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 Kill Yr Idols: Kurt Cobain

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Oct 22, 2001
 Comments:
Ten years after the release of Nirvana's landmark album, Nevermind, Kurt Cobain has been elevated to messianic status by an army of adoring disciples. It is common for a cult-like following to develop around a musician whose life is tragically foreshortened and Cobain is no exception. While he was alive, Cobain's angst-laden soul-baring lyrics, together with the uncompromising aural assault of his music, struck a chord with the disaffected youth of Generation X and earned Nirvana considerable critical and commercial success. Cobain's suicide was interpreted by his followers as the ultimate statement to demonstrate the integrity of his artistic vision and reinforced their belief that his music truly came from the heart. In their eyes, Kurt Cobain was a martyr.
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It is a common misconception that Nirvana were a band of reformed punks who, despite their musical naïveté, managed to achieve enormous success through a combination of good fortune, hard work and singing from the heart. It is understandable that Cobain's abilities as a musician and songwriter are underestimated, for the wonderfully simple nature of Nirvana's music belies his undoubtable genius. However, the truth is that Kurt, Krist and Dave were gifted with extraordinary talent.

Nirvana's debut album, Bleach, showcased the first fruit of Cobain's nascent genius. Bleach failed to set the world alight on its release and Nirvana were unfortunately pigeonholed as just another band attempting to rehash punk rock for a new generation. However, in retrospect it is easy to see that Nirvana had a unique talent which set them apart from their prosaic contemporaries. The stand out track of Bleach, About a Girl, is a three-minute slice of pop perfection, owing more to Day Tripper than The Damned and more akin to She Loves You than The Sex Pistols. About a Girl can be viewed as a statement of intent and the result of Cobain flexing his creative muscles in preparation for forthcoming masterpieces.

The precursor to Nirvana's ascent to musical greatness was the replacement of original drummer Chad Channing with Dave Grohl. With hindsight, it is obvious that Grohl was more than just the "Grunge Ringo". Grohl's debut album Foo Fighters, released after Cobain's death, demonstrated that Kurt was not the sole talent within Nirvana. Not only did Grohl compose and sing every song on Foo Fighters, but, barring a few cameo appearances, he played each and every instrument on the album. By adding Grohl to the Nirvana line-up, Cobain had finally assembled the roster of virtuoso musicians necessary to implement his masterplan.

Kurt Cobain's high standard of musicianship has been universally overlooked by both music critics and other musicians. Being a guitar hero is a highly competitive business and the worth of a guitarist is ultimately judged upon his ability to play the greatest number of notes in the shortest possible time, without regard for the aesthetics of the resulting sound. By these bizarre criteria, guitarists such as Michael Angelo and Yngwie Malmsteen receive plaudits for demonstrating little more than their manual dexterity, while the achievements of truly innovative musicians like Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix are downplayed. However, Cobain was undoubtedly one of the finest and most intelligent guitarists of all time.

While other rock guitarists sought to dumbfound their audience with displays of superhuman technical ability, Cobain opted for melodies that his fans could sing and play along with. In the same way that bands such as the Bay City Rollers developed an affinity with their audience by choosing fashions that their teenage followers could imitate, Cobain wrote guitar solos that his fans would wish to emulate. Kurt Cobain understood his target demographic and realised that Nirvana appealed to aspiring teenage musicians. Accordingly, Cobain dispensed with the fretboard pyrotechnics advocated by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, instead choosing to play brilliantly simple melodies that his fans could easily copy. Kurt Cobain's sparing and calculated use of the guitar is at least partly responsible for the popularity of Nirvana.

With the release of Nevermind in September 1991, Cobain's plans finally came to fruition. Although the overnight success of Nevermind surprised the music industry, Cobain was well aware that his creation would take the world by storm. Nevermind's famous cover, featuring a baby swimming towards a dollar bill, is a clear sign that Kurt intended Nevermind to achieve the mainstream appeal that had previously eluded the band. While Nirvana's fans often claim that Nirvana were the antithesis of corporate rock music, Cobain didn't share his followers' disdain of the music industry and he hankered after commercial success. In the song In Bloom, Kurt derides Nirvana's fans, the same fans who so vigourously defend the band against claims of "selling out", for their inability to comprehend the band's desire for mainstream acceptance:

"He's the one who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun
But he don't know what it means"

The highlight of Nevermind is the anthemic Smells Like Teen Spirit, a song that has become synonymous with the grunge movement. The origins of the instantly recognisable four chord riff that characterises the song have been the subject of much debate. While most Nirvana fans like to think that Smells Like Teen Spirit was heavily influenced by the work of seminal alternative rockers The Pixies, the most likely ancestor of this song is denied by the snobbish cognoscenti of alternative music. Close listening to Teen Spirit reveals that the song has much in common with More Than A Feeling by adult oriented rockers Boston. To use an old cliché, "hacks copy, geniuses steal", and it is a measure of Cobain's genius that Nirvana's breakthrough single bears such a resemblance to Boston's feelgood vibe and universal appeal. By evoking memories of Boston's biggest hit, the success of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Nevermind was assured.

However, success proved to be a poisoned chalice for Cobain, who was ill-prepared for the sudden adoration that was heaped upon Nirvana. Like many other bands, Kurt's reaction to his newfound popularity was to release a challenging album that would alienate his fanbase. Nirvana's third and final studio offering, In Utero, was an album of sugar-coated angst which demonstrated Cobain at the height of his songwriting ability. Despite being Cobain's most ambitious and coherent work, In Utero was greeted by an unenthusiastic response from critics and consumers alike, who were disappointed by the lack of moshpit anthems. It is ironic that those fans who had initially praised Nirvana as an alternative to bland commercial rock music turned their backs on the band following the release of their most innovative and uncommercial album to date.

Tragically, on 5 April 1994 Kurt Cobain took his own life. Many Nirvana fans saw Cobain's suicide as a validation of his music, a misconception which was fueled by the suicide note. Cobain's followers have selfishly interpreted phrases such as "The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun" to mean that the the suicide was intended to preserve the integrity of Nirvana's supposed punk rock ethic in the face of huge commercial success. It is more likely that Cobain's unfortunate suicide was simply a cry for help rather than an attempt to prove to his followers that he was "for real".

