February 22, 2012
Say the word Seattle and the first thing I'll think of is music. Music from my senior year in high school and freshman year in college. Flannel, ripped jeans and Doc Martens. And grunge. I'll think of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Green River, Screaming Trees, Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone, Gruntruck, Mudhoney, Skin Yard, Tad, Pearl Jam, Brad, Alice In Chains...and Nirvana.
You can't think of the whole Seattle phenomenon without thinking of Nirvana. And yet whenever I look back fondly on all that Seattle music, make nostalgic playlists of grunge, lace up the 8-hole Doc Martens that I bought in 1993 and are still awesomely wearable today, I tend to avoid Nirvana.
I never really connected with Nirvana and I'm not sure why. Like every good flannel-wearing grunge fan, there was a period of time when Nevermind was on steady rotation. But instead of devoting years to the album I probably only gave it a month or two. Frankly, I never thought it lived up to the hype. Lithium was the best, most overlooked song on the album that received almost no radio airplay. And Nevermind itself paled in comparison to its predecessor Bleach. Sure, I own all their albums, collected their singles, and hunted down rare bootlegs and Japanese imports but that's because I felt like I should. In my mind there was just much better music out there.
Kurt Cobain was a deeply troubled guy. But - despite the fact that they're never going to go down as my most favorite band - Nirvana, and Kurt, deserve some credit. Without them, the music scene wouldn't be quite the same as it is today. They opened doors to a whole genration of shoegazing, cardigan-wearing, Fender-abusing kids who played endlessly in their parents' garages. Trust me, I was one of them.
Kurt would have been 45 yesterday.Posted by Chris at February 22, 2012 7:22 AM