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Kurt Cobain- 20 years 
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
I definitely wouldn't go as far as to call Nirvana the "definitive" band of the 90s, that's giving them way too much credit if you ask me.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:12 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
NotHughGrant wrote:
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They were/are the definitive band of the 90s, whether you like their music or not.


This is a highly USA-centric statement.


Certainly, but I think that's obvious. The Beatles were probably the biggest band in the UK and USA at the same time, but no one has commanded things beyond those two countries at the same time.

PeachyPete wrote:
Sure, as with any super huge celebrity death, I'm sure some people did embellish just how much they cared about him, but there was also a good deal of genuine emotion and shock that came out of people.


I think there's a real key that Cobain struck that people connected with. His humor and sarcasm was always there, but his persona of raw emotion and genuinely feeling uncomfortable with fame was not something people had seen before. Way before the Internet, of course, but he still came in with a lot more access to fans nationwide than stars before him did. He felt known, and he never felt larger-than-life, at least before he died. I think he was perceived as vulnerable and not a rock star in the sense of the 70s and 80s rock stars.

It's dark to think about, but Cobain is just about the king of dying at the perfect time to build his legacy. If he was still alive, would he be making good and interesting music, or would he be Axl Rose?


Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Unke wrote:
Of course, album sales don't mean everything when you're evaluating the cultural impact of a rock band, but they may be an indicator. For what it's worth, the German album charts and a comparison of "Nevermind" with conteporary rock albums would also point in the direction that Nirvana weren't quite as massive at the time as their reputation would suggest. Nevermind sold roughly as much as Guns 'n' Roses's "Use your Ilusion I" and significantly less than "Use your Illusion II" and REM's "Out of Time". All of which were outsold by a big margin by Genesis's "We can't dance" :o


Album sales might not mean everything, but they're a huge indicator. People listening to a band/musician is how that band/musician becomes culturally relevant. This has nothing to do with quality, mind you. Bruno Mars is culturally relevant and, well, he's Bruno Mars.

Vexer wrote:
I definitely wouldn't go as far as to call Nirvana the "definitive" band of the 90s, that's giving them way too much credit if you ask me.


Cool post. You've added a ton to this discussion. Keep up the good work.

Shade2 wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
Quote:
They were/are the definitive band of the 90s, whether you like their music or not.


This is a highly USA-centric statement.


Certainly, but I think that's obvious. The Beatles were probably the biggest band in the UK and USA at the same time, but no one has commanded things beyond those two countries at the same time.


Exactly. I'm not capable of bringing a non-US perspective, just as Hugh isn't capable of bringing a non-UK perspective. I don't think I insinuated otherwise, so I'm legitimately confused as to what that's supposed to mean. I'm certainly interested in hearing these other perspectives, though.

Shade2 wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
Sure, as with any super huge celebrity death, I'm sure some people did embellish just how much they cared about him, but there was also a good deal of genuine emotion and shock that came out of people.


I think there's a real key that Cobain struck that people connected with. His humor and sarcasm was always there, but his persona of raw emotion and genuinely feeling uncomfortable with fame was not something people had seen before. Way before the Internet, of course, but he still came in with a lot more access to fans nationwide than stars before him did. He felt known, and he never felt larger-than-life, at least before he died. I think he was perceived as vulnerable and not a rock star in the sense of the 70s and 80s rock stars.

It's dark to think about, but Cobain is just about the king of dying at the perfect time to build his legacy. If he was still alive, would he be making good and interesting music, or would he be Axl Rose?


It's tough to fall as far as Axl, but I'm sure he would have gone the way of virtually every musician by now. Even if he was still making quality music, there's almost no chance it would still be relevant today. Cobain is like Biggie - they died at the peak (or close to it) of their popularity and relevance, so people naturally hold them up higher than those they've seen decline. Neither really has a large enough body of work to be compared to his contemporaries, but what we do have it pretty freaking good.

As for Cobain, I remember being in middle school when he died and having something of a revelation about people because of him. The humor, sarcasm, and unease with fame you mentioned all kind of crashed into one for me at the time and I realized how people use these outward displays to mask inner turmoil, and how truth can't help but shine through in real art. It's not mind blowing stuff at all at age 32 (in fact, it's fairly obvious now), but at 12 or 13 it had a really big effect on me. It's stuck with me more than the idea that we lost a Great Big Music Star has.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
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Exactly. I'm not capable of bringing a non-US perspective, just as Hugh isn't capable of bringing a non-UK perspective. I don't think I insinuated otherwise, so I'm legitimately confused as to what that's supposed to mean. I'm certainly interested in hearing these other perspectives, though.