It should now be clear that Nirvana's rise to fame was no accident, with every aspect having been meticulously planned by Kurt Cobain. Perhaps it is comforting to delude ourselves with the belief that Nirvana were simply everyday guys who achieved greatness by accident, since this fallacy allows us to dream that we too may experience success and adoration despite our lack of God-given talent. However, it is a testament to Cobain's artistic vision that he was able to finely craft a band and musical style that the cynical Generation X youth would take to their hearts. In this way, Nirvana were little different to any number of faceless pop acts like The Spice Girls or The Backstreet Boys, who were invented by marketing men to target a specific demographic. Nirvana produced some great music and left us with fond memories of their short career, but it is time that their fans accepted the truth: Nirvana were just another manufactured band.


Bibliography: "Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain" by Charles R. Cross

       
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+5 (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by Frithiof on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 05:41:09 PM PST
manufactured or not, Nirvana still produced a number of rather interesting songs that I still like to listen to. ('On a plain', 'Radio Friendly Unit Shifter', 'Rape Me', and 'Stay Away', for example)

I must be a fruit because I actually liked In Utero when it was released (the only other Nirvana album I'd heard at the time was Nevermind). Ah well...I guess there's no accounting for taste these days.


-Frith

 
what about (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 06:55:41 PM PST
incesticide?

doesn't that count as a studio album? sure it was recorded at different times, but it wasn't just a bunch of remixes or live stuff.


No (none / 0) (#13)
by iat on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 01:00:54 AM PST
Incesticide would count as a compilation album by the usual way of categorising these things. It has its fair share of live tracks (from sessions recorded for for UKia's Radio 1), and other stuff they found hidden at the bottom of the barrel in the recording studio. Incesticide was just hastily knocked together to get some more product on the shelves, to try to exploit Nirvana's popularity, but is neither a good album nor a studio album.


Adequacy.org - love it or leave it.

No! (none / 0) (#78)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 04:07:35 PM PST
Incesticide isn't a poor album, it just takes some getting used to. All the Nirvana albums are great. End of story.


Kurt Cobain was a genius (none / 0) (#96)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 08:36:16 PM PST
The John Lennon of the 90s. Nobody since Cobain has matched his sense of melody and the raw energy of his performance.

Listening to some of you snobs here who only listen to Classical music, I feel a bit sorry for you. By limiting yourselves you miss out on some very fine music.

I enjoy all kinds of music. My favorite Classical composers are Beethoven and Stravinski, also Bartok and Berlioz. I like Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and many other Jazz players.

And I like Nirvana! Of their contemporaries, Soundgarden impressed me the most, they were another fine band. But Nirvana had the touch of genius that comes along once in a generation. Rock is populist music, far different in scope and goals than Classical music, so comparing each of them as art forms is pointless.

Whatever you like is cool, but dissing something because you don't understand it is, well, lame. It's one thing to put down a synthetic, manufactured band like backstreet boyz or whatever, but Nirvana were much more.

As to Cobain blatently ripping off other bands, all I can say is that in concert he was known to open Smell Like Teen Spirit with the Boston riff...Cobain himself claimed that the song was a ripoff. Wracked by self-doubt, Cobain was incessantly unhappy with his music, but I think anyone familliar with the Nirvana catalog would agree that a great body of fiercly creative and original music exists because of Cobain. RIP.



 
hate me or not (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by motherfuckin spork on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 08:25:31 PM PST
but Nirvana sucked.

they were not original... they just happened to be the first band of their genre to get a huge-ass deal and hit it big. I find their innovation lacking, their songs tired, and the whole scene dismal.

In my eyes (and ears) they did nothing that hadn't already been done. Nirvana failed to impress me then, it fails to impress me now.

Soundgarden impressed me. Collective Soul impressed me. Yes, even the Foo Fighters impressed me. Nirvana did not.

angst was always overrated.


I am not who you think I am.

Yeah (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 08:29:39 PM PST
When you combine all that with the fact that Nirvana stole all of their material (in particular, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a blatant ripoff of the guitar riffs from Boston's "More Than A Feeling") you are left with the conclusion that Nirvana is utter shite.


I see... (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 07:46:08 AM PST
so you think that because one song was "ripped off", all of their songs are shit, huh?

great logic.


 
Foo fighters? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by Starship Trooper on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 09:13:07 PM PST
I think Grohl could have been a fine songwriter and artist had he never met Cobain, sure enough, but unfortuantely I think he absorbed too much of the Nirvana-inspired mallternative vibe from being in the band that started it. Whether consciously or not, he was somewhat stunted by his association with the Nirvana style, and it made the Foo Fighters sound like just another flavour-of-the-day 90's guitar band.
---
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

You have a point (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by iat on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 01:09:56 AM PST
Whether consciously or not, he was somewhat stunted by his association with the Nirvana style, and it made the Foo Fighters sound like just another flavour-of-the-day 90's guitar band.

Yes, but it was a very precisely executed attempt at being "just another flavour-of-the-day 90's guitar band." Foo Fighters was a very good album, particularly considering that a) it was Grohl's first album b) he sang/played (virtually) everything c) he was previously a drummer. The songs on Foo Fighters are actually very good, I think the problem with the album is that it's overproduced and slightly too perfect.


Adequacy.org - love it or leave it.

 
Collective Soul did not impress me... (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by Slobodan Milosevic on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 09:25:37 PM PST
They do write good songs. Their second (self titled album) is impressive. As well as their fourth. However, the rest of their stuff just doesn't do anything for me. What would Collective Soul sound like today if not for the likes of Led Zeppelin, and the Doors? Even Guns 'N' Roses? I saw them live in concert once. Guess what they played while the audience was waiting for them to start? The Clash. Interesting? I think so.


you bring up some good points (none / 0) (#20)
by motherfuckin spork on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 08:25:50 AM PST
in particular about influences. I cannot disagree with you. I also have not seem Collective Soul live, so that angle is missing from my perspecive. It is indeed interesting that they played The Clash prior to the start of the show, unless that was just what the house music was, and was not controlled by the band (I have no idea).


