Posts Tagged ‘ Kurt Cobain

Nirvana: MTV Live & Loud

I know the music industry is quickly going down the tubes, but you’d think someone would step in figure out a way to monetize MTV and MuchMusic’s massive archives of interviews and performances. Or maybe I’m just searching for something I lost years ago (ie: my youth).

Like my previous posts a couple weeks back, I found this old concert on YouTube with little trouble. There are lots of live Nirvana boots floating around, but this has good quality picture and sound and it’s from the In Utero tour that featured former Germs and future Foo Fighter guitarist Pat Smear with the band.

The show took place on December 13, 1993 and MTV aired it on New Year’s Eve. There’s a new boot of the show floating around called Feels Like the First Time with a bunch of other live-to-air stuff tacked on the end.

Book Review: Grunge is Dead by Greg Prato

grungeisdead_gregprato“Do we really need another book about Seattle bands?” is the immediate thought when presented with Greg Prato’s new book, Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History Of Seattle Rock Music.

It’s a fair question. Countless authors have tried to make sense of the Pacific northwest’s massive cultural explosion in the decade-and-a-half since the scene collapsed on itself. But as Prato notes in the preface, no-one thought to just ask the people involved.

Grunge Is Dead offers an oral history of Seattle’s music scene and is comprised entirely of interviews with the various musicians, industry types and scenesters who lived through the shit storm. Right off the bat, you know this is more than another attempt to piggyback off the scene’s success as so many cheap-o books did 10 years ago.

Prato looks all the way back to the ’60s and examines the seeds sowed by proto-garage rockers like The Wailers and The Sonics. From there, he charts a course through the decades up through the major label buying spree that occurred after the big four (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden) flipped mainstream music on its ears.

The book’s strength is its willingness to tell not just the story of grunge, but the story of Seattle as a whole. Even nearby Olympia’s Riot Grrrl movement gets its proper due, with members of Bratmobile and Bikini Kill explaining the overlap in the two scenes.

Prato scored plumb interviews, including some with Layne Staley’s mother and the usually hermit-esque former Soundgarden guitarist, Kim Thayil. But the book is also noteworthy for who wasn’t consulted (or more likely who declined involvement). The Nirvana camp in particular is woefully under-represented, with drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic noticeably absent.

Prato also has the benefit of hindsight on his side. With enough time between now and the scene’s heyday, people seem more willing to open up about the past without fear of offending someone. In fact, the overwhelming theme that comes through is how much the bands loved and supported one another, and how carefree the scene was before big money got involved. This closeness made the groups that “made it” so self-aware of their success and made some who were left behind jealous of it.

This review originally appeared at

Mudhoney – “Touch Me I’m Sick”

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