I wasn't nit-picking, Pete (actually I was, but not in a hostile fashion), I just mean to say that I wouldn't describe Oasis as the definitive band of the 90s without the UK qualifier, for the fact that they never smashed it in America.

But obviously that's your perspective, and that's cool.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:26 am
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
I definitely wouldn't go as far as to call Nirvana the "definitive" band of the 90s, that's giving them way too much credit if you ask me.


They were most certainly the definitive American rock band of the 1990s (and there you go using those damn quotes again, I told you to stop that). Nirvana made the sounds of alt-rock palatable to a mass audience without compromising the sound. That's an incredibly significant achievement, and to fully grasp how significant...well, you had to be there.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:57 am
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I definitely wouldn't go as far as to call Nirvana the "definitive" band of the 90s, that's giving them way too much credit if you ask me.


They were most certainly the definitive American rock band of the 1990s (and there you go using those damn quotes again, I told you to stop that). Nirvana made the sounds of alt-rock palatable to a mass audience without compromising the sound. That's an incredibly significant achievement, and to fully grasp how significant...well, you had to be there.

I'll use quotes whenever I feel like it ;)


Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I definitely wouldn't go as far as to call Nirvana the "definitive" band of the 90s, that's giving them way too much credit if you ask me.


They were most certainly the definitive American rock band of the 1990s (and there you go using those damn quotes again, I told you to stop that). Nirvana made the sounds of alt-rock palatable to a mass audience without compromising the sound. That's an incredibly significant achievement, and to fully grasp how significant...well, you had to be there.

I'll use quotes whenever I feel like it ;)


Clearly. I believe that's what he's trying to correct. It's a noble effort to remove dismissive condescension from your Reelviews Forum agenda.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Mark III wrote:
Clearly. I believe that's what he's trying to correct. It's a noble effort to remove dismissive condescension from your Reelviews Forum agenda.


Exactly. Dr. Sex Chocolate is trying to correct Sexual Vexual, but he's misguided. Vex is trying to be dismissing and condescending every time he uses quotes.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
I'll clarify here as I don't think I've expressed myself well enough previously, and I no doubt won't now.

BUT, what I am saying is, as great as Nirvana were, and as much as I like periodically returning to them in small doses (like Pink Floyd), they weren't 'of us'. The movement here in the 90s was post-Thatcher empowerment. This is obviously the intersection between music and culture, where bands to some extent rely on blind luck (if they are politically ignorant) that their message resonates.

To kids in the north of England, who were used to pissing outside, fishfingers for dinner, and their Dad's periodically kicking the shit out of their Mum on a Saturday night, empowerment mattered. Identifying with the noise the radio emitted mattered.. And this is why the educated, knowledgeable misery of Nirvana didn't hit a home run UK-side.

Britpop for all its shallow flaws was an awesome movement in poor people expanding their intellect to gain significantly material possessions. and feeling guilt free in the process. It mattered.

Anyway, I'm off to watch Slapshot on Netflix ... back soon

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:59 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Shade2 wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Clearly. I believe that's what he's trying to correct. It's a noble effort to remove dismissive condescension from your Reelviews Forum agenda.


Exactly. Dr. Sex Chocolate is trying to correct Sexual Vexual, but he's misguided. Vex is trying to be dismissing and condescending every time he uses quotes.

Not everytime.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:20 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
Shade2 wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Clearly. I believe that's what he's trying to correct. It's a noble effort to remove dismissive condescension from your Reelviews Forum agenda.


Exactly. Dr. Sex Chocolate is trying to correct Sexual Vexual, but he's misguided. Vex is trying to be dismissing and condescending every time he uses quotes.

Not everytime.


I'm a grammar Nazi, see. When it comes to poor grammar, I don't have pet peeves. I have major psychotic fucking hatreds. I just can't stand it when people use "your" when they mean "you are," "there" when they mean "their," and especially when folks don't use punctuation properly. Granted, I understand making a mistake here and there. Nobody is perfect. However, I just can't abide those who cannot be bothered to use decent English (or whatever their language may be).