I am not who you think I am.

 
Huh? (none / 0) (#21)
by RobotSlave on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 09:46:16 AM PST
Soundgarden signed to a major before Nirvana did.

We now return to your scheduled hate-in.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

oh... sorry... leap in my logic there. (none / 0) (#24)
by motherfuckin spork on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:06:41 AM PST
I wasn't trying to equate Soundgarden and Nirvana... I do not see them in the same light nor the same genre. They were essentially contemporaries, which is the comparision I was trying to make, such as with Collective Soul. The Foo Fighters reference should be obvious why it is there.

sorry, didn't mean to confuse.


I am not who you think I am.

That's not what I'm getting at. (none / 0) (#25)
by RobotSlave on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:19:33 AM PST
I was trying to point out the fact that Soundgarden "made it big" before Nirvana did.

And while you've clearly got some set opinions on the matter, I think the claim that Nirvana and Soundgarden made different sorts of music is an exercise in hair-splitting, at best.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

hmm? (none / 0) (#58)
by motherfuckin spork on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 02:29:12 PM PST
I find Soundgarden to be musically and melodically superior to Nirvana. This is, however, a personal preference, and you may always choose to disagree.

I'm not arguing that Soundgarden didn't come out first either. If I'm not mistaken, they also "outlived" Nirvana (no offense intended). But their respective time-spans and the state of the music scene make them contemporaries.


I am not who you think I am.

 
casuistry (none / 0) (#68)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 05:47:24 PM PST
Hair-splitting at best, and the total degradation of all music by implication at worst...

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Nirvana ruined popular music (5.00 / 2) (#8)
by Starship Trooper on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 09:07:59 PM PST
Or at least they would have if it weren't already in such a smelly hole by the late 80's. Though one can credit Cobain for turning the mainstream back towards guitar-based rock from 70s-80s synth-trash, the "alternative" angst-filled bullshit they tied to it has done nothing but create an endless train of faceless imitators. Cashing in on the teenage-boy demographic's new love for "raw intensity" and over-distorted guitars, mallternative band superstars like Corn and Limp Biscuit are manufactured just as readily as boy bands like In Synch. Alternative has become a buzzword, commandeered by the mainstream to make the same music seem different from the bubblegum pop targetted towards little girls and the old "rock" targetted towards adults.

Really, all the popular music categorizations have become bullshit since Nirvana's inception. "Alternative" Corn music sounds just like "Pop" Backstreet Boys dressed up in "heavy" distorted power chords and unintelligible screaming lyrics. Mainstream "hip-hop" uses the same formulę, dressed up in poorly-utilised samples and tacky bass-n-drums. There hasn't been a real revolution in popular music since the British Invasion of the 60's.

The Beatles popularised rock'n'roll, and brought it influences from almost every conceivable source. The Kinks, the Yardbirds and the Who created the underpinnings of hard-rock and punk that would end up being so abused in the long run. After the 60's died with the creation of Led Zeppelin (the first popular band where commercial factors would overshadow artistic substance) and the perfection of analog synthesizers, pop lost its direction. The progressives like Yes and King Crimson tried to bring rock to the level of European art music, only to be shot down by the Sex Pistols. Glam stars like David Bowie, Kiss and Queen continued to put image ahead of substance in the minds of the public. Pink Floyd dumbed down art-rock for mass consumption, dressing their mediocre music up in technological gimmickry. The 80's saw the ultimate collapse of substance, as hair, new digital synths and the ever-increasing importance of the Commercial Image overshadowed the necessity for any novel musical ideas or interesting melodies, as long as it made good dance music.

This is the environment that allowed Nirvana to make their "breakthrough". With the record-buying public having forgotten what a guitar or a decent melody sound like, Cobain was free to steal some ideas from the Pixies and the other more interesting alternative bands of the day (back when alternative actually meant something), dress them up in arena-friendly idiot riffs, and shock the public with his "personal" angst-filled opera. And I'm tired of hearing songs that all sound exactly the same on top 40 radio.
---
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

if you don't like popular music... (none / 0) (#19)
by Frithiof on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 07:50:47 AM PST
why not just beef up your collection of underground music?


-Frith

fallacy (none / 0) (#28)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:38:44 AM PST
Your use of 'popular' kind of begs the question[1]. Popular to whom?



[1] I.e., assumes what it intends to prove.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
So what yer all saying... (none / 0) (#11)
by noah Oneye on Mon Oct 22nd, 2001 at 11:11:39 PM PST
is that you all like different music, and that basically, if one was so inclined, one could cite a progression of influences to invalidate the originality of any musician. So what? Ain't nobody free from context, be they Nirvana, 98 degrees, or Mozart.

Nirvana is cool:
1) drugs are cool
2) torn blue jeans are cool
3) shooting yourself in the face with a shotgun is VERY cool

Unfortunately, though, at the end of the day, ripping off Boston is NOT cool. But what a very fun assertion to make...


"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

Acting and looking uneducated is cool (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by Starship Trooper on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 12:09:25 AM PST
1) drugs are cool

...if your imagination is too crippled by television and other passive entertainment to enjoy life without them.

2) torn blue jeans are cool

...when you're poor and can't afford fresh new pants (or just refuse to buy them) 3) shooting yourself in the face with a shotgun is VERY cool

...well, seeing as your body would probably be dead and therefore stop generating heat, I would have to agree with that one.

I'm sorry, but I have always failed to see the attraction of dressing and acting as if you live off minimum wage, whether it be the "rustic" leaning of hippies, the torn-and-frayed ęsthetic of the punk/grunge generation, or the modern phenomenon where middle-class white males believe they come from "da ghet-to".
---
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

woah there partner (none / 0) (#32)
by noah Oneye on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 11:34:59 AM PST
...if your imagination is too crippled by television and other passive entertainment to enjoy life without them.
the above was posted re: drugs are cool

When I said drugs are cool I specifically meant television. And reality (or "life" as you call it) would not exist without reality tv. Quantum physics has proven that "reality" requires observation to exist in its present state. I watch, therefore I am...

