Sunday, June 19, 2011

#17 Nevermind - Nirvana

Wow.  Wow.  Wow. What a badass album.  I must say had I been born 10-15 years earlier, my parents might have been in trouble and lost me to Nirvana and angry 90s kids.  On second thought, I can't imagine I'd look good in grunge clothing.  Flannel looks pretty terrible unless you are a lumberjack.

The album is so awesome because it pumps you up while at the same time making you feel like absolute shit.  so nihilistic - and with a smile.   Because I had already heard many of these songs, I knew what I was getting into, but I felt like this time, I really owned it.  Before, it seemed like music for "other people" and not for me, but because I played it all in a row (and more than twice I might add) I felt like it was finally mine.

Yesterday, I was leaving the grocery store, and because it's summer and I believe all those things that everything is toxic for you, I always roll down the windows in the summer to let the toxins from the plastic on the dashboard escape the car while I blast the a/c.  Well, Nirvana was on, blaring in the parking lot and I began to drive away, and stopped before getting onto the street near a gas station, and some guy pumping gas yelled, "Hey turn that shit down!  It's not 1993!!!!"  and I wanted to be like "MotherF******, you mean 1991; do your homework!!!"  Instead, I just turned it up and flipped him off, so deeply immersed and under the spell of Kurt Cobain, who is oddly handsome, I might confess.

But before I go much further, can I just ask, did anyone get concerned about the baby on the front of the album?!  The whole time I kept thinking of this poor kid, did he make it out of the water safely?  How old is he today?  He seems so anonymous.  But the whole cd has this air of abandonment, neglect, and alienation- and I think that the cover art really gets at the heart of that- that is, if you actually thought with deep paranoia about this unsupervised child like I did.  So why were the 90s kids so angry?!  I want some real answers on that one.  I think our generation is the most effed up:  Go to college and then get a job at starbucks, because those are the only jobs available for you.  furthermore, spend 20 years paying off your debt with your job at starbucks.  oh, and have a good work ethic like your daddy.  The 90s kids didn't have that problem.  And, we don't even have a cool name like GenX.  Do we even have a generation name?  The GenXers can't be that angry anymore, they are all having kids like it's 1950.  nevermind... (haha, get it?!)

Ok, so all that said, does this album really deserve spot #17 out of 500?  Really?  number 17?  Beating Led Zeppelin, Cash, Muddy Waters, The Who and others who I have yet to hear but I'm pretty sure might be more deserving?  Can anyone answer me that?

Album Cover Art and Blurb from Rollingstone Mag/Website:

The overnight success story of the 1990s, Nirvana's second album and its totemic first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," shot up from the Northwest underground — the nascent grunge scene in Seattle — to kick Michael Jackson off the top of the Billboard album chart and blow poodle-hair metal off the map. No album in recent history had such an overpowering impact on a generation — a nation of teens suddenly turned punk — and such a catastrophic effect on its main creator. The weight of success led already troubled singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain to take his own life in 1994. But his slashing riffs, corrosive singing and deviously oblique writing, rammed home by the Pixies-via-Zeppelin might of bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, put the warrior purity back in rock & roll. Lyrically, Cobain raged in code — shorthand grenades of inner tumult and self-loathing. His genius, though, in songs such as "Lithium," "Breed" and "Teen Spirit" was the soft-loud tension he created between verse and chorus, restraint and assault. Cobain was a pop lover at heart — and a Beatlemaniac: Nevermind co-producer Butch Vig remembers hearing Cobain play John Lennon's "Julia" at sessions. Cobain also fought to maintain his underground honor. Ultimately, it was a losing battle, but it is part of this album's enduring power. Vig recalls when Cobain was forced to overdub the guitar intro to "Teen Spirit" because he couldn't nail it live with the band: "That pissed him off. He wanted to play [the song] live all the way through."

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