1. Monday, April 5, 2004

    when kurdt kobain blew his head off 

    ten years ago it ended a whole lot more than the best band of the nineties. in retrospect it ended rock as we knew it.

    during the grunge era of 89-94 the “seattle sound” dominated the rock pop and alternative airwaves, as well as mtv.

    rock was hot and it was not unusual to hear pearl jam, soundgarden, stone temple pilots, jane’s addiction, smashing pumpkins, bush, and nirvana every hour; but also metallica’s black album was ripping up the charts, as were hip hop groups like the beastie boys, public enemy, ll cool j, de la soul, cypress hill, and a crew from compton called nwa.

    and then you had the riot grrl movement, and then you had the post-punkers like green day, bad religion, the replacements, and sonic youth. and it was all on tv and it was all over the airwaves and it was fresh and vibrant and real and popular.

    it was nirvana in many many ways.

    it was the musical equivalent of the renaissance, expressionism, and surrealism having a gangbang right in front of our ears.

    which is how lollapalooza was created, and why it was so successful.

    since that shotgun blast in seattle not only has rock died with no hope on the horizon of a star as big as cobain, but rap has gone top 40 with cartoon characters like outkast and boy banders like justin replacing the likes of snoop dogg, dre, and biggie in the hip hop.

    radio and mtv is back in that horrible mess that nirvana exploited and rallied against, and they did it so beautifully that everyone who got it could just sit there and smile cuz it was so simple.

    people try to pick kurts words apart and you cant. he revealed nothing in his words.

    people try to look at the music, but thats also a mystery.

    they look at the goofy bouncing bass player as the weak link, but krist was no weak link, he was ideal.

    nirvana was just as punk rock wearing surgeon’s jackets and smashing guitars as they were wearing sweaters on mtvs unplugged. kurts voice was just as violent as his power chords.

    what i loved about him was he seamlessly mixed metal and punk and thrash and pop together with nursery rhymey lyrics that both insulted the listener, confused the critic, and rewarded the fan.

    he was everything and nothing.

    he was heavy metal rock star and weezer.

    he was that sad little kid in the corner and the sleeping giant awakened.

    he married the right girl and the wrong woman.

    he was a fish swimming upstream and headed down hill.

    he was the most spectacular disaster ever documented and i was right there so close that i still cant even believe it not even now ten years later.

    and its still hard to listen to that music because it has become so personal.

    but it blows away everything that has come after it, it destroyed metal almost singlehandedly, and it makes the lying liars seem that much more fake.

    i miss kurt cobain and nirvana more than i miss everything that ive ever missed put together.

    he influences this blog far more than i could possibly explain.

    one of the few bands that makes me as happy as nirvana did is tsar, who i understand is playing tonight.

    ken layne + matt welch + anita rowland