...when you're poor and can't afford fresh new pants (or just refuse to buy them)
re: torn blue jeans are cool

Wait, yer gonna rag on middle class whiteys emulating "da ghet-to" and in the same breath call new pants "fresh"? When I said torn jeans were cool, I was referring to their inherent air-conditioning, which cannot be refuted. If you'd ever worn 'em on a motorcycle, you'd see.

I'm sorry, but I have always failed to see the attraction of dressing and acting as if you live off minimum wage

Here's the attraction, mate. While you're cruising around in yer Tommy Hilfiger jeans, working 40 hours a week, I work twenty and still remained fully clothed, albeit I don't have the priviledge of bodily advertising for the clothes I overpaid for. And I even have enough money left over for beer.

Hope this clears everything up.




"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

 
Courtney Love, American Hero (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 02:45:26 AM PST
Back when Kurt Cobain was just another sad Seattle teenager with a band, Courtney Love, the future love of his life, sat scrawling a secret list of "ways to become famous". Courtney "Kurt's Yoko, Only Worse" Love. Courtney the despised. Courtney Love, who singlehandedly brought the practice of couples naming their newborn daughters "Courtney" to a sudden and total halt.

And yet, in the end, she won. The woman who made "Hole is a band" the most hated phrase since "Heil Hitler" became, not just a rock star, like her gifted and revered husband, but a full fledged celebrity phenomenon. The world wept with her at Kurt's funeral. America rocked out to Live Through This, and the rock crits were barely done analyzing Courtney's lyrics before they were bowled over by the movie crits swoonin' over Courtney's performance in The People Versus Larry Flynt. She has even, defying all possible odds, managed to look really hot (click link, then scroll down a bit) in a Versace photo shoot. Recently, Courtney bounced sproingingly back from the poor sales figures of Hole's third album by becoming a prominent voice in the Napster debates, and finally, taking on that grandest of Grande Dame roles, Celebrity Litigant. All this in the face of the relentless disgust of the True Rock Fans of the world.

What, in comparison, does Cobain's legend have to offer? "I'm talented!" "I'm sad!" "I'm dead!" Tell it to Greil Marcus, Junior. Courtney got to wear designer gowns, sleep with famous people, milk her 15 minutes of fame to, oh, about an hour so far, and laugh all the way to the bank*. Fuck tragic beauty. Courtney is a real American success story. As self made as Ben Franklin, as Glittery as Marilyn Monroe, as Rebellious as Jim Morrison. It's as if, at the end of The Great Gatsby, Gatsby ducks the fatal shotgun blast (which kills Nick Carraway), grabs Daisy, kicks Tom in the nuts, and drives off to Hollywood to sell his life story for a million bucks. God Bless the USA.

*And, incidentally, inspire the greatest fansite in the known universe:
http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/davis/600/courtney.htm


Excellent post. (none / 0) (#22)
by RobotSlave on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 09:56:53 AM PST
Well said, regardless of the omission of the fact that she stole her well-known "napster speech" from Steve Albini (indy rock's most overrated producer), almost verbatim, thereby pissing off six of her tweleve remaining fans at that point. But she got the chance to get chummy with politicians, plus infinite replay on MTV News. Pure genius.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

 
hmm (1.00 / 1) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 04:06:47 AM PST
I say we all just listen to Phish


Ohh please, Phish? (none / 0) (#26)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:25:40 AM PST
Their main influences are Zappa and the Dead, though they took the warmth of Zappa and the irresponsible attitudes of the Dead, without improving on either one. What a way to announce your lame, white, overeducated, fearful tastes.


 
oh my god. (none / 0) (#17)
by loop on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 05:54:30 AM PST
People who don't know much about the music of Nirvana should not criticize the entire catalog of music spanning 8 years as "stolen".

Let's see- where was Negative Creep stolen from? How about Polly? Maybe you could point out the New Kids on the Block song that Lithium was stolen from? How about the Bobby Brown inspired lovely tune Francis Farmer (etc)?
Nirvana exploded out of Seattle at a time where the music industry was completely stagnant. No bands were doing anything new in the world of popular music. There was this huge thing happening, though, just below the surface. Bands like Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain were making the best music of their careers, and Nirvana was ready to take all that energy which was hidden from so many and channel it direcly to the more accessible areas which they hit.

I bought bleach on a whim on 12" vinyl from Sub Pop when it was released, and ever since, I have listened to almost everything possibly released by Nirvana. There are moments of beauty and ugliness in almost every song- and the wierd thing is that no two of the songs feel the same. THEY ALL HAVE FEELING THOUGH. More than I can say for 9/10 of the rock crap out now. Fred Durst has ruined rock and roll. :)

End rant. Sorry. Move on.


Gee whiz (none / 0) (#23)
by zikzak on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:03:13 AM PST
From Nirvana to Sonic Youth. Wow. The depth of your musical awareness is truly staggering. Dave Kendall would be so proud of you.


i would be insulted... (none / 0) (#71)
by loop on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 06:03:41 AM PST
but i'm not. i have been a fan of sonic youth since seeing them on the daydream nation tour.

they were the first band to come to mind in the discussion, and in my memory of who was at their...., musical heights... at the time.

you want to see depth and breadth of musical tastes? sure. dave kendall (name from the past, wow.) has nothing on me. :) current favorites range from slowdive and sigur ros to meshuggah and the dillinger escape plan. also been listening to a lot of the older wax trax releases, and just dusted off my psychic tv 12"s to play for my wife.... coltrane has yet to leave my cd player after a 3 month straight stint (different albums, granted, but he's always in that 5 disk changer) and i've just heard hank williams sr. for the first time. (he's actually a real country artist! whodathunkit)

is that wide enough for you?

nirvana was just a bright point in "pop" for me. it marked a change in the pop scene, that, while very temporary, was at least more honest than the limp bizkit and creed crap being spewed at us from all the labels.


 
yep (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 03:29:42 PM PST
There are moments of beauty and ugliness in almost every song- and the wierd thing is that no two of the songs feel the same. THEY ALL HAVE FEELING THOUGH.

