"It's kind of like coming full-circle, starting with the Subterranean Pop radio show in 1979 and finally doing this book signing at the Rough Trade Records store in Brooklyn," says Sub Pop co-founder Bruce Pavitt. Seventeen years after leaving Seattle and his iconic label behind to focus on his family, Pavitt has both physically and mentally returned to an era of rock he helped build. In his photo journal titled Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989, released via Bazillion Points in December of last year, he shares a glimpse into a moment just before grunge broke into the mainstream as Nirvana, Tad, and Mudhoney tour Europe, the former two on the "Heavier Than Heaven" tour and relatively unknown on both sides of the Atlantic. Pavitt finds "beautiful resonance" in the fact that he gets to celebrate his memories at the new, Brooklyn location of the original UK record store where his book's narrative ends. Additionally, he gets to do so through a Q&A session with Our Band Could Be Your Life author and old friend Michael Azerrad. "I have deep respect for all the work that he's done to convey the intricacies of the indie culture from that era," he says.
Credit: Bruce Pavitt Kurt Cobain at the Piper Club in Rome
Prior to this event and a few months in advance of the release of his second book Sub Pop U.S.A., a collection of the thousands of record reviews he wrote for his fanzine in the '80s, Pavitt shares his reflections on his time in Seattle, the "post-Nevermind" musical landscape, and his take on '90s nostalgia.More »
I was told by my roommate the night before that passing out would be "uncool." "You're getting a cool person tattoo," she said half-jokingly, half-concerned. "If you pass out or cry, that would defeat the purpose."
The finished product
Nineteen years ago today fans around the world got news Nirvana's Kurt Cobain had taken his own life in his Seattle home. As the years have passed, fans, peers, and friends of the musician and his pioneering grunge band have paid their respects by covering the band's material. Here now, from Patti Smith to Charles Bradley, are the most unique Nirvana covers by other.
Every May, there's no shortage of mawkishly sentimental songs to play on Mother's Day, but a month later, there are comparatively few Father's Day equivalents. Sure, there are some treacly tracks like Bob Carlisle's 1997 adult-contempo hit "Butterfly Kisses," but fatherhood is more often than not invoked in pop music as a discomfiting sexual metaphor (see "Big Poppa," "Father Figure," and the countless songs that feature the phrase "who's your daddy?").
The best and most enduring songs about fatherhood tend to explore darker and more complex themes, or depict imperfect or absent dads, rather than provide sunny theme songs: "Cat's In The Cradle," "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone," even Everclear's "Father of Mine." This Sunday will be the third Father's Day I've celebrated since becoming one myself; I have a good relationship with my father and am deeply devoted to my son. But I'd rather listen to the songs on this Spotify playlist, and others that explore the complexities and unpredictable gray areas in the bond (or lack thereof) between a man and his son or daughter, than hear goddamn "Butterfly Kisses" again.More »
If you don't think Butch Vig's almost singlehandedly invented two decades of alternative rock as we know it, just look at his resumé: Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, AFI. That's without mentioning his membership in the still-cool Garbage or the fact he produced a little generational totem called Nevermind. From grunge to "electronica" to emo, he's probably building someone's entire adolescence from scratch as we speak. He free-associated for Village Voice about some of his biggest hits, underrated discoveries and Garbage's own new album Not Your Kind of People, which drops this week.
David Yowthe beer-swilling, crowd-surfing, lunging, occasionally dick-waving, shirtless, human sweat-mop frontman of post-punk iconoclasts the Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acidis quite the congenial dude, despite the juicy belches meted out in my ear as he threw back a couple of cold ones while on the phone from Los Angeles.
Niles J. Fuller Scratch Acid in 1984.
During our conversation, Yow doled out props to his ex-Jesus Lizard mates (the influential Chicago minimalist noise-punks are now officially done) and even owned up to crying before their first reunion show; he also praised Nirvana, buddy Henry Owings of Chunklet fame, and Sarah Lipstate of Brooklyn's dreamy drone heroes Noveller.
The aspiring actor admitted he'd rather be delving into his art and film rather than terrorizing audiences onstage. It wasn't all wine and roses with Yow, though. Vitriol-laced moments were reserved for Jim Kimball (ex-drummer for the JL on their final album, 1998's Blue), and Mudhoney and Soundgarden apparently once made his shit list.
Sound of the City caught Yow before he jetted off to Austin to prepare for yet another reunion tourthis time with Scratch Acid, the Texas noise-rock skuzz band he started in the mid-eighties with guitarist Brett Bradford, future JL bassist David Wm. Sims and drummer Rey Washam.More »
Yesterday 60 Minutes curmudgeon Andy Rooney announced that he would be retiring from his weekly segment of wondering about the annoying things in life. Here is a clip from Beavis And Butt-Head where the two imminently returning couch potatoes do their best "Mickey" Rooney impersonations over "Funk Dat," the safe-for-TV Rooney tribute track by the Baltimore MC Sagat. It's funny! Certainly it's funnier than the comments Rooney made after the death of Kurt Cobain, which Rooney said attracted more than 10,000 letters from "young people" because they boiled down to "Cobain? Never heard of him. What an idiot." It's almost like his segment was a prototype for really lousy blogs!
Above, the reggae singer Little Roy takes on the A and B sides of Nirvana's "Sliver"/"Dive" single, which is almost 21 years old as of this writing. Both covers are surprisingly enjoyable to listen toraise your hand if your first reaction when hearing the phrase "reggae Nirvana cover" is the mental image of being trapped in a lousy college-town bar on open-mic nightbut "Dive" is particularly revelatory, with Roy's wail matching Kurt Cobain's strangled wail quite effectively. The songs are available digitally now, and Ark Recordings is putting them out on a 7-inch later this month. [Hat tip to Jimmy A and Line Out.]