Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday video - Nirvana

Heard this on NPR this morning, so it was obvious to me whose video(s) I'd feature on HillcrestBlog today.

Normally, I prefer to put live clips on my video posts, but for Nirvana it would be sacrilege to show anything other than the Video That Destroyed Hair Metal and Saved Rock:

Really, that video is still so f*cking awesome, twenty years in.  I remember exactly where I was when I first saw it.  In my dorm room, a first-semester freshman at the UA, watching it on MTV's Headbanger's Ball.  It was like nothing I'd ever heard before*.  It was a beautiful shock to the senses.  And it reshaped modern music, leading to what I think was the Second Golden Age of Rock n Roll** (the first Golden Age obviously being 1964 through 1969).

One confession, however.  However great Nevermind was, my favorite Nirvana album is their follow-up, In Utero.  I'm not really sure why, as it doesn't have a song with the sheer power and beauty of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."  Its a bit looser, a bit more ragged***.  Kurt Cobain seems maybe like he's about to lose a little bit of himself (which, sadly, turned out to be the case).  Maybe a combination of all those things.  Regardless, its one of my favorites, and this song is a highlight:

Watching that clip and noting that he is now an major figure in rock in his own right with his band Foo Fighters, I had forgotten how freaking good Dave Grohl is behind the drums.  He's a monster.  And, one more for good measure (warning: there's an extended sonic freak-out "solo" in this clip that's going to leave you saying WTF?  Still, pretty awesome :)):

*  I had not yet learned about Pixies, Hüsker Dü, Black Flag, or any of the 80's hardcore bands.  All of which are great. 
**  Specifically, the fall of 1991 through late 1996.  TenExile in GuyvilleSiamese DreamSlanted and EnchantedBadmotorfingerOdelay(What's the Story) Morning Glory?Achtung BabyOut of TimeDirtMetallicaUse Your Illusion I and IIIll CommunicationDookieHollywood Town HallAnodyneBee ThousandThe Downward SpiralWeezer...And Out Come the WolvesUnder the Table and Dreaming.  And those are just a couple of the more notable examples.  There are many more.  Here endeth the lesson.  
***  It was produced by Steve Albini, after all. 

1 comment:

  1. My favorite is their cover of the 1870's American folk song, "In the Pines." I think they called it "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." On the MTV acoustic album. Also liked their Meat Puppets covers ("Lake of Fire?"). Maybe wrong about last one - didn't check it.