Yes, I noticed this about nirvana. I still listen to a few of the songs, and some of the ones I like the most are the ones that sound like they were made purposely harsh and ugly. I don't even remember the names of most songs, but the one I can think of that is an example of this is "Drain You". I'm not sure which album it's on, but reading your comment made me think of it.

Anyway, I think the author of the main post has written an ending to his little rant that is contrary to the rest of it. To briefly show you what I mean, the article went like this: Kurt Cobain was very talented. His music had an artistic side. He planned the success for his band. HE WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A CORPORATE POP STAR. One of these lines does not belong (Hint: it should stand out.).

It could be I'm swayed by the fact that I still have some respect for the band, which, at the time, wasn't just another damn grunge band. They may not have been exactly the first, but they were the first good one (blah blah, subjective, I know). There have been countless imitators who, let's face it, suck. Just because you don't like a style of music or its usual implementation doesn't mean you have to hate everyone who makes/made that kind of music.


You misunderstood my point (none / 0) (#98)
by iat on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 11:51:22 AM PST
Anyway, I think the author of the main post has written an ending to his little rant that is contrary to the rest of it.

No I didn't.

To briefly show you what I mean, the article went like this: Kurt Cobain was very talented. His music had an artistic side. He planned the success for his band. HE WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A CORPORATE POP STAR. One of these lines does not belong (Hint: it should stand out.).

My argument is consistent. The point I was trying to make is that Kurt had the ability as a musician and songwriter to create music that he knew was going to be successful. In the same way that countless pop acts are cynically manufactured by record companies to generate success among a certain demographic, Cobain created a band that would appeal to an angsty teenage male audience. It is to his credit that he was able to write music that achieved his goals. But, just like the faceless teen bands, Kurt's music was superficial since it was carefully crafted to provide his audience with what they wanted to hear and he was no more "for real" than Britney Spears or her contemporaries.


Adequacy.org - love it or leave it.

 
the whole discussion is insane (4.00 / 3) (#29)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:45:57 AM PST
Reading an involved, passionate debate over the merits of Nirvana(!) is kind of like watching the Stephen King fans square off against the Dean Koontz fans. Jesus, doesn't anyone here listen to real music? Once in a while, something interesting happens in 'popular' music, but as a genre it's so debased as to be totally unworthy of discussion.

I would be particularly upset to read, in response, 'I listen to Mozart as well as Nirvana.' All that proves is that you neither understand nor appreciate Mozart.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

You're right. (none / 0) (#30)
by RobotSlave on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:50:31 AM PST
Do you know any viola jokes?


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

A violist (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 11:50:17 AM PST
was worn out after a gig, and he decided to drive to his favorite bar for a quick one. He parked a couple of blocks away, and halfway there, he realized he'd left his rear window open - with his instrument in the back seat! He immediately rushed back, only to find that it was too late.

There'd already been three more violas left in the car.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
A few more (none / 0) (#77)
by hauntedattics on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:49:20 PM PST
What's the difference between a lawnmower and a violist? A lawnmower vibrates.

What's the definition of perfect pitch? When you throw a viola into the Dumpster without hitting the sides.

There are tons more like that, just for music geeks everywhere to appreciate.



geeks. (none / 0) (#85)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 09:54:07 AM PST
Viola jokes are best reserved for the delectation of hard-working, long-suffering professional musicians, as opposed to band geeks (a very low species indeed, kind of like those people who throw parties where they all dress up as memebers of the Algonquin Round Table.) In this spirit, I offer the best known viola joke.

A violist was taken aside by the conductor after rehearsal. The conductor said to him, "I'm sorry to be the one telling you this, but the chairman of the orchestra board has lost his mind. He went to your house and... well... trashed it. He broke all your lightbulbs. He peed in your goldfish bowl. He mixed up your sock drawer. He..." The conductor broke off. The violist hadn't yet said one word. The conductor asked him, "Are you all right? Can I get you something? Do you want to..."

The violist broke in. "The chairman - went to MY HOUSE?"

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
viola joke (1.00 / 1) (#79)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 04:19:16 PM PST
You can tune a viola, but you can't tune-a-fish (tunafish)




 
How closed minded (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 11:30:20 AM PST
In what way is Nirvana and appreciating Mozart mutually exclusive? I postulate that liking, for example, Nirvana would make one more appreciative of Mozart. Because how can one truely appreciate something without having something to compare it to? Who enjoys being rich more, someone who has never been poor or someone who has? If you always drink the finest red wines how can you appreciate it without having other drinks to compare it to.


Hmm... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
by noah Oneye on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 11:56:20 AM PST
I postulate that liking, for example, Nirvana would make one more appreciative of Mozart...If you always drink the finest red wines how can you appreciate it without having other drinks to compare it to.

So Nirvana is like Olde English 800?
By your logic, I should like groin pulls because it feels so good when I don't have them. Really, all you can say is that being aware of Nirvana could increase your appreciation of Mozart. Liking them would indicate complete indiscrimination. Lord knows we can't have that...



"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

 
The irrelevance of "pop" music (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by moriveth on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 11:53:26 AM PST
I could not agree more strongly with your post. Only yesterday I attended a fine performance of Wagner's Die Meistersinger, a further reminder (as if I did not receive one each day!) of how far music has fallen from its former glory. The stridently dissonant "atonal" music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky and the dreary and forgettable "pop" music of Nirvana are two sides of the same coin--music that degrades rather than uplifts the soul, music that reflects a decadent, immature shallow culture.

If only Kurt Cobain could have packed as much into 5 hours and 15 minutes as Wagner!

Eventually, "pop" music will be recognized as the marketing-driven immature garbage that it patently is. After which the immortal masterworks of Western music will remain--the Masters Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and Brahms. As Wagner eloquently remarks in the conclusion to his great opera, "Even if the Holy Roman Empire should dissolve in mist, for us there would yet remain holy German Art!"


