cobain's suicide."
The 40 Weirdest Post-Nevermind Major Label Albums "As a snapshot of the era, here are the 40 weirdest, most uncompromising, riskiest, and most surprising albums that were released on a major label in the wake of Nevermind's explosion, during the mania's time-frame of 1992 until 1996."
Nirvana's second studio album, Nevermind, turns 20 this September and Spin Magazine has put together a collection of covers. The covers span a lot of ground, from Meat Puppets (of who Nirvana were big fans) to Amanda Palmer, and newer acts including Jesica Lea Mayfield and Telekinesis, plus Charles Bradely & The Menahn Street Band, a surprise funk track by 62-year-old "soul shouter." Read more and download the album from Spin (link sent to an email address), or listen to them on YouTube. [more inside]
The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew. - Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge.
"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies." 1991: The Year Punk Broke
The Sub Pop Singles Club began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay, cementing its status as a collector's item and making a generation of music geeks feel old.
Touch Me I'm Sick. Photographer Charles Peterson helped America see grunge from the inside out. His dramatic black-and-white images portrayed the energy of the music being performed in crowded basements and dingy dive bars featuring such bands as Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Hole, Black Flag, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth, among others. "Touch Me I’m Sick: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs by Charles Peterson" will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art through May 1. More inside.
"In late January 1994, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl entered Bob Lang's studio in Seattle for their final recording session. Following a long jam, they captured this powerful tune in one take, including the gut-wrenching vocal -- a spooky, ambient intro of echoed harmonics and a fractured guitar solo." --Jim DeRogatis