I deserve a closer reading (none / 0) (#66)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 05:41:09 PM PST
Hey, I never said that Western classical music was the greatest music either. Some of it is good and some of it is garbage. Even genius composers have bad moments, and in the case of Wagner, quarter-hours.[1]

Reread my post. I said that I didn't want robots saying 'I listen to Mozart as well as Nirvana.' I didn't say that I thought Mozart was the greatest composer, whatever that means.

Real music is now emerging from pop genres. It was a scandal when Aphex Twin won the Prix de musique electronique (the biggest award in 'classical' electronic music.) But they still won it, and this year it was Kid 606. That stuff is great.

Nothing makes you look more stupid than projecting your own limitations onto your interlocutor. Kindly back off.

[1] - Rossini.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

The modern cultural wasteland (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by moriveth on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:00:20 PM PST
Hey, I never said that Western classical music was the greatest music either.
Why, I think you are right. But I did. And if you thought it through, you would agree with me.

Can Stockhausen compare with Beethoven? Berio with Schubert? Miles Davis with Bruckner? Kid 606 with Bach?

Perhaps you wish to avoid such comparisons. Perhaps you feel nothing meaningful can be gained from a comparison of, say, modern electronic doodlings to Mozart. Yet we are comfortable mentioning Beethoven and Bach in the same sentence. During his lifetime, Wagner and Brahms had acolytes who recognized their music as being of exceptional quality from a historical perspective. Other great composers received similar recognition, at times postumously, but with few exceptions within a reasonable time frame. Yet what "modern" composer, "pop" or "classical," could suffer comparison to the giants of Western music? I dare you to name names.

No, music as Art has hit rock bottom. Our culture is a mirror held to our times--and as we see in modern literature, painting, sculpture, and music, our times are not up to the task of creating true Art.


uh. (none / 0) (#72)
by nathan on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:54:08 AM PST
In my opinion, Stockhausen is fully as great as, f'rinstance, Bruckner (who is windy.) Schoenberg is one of the greatest composers in history - look at Opp. 4, 15, 21, 23.

Here's a link to somebody who shares your opinion, though.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Evading the issue (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by moriveth on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 01:08:06 PM PST
We can debate the relative merits of Bruckner, Stockhausen, and Schoenberg some other time. But my point still stands: no contemporary composition even remotely compares in quality to the greatest Western art music of the past.


Hmmm.. (none / 0) (#76)
by hauntedattics on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:46:49 PM PST
When you say 'contemporary' art music, though, what do you mean? Some people think of contemporary as last year and others take it to mean the whole of the 20th century. You can look at the whole of the 20th century classical music oeuvre and find some works that are right up there with the best of all time. But comparing, say, Stravinsky with Bach and Schoenberg with Wagner is kind of a pointless exercise, since without the earlier composers the later ones could not have done what they did. It's like saying your grandfather is a better person than you are because he came first.

And, incidentally, IMHO there are parts of Wagnerian opera that really drag. You can actually sit and listen to some 20th century composers, but trying to listen and follow along with Das Rheingold had me yawning in 10 minutes. Of course, it's meant to be watched live, which is another story.



 
in quality? (none / 0) (#84)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 09:34:31 AM PST
What do you mean by quality? Because I'm betting the definition is predicated on setting up the old composers to win. I mean, Schoenberg proved his tonal and contrapuntal chops past all question with his early work. If you read his books on tonal composition you realize that he knew and understood Mozart better than anyone alive. But we can't just keep recycyling Bach in perpetuity.

This is not a new argument. Try reading up on 'ars nova,' and 'nouve musiche.' Bach in the day, they bashed Monteverdi.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

You disappoint me. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by moriveth on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 10:44:24 AM PST
Oh yes, the old "back in the day, they thought ______ was hard on the ears." I expected better than that. "Modern" music is unpleasant to listen to, as is demonstrated by audiences never embracing it after decades of attempts by "musicians" to force it down their throats.

Do you really think the art being created today is of the quality of even 100 years ago?


YOU expected better? (none / 0) (#89)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:41:01 AM PST
Obviously Joyce is worthless because he never achieved the popular success of Danielle Steele. In fact, he must be inferior to the myriad middlebrow writers who were popular blockbusters during the XIXth century. The numbers prove it.

The social role of music is completely different now. What, you expect people to value art and react to it the same ways as they did in the preindustrial world, with its different soundscape, economics, aesthetics, and morality? The social role of art is always changing, and what art is supposed to do must likewise change. Your argument is like a witch-doctor saying that Chopin is crap because it's not useful to inducing predictive trance.

The fact that people don't want to do the work to 'get' modern music indicates to me they won't do it for anything. When you get right down to it, Beethoven is pretty damned inaccessible in all his greatest work. (I'm reminded of the time that von Bulow programmed the Ninth Symphony for the first half of a concert, and, to make a point, the Ninth Symphony [no typo] for the second. Hanslick called it 'baptizing the infidels with a fire-hose.)

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Answer me this: (none / 0) (#91)
by moriveth on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 01:00:08 PM PST
I believe that your previous message constitutes a "flame" (although, curiously, not entirely directed at positions I have advocated). As a civilized person, I will refrain from responding to your "flame" in kind. But I would be interested in your response to the following query:

Where exactly are the modern-day Beethoven 9ths?

Please list names and specific compositions. I apologize deeply if this simple request for substantiation causes you further personal distress.


who's obnoxious here? (none / 0) (#92)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 01:16:44 PM PST
Where exactly are the latter-day Fausts? How about Hamlets? You beg the question all over the place.

You're trying to backdoor me into saying that Stockhausen and Boulez and electronic composers are Beethoven, so that you can mock that position. I think a better comparison is with de Vitry - they're pioneers, developing the language that will be used by latter-day Machuats, just as Beethoven is unimaginable outside of a context of Haydn (and countless minor masters as well.) I mean, why ask after Beethoven's Ninth? Where's the modern Raff Im Wald, the modern Salieri Il Grotto di Troffino, the modern Saint-Saėns First?

By the standards of classical Chinese painting, Picasso is no master - the only thing his art has in common with it is that both involve pigments and surfaces, with an element of depiction. Beethoven is rhythmically simplistic next to Javanese music. His music uses only three melodic scale forms (and that's counting the Hymn of Praise to the Glory of God in the Lydian Mode,) so it's modally simple in comparison with Indian and Arabic music. It doesn't use the fascinating harmonic language of Messiaen. None of this detracts one iota from its status as a staggering cultural monument. Still, you have to ask the right questions.

The issue isn't what's the matter with music. It's what's the matter with you.

Nathan

PS - as a civilized person, I won't hide behind threadbare logical fallacies that were exposed in Periclean Athens.
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

the old college try... (none / 0) (#94)
by moriveth on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 03:54:46 PM PST
Where exactly are the latter-day Fausts? How about Hamlets?
Indeed; as I have repeatedly argued, the art of our age has not come close to matching the art of earlier times. I have yet to see any statement on your part that seriously challenges this point.

If serialism of Boulez (for example) represents a new frontier rather than a dead end, why have most modern composers abandoned it? (I am aware it is possible to have a very passionate debate about the merits or errors of serialism and atonality; I am not attempting to start one, simply stating the fact that the influence of Boulez at this point in time is not very significant.)

I agree that most composers of the past were mediocre. I have never argued otherwise, and for you to assert that I have demonstrates your characteristic intellectual dishonesty.

Again, I challenge you to state which relatively recent works of art you feel are of comparable merit to the great masterworks of the past.

If you feel that a comparison of composers of the past to those of the present is meaningless, why did they seem so much more reasonable to (for example) Hans von Bulow? Or even to Nadia Boulanger, who confidently placed Stravinsky and Schoenberg, along with the usual three, as the greatest composers of Western art music? Why can't we be similarly sanguine about "Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berio, Boulez?" Or "Stockhausen, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach?" Has the nature of music changed so much? Or is it simply that no contemporary is worthy of such company?


I can't help but notice (none / 0) (#95)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 06:16:13 PM PST
that your list of great masters starts with J. S. Bach. How offensive to casually toss aside Palestrina, Josquin, Machaut, de Vitry, and Perotin. Just an observation.

Anyway. I consider Stockhausen's Kontakte and Gesang der Junglige to be some of the greatest music, ever, superior to eg. the early Mozart quartets (everything prior to K. 387,) and some of J. S. Bach's more workmanlike cantatas. I don't think that Stockhausen is a first-rate master, but his best works are better than the lesser works of greater masters. I think that Schoenberg's Pierrot, Verklaerte Nacht, the Book of the Hanging Garden, and Suite op. 23 are immortal masterpieces fully equivalent to (although totally different from) major Beethoven works like the middle-period piano sonatas. I think that Berg's and Bartok's violin concertos are some of the supreme examples of the genre, and that Berg's Wozzeck is one of the greatest operas of all time. Happy now?

In a way, this is comparing apples to nails. I had no desire whatsoever to post this disgusting list of comparisons. As God is my witness, I was pushed to the friggin' wall.

This ridiculous tonal-music chauvinism of yours shows you in a very poor light. If all you can enjoy is Meistersinger, you're welcome to it. Meanwhile, I'll be listening to music of the real Hans Sachs, and of modern masters, alongside my cherished, treasured Smetana Quartet and Berg Quartet recordings.

Nathan, weeping with shame at comparing anything to anything amongst immortal masterpieces and monuments of culture
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

I can't help but notice you like to change topics. (none / 0) (#97)
by moriveth on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 08:48:02 PM PST
I will ignore your transparent attempts at baiting and return to the question at hand.

Suppose I grant you that Berg, Bartok, and Schoenberg composed truly great music (even if obviously not in the leauge of, say, the St. Matthew's Passion). But all these composers were dead not long after World War II. If the greatest works since then merely rise to the level of minor Mozart or Wellington's Victory, doesn't this perfectly illustrate the decay of Art?


no, it doesn't. (none / 0) (#99)
by nathan on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 12:04:18 PM PST

--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Mozart and Nirvana (none / 0) (#87)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:29:46 AM PST
Isn't music about delivering of gratification?
Who cares if someone enjoys listening to both Bach and Spice Girls and mentions his preferences here...


music for enjoyment. (none / 0) (#88)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:38:04 AM PST
That's like saying that food is for enjoyment, so we might as well swill potato chips nonstop. If that's how you really feel, you deserve what you have coming.

Music is an art, not a lifestyle accessory. The arts are not solely or even primarily for 'the giving of pleasure.' Your argument reduces Frankenstein to the frisson.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
PS (none / 0) (#67)
by nathan on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 05:45:09 PM PST
Your cocking a snook, in my name, at Schoenberg and Stravinsky, is further ill-taken. The Bartok violin concerto is probably my favorite piece of music of all time, I went to see Erwartung three weeks ago, and ... uh ... I also enjoy Stravinsky.

Although, these days it's Stockhausen's Gesange der Junglinge that's on my mind, and electronic pop (I enjoyed parts of a Portishead CD my ex-girlfriend gave me.)

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Bah (none / 0) (#69)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 10:00:17 PM PST
the immortal masterworks of Western music will remain--the Masters Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and Brahms You kids and yer newfangled ideas. AFAIC, it was all downhill after Gesualdo...


 
mozart is overrated (3.66 / 3) (#36)
by alprazolam on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 12:00:58 PM PST
contemporaries only, please


Perhaps. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by moriveth on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 12:07:46 PM PST
It is true that Haydn was much more influential than Mozart, for example in the development of the symphony. And it is true that much of Mozart's music does not rise above that of his contemporaries.

But listen to, for example, the stunning first scene of Don Giovanni--incidentally, a striking foreshadowing of Wagnerian opera in its temporary abandonment of recitative. Did Haydn (or any other contemporary) compose anything to match that?


Maybe not... (none / 0) (#75)
by hauntedattics on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:39:18 PM PST
But Haydn was one the few contemporaries for whom Mozart had any respect. Which may say something (if you think Mozart was a brilliant genius) or may not (if you think he was just OK).

However, I'm fascinated by the Mozart-Wagner link and will check out that scene in Don G.

There is actually another Mozart-Wagner link, and that is that they were both parodied in classic Bugs Bunny cartoons. Though I think the Wagner one is funnier.



 
Lay off Stephen King. (none / 0) (#38)
by tkatchev on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 01:38:48 PM PST
Actually, Stephen King is an incredibly talented writer. (Though, I agree, he is a bit old-fashioned. His style is somewhat Victorian.) The problem is that King sold out, preferring to churn out incredibly stupid dumbed-down pulp for the plebs to consume. It's a real shame that his talent is going to waste. :(( Don't be fooled, though -- his act is completely artifical. For some fun, get a few of his early books (before he became a celebrity) and compare with his later works. The early stuff has some incredible passages, especially where psychological characterizations are concerned. Again, it saddens me when I think what could have turned out had he turned his skills to good instead of evil. (Money, the root of all evil... Not sure I agree, though there is something to it...)


--
Peace and much love...




yea, (none / 0) (#61)
by Frithiof on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 02:52:23 PM PST
it's a real shame... I've read a lot of King's old books (even the ones under his pseudonym), and they really are better than his current releases.

in fact, I haven't even read anything of his that was released after 1999...


-Frith

 
Please be serious. (none / 0) (#62)
by moriveth on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 03:06:27 PM PST
I admit to being entertained by Stephen King when I was young and foolish. But as a more mature reader, I realize that his prose style, at any point in his career, reeks. While it is true that even much modern "literature" features terrible prose as well (see Pynchon), I firmly believe that any book worth reading, even for pleasure, must demonstrate a minimum level of facility with the English language.

I fear the horror, fantasy, and science fiction genres are little better than "pop" music in terms of cultural value.


Sigh. (none / 0) (#80)
by tkatchev on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 10:14:09 PM PST
Please keep the author and his literary talents separate from his literary works. Yes, indeed, King is a highly talented writer; had he wanted to, he could have written world-class prose, something that would have later been taught in college English Lit classes.

However, he chose the easier and more profitable route, preferring to write pulp fiction that is easily salable. It's as if a world-class musician decided that he preferred to write pop-boy-band synth tunes instead of creating modern jazz masterpieces. A real shame.


--
Peace and much love...




Snort. (none / 0) (#81)
by moriveth on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 01:17:23 AM PST
Please keep the author and his literary talents separate from his literary works.
Are you claiming that you can assess the former without the latter? From what evidence do you conclude that King possesses any particular literary talent?
Yes, indeed, King is a highly talented writer; had he wanted to, he could have written world-class prose, something that would have later been taught in college English Lit classes.
Good competent prose is precisely what is not taught in literature classes. Obfuscated, plotless, and dull modern literature is, and it's often poorly written as well. Pynchon might be a far more inventive writer than King, but his prose is no less painful.

I believe that a decent prose style (which King clearly does not possess) is no obstacle to commercial success, although it is evidently not a hindrance either.


Oh, definitely. (none / 0) (#82)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 04:14:40 AM PST
Are you claiming that you can assess the former without the latter? From what evidence do you conclude that King possesses any particular literary talent?

Yes, indeed. I have enough literary experience (though I do not claim to be any sort of professional or enthusiast, by any means) to see when and where an author is dumbing down his prose. A little bit more intellectual depth and effort in King's early prose, and he could have had a real, honest-to-goodness, serious literary work. Read "The Firestarter", for example. There is some brilliant psychological prose in there, though it does tend to be a bit old-fashioned. (I generally like old-fashioned prose, though.)


--
Peace and much love...




 
Modern Jazz Masterpiece (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by Adam Rightmann on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 09:12:19 AM PST
I'd consider that an oxymoron. Jazz never recovered from it's chasing of the rock and roll audience, resulting in that abomination named fusion. Nowadays you get light jazz, people aping the master, and fusion, all second rate.


A. Rightmann

Sorry. (none / 0) (#90)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 12:41:10 PM PST
I meant "modern jazz-masterpiece", not "modern-jazz masterpiece". (I hope I'm making myself clear...)


--
Peace and much love...




 
jazz? (none / 0) (#93)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 03:09:22 PM PST
I'm not certain that jazz is liturgically sound. What we need is holy, authentic Byzantine solmization.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
I give you this white powder to ask your advice (0.00 / 2) (#57)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 02:06:23 PM PST
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed the proof of concept.

You have been tolerated long enough. Doom is imminent.

That is all.



 
I respect your opinion (2.00 / 1) (#59)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 23rd, 2001 at 02:42:46 PM PST
but I feel that you are ignoring the communist aspects.

Why do these so called "fans" oppose Nirvana making money?

I honestly believe that if a person has a product or service to provide then he or she should be free to sell it. This is the founding ideal of Democracy.

Money doesn't detract from the music. Haven't you ever hummed a jingle from an advertisement? I find them deeply moving... Advertising jingles are beautiful in their own right but also as a symbol of prosperity, wealth and freedom. When I listen to an advertisement I can hear the beating heart of America.

Money makes good music better.

When I read the comments here, I have to admit that they disgust me. So many posters are frauds. They pretend to be so high and mighty. They say they don't like Nirvana but only Mozart or some other pale faced European who died long before they were born.

That's not American! Americans don't put on airs and pretend to be aristocrats...

Real Americans may not know much about what some anemic French guy in a round hat says is art but we know what we like. And, dang it, we're not afraid to admit it.

There isn't anyone who can tell me what I will or will not like.

I'm an American. You can take your supercilious attitude and shove it.





 
Are you fucking dumb or somthing? (none / 0) (#74)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:24:55 PM PST
Comparing Nirvana to classic rock songs? Every member of that band listened to punk. There are stories of Kurt selling his whole record collection to take a bus to LA to see Black Flag. David Grhol was in a punk band before Nirvana. And Kurt met Chris because they both liked the same kind of music. Not to mention he has a CD out right now where he is in a band with Jello Biafra and Kim Thayl. (Jello Biafra was the singer from the Dead Kenedys).

While I appreciate someone giving that band the credit it deserves, face the truth. They were a punk band. It would probobly annoy them a lot if they saw you compare them to Boston.


 

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