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:48 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
Shade2 wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Clearly. I believe that's what he's trying to correct. It's a noble effort to remove dismissive condescension from your Reelviews Forum agenda.


Exactly. Dr. Sex Chocolate is trying to correct Sexual Vexual, but he's misguided. Vex is trying to be dismissing and condescending every time he uses quotes.

Not everytime.


Well if that's true, than what Sexy Cocoa is telling you is true. When you use quotation marks around words, it's just like using air quotes in real-life talk -- it's sarcasm and mocking of the person who said it. There's no need to put it in quotes unless you are using the word/phrase out of context of its typical definition. If you are just using it in reference to what someone has just said, there's no need. Make sense? Not trying to be a dick, but when you admit that you aren't always trying to be condescending, you can see the importance of being more judicious with your quotation uses.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
I'm going to do this again. Below is a paragraph taken from a political analysis of mass media I am currently writing. It is a good example of how to use quotes around a single word properly:

Quote:
This brings to the fore another framing issue, and that is partisan framing. Matthew Levendusky identifies partisan media as opinionated media, but this definition is far too broad, as nearly all media are opinionated in some way. Furthermore, labels such as “liberal” or “conservative” are incredibly arbitrary. Fox News, for example, is frequently labeled as biased toward the Republican Party, but it bears mentioning that in the run-up to the Iraq War, Republicans who were anti-war or noninterventionist hardly received any screen time on Fox. Fox also rarely provides airtime to pro-choice Republicans, or gay Republicans. So it is unreasonable to label Fox as representative of all Republicans. NBC News and the New York Times have been labeled as leftist and anti-business, but neither has advocated the mass redistribution of wealth, nationalizing private corporations, or any other positions traditionally associated with leftist thought. The allegations simply do not hold water.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
I like Nirvana. But I was always a bigger Pearl Jam fan. Nevermind is a good album. But I'd rank both In Utero and Unplugged ahead of it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that at the time Nevermind was released, mainstream pop was in a relatively dire state. About a year before its release, Milli Vanilli was being regarded as a legitimate musical act. Around the time it actually came out, Color Me Badd and Paula Abdul were dominating pop and rock was dominated by the worst aspects of hair metal.

In September 1991, there was a recession going on, a short but brutal war had just ended in the Middle East and there seemed to be a sense of doomsday hanging over everything, especially for most people within 5 years of my age either way.

Unlike our parents, most teens and young adults of the 1990s didn't grow up under the threat of Vietnam or the bomb. And this was before the era of war, terrorism, economic decay and reality TV/infomercial culture that the last decade or so has been. But there always seemed to be a sense that things could erupt in chaos at any moment. Indeed the attitude many seemed to have in that era was embrace the chaos. Enjoy it while you can. Parents and teachers often say that. But in that era it seemed true even without knowing what lay around the corner.

In some ways the 1990s were a loose cross between the lost generation 1920s and the Inward looking 1970s with a few elements of the 60s thrown in for good measure. (The 2000s flat out stole the title of Decade Of Greed from the 80s).

Nirvana did NOT destroy corporate pop. The only genre it really ended was hair metal. Anyone who truly thinks they did kill corporate pop has not listened to a Top 40 station lately which is likely to be playing Justin Bieber or a Justin Bieber equivalent.

I try not to get caught up in nostalgia. But I realize that my favorite musical era of the ones I've been alive for was the period between 1991 and 1997, Lots of great rock, Hip-Hop in its final golden era, some pretty good R&B. Sure there was a good amount of dreck in that period (The Macarena anyone?). But the better stuff in that era stands as a classic moment in rock and pop history. Hell, Aerosmith had only just started on their downward slide.

Quote:
Apart from a tiny, outsider clique, grunge was largely bypassed here. We were aware of its existence, and obviously knew of Nirvana, but many of us just didn't get it. "It" being the supposed moral superiority of misery.


Likewise, aside from Oasis, Britpop was relegated to underground status in the States. There were some popular acts here and there. But they never quite caught on that big. Blur remain an underground act for the most part and The Verve are seen erroneously by much of the general public as a one-album wonder.

Grunge's time in the spotlight was pretty brief, it started around 1991 and began to fade when Cobain committed hari kari. The post grunge genre picked up slack for it for a while and led to a lot of one-hit wonders and of their moment acts that became irrelevant once the decade ended, much like the likes of Winger did when the 80s were over.

The "alternative era" started around 1989 and was an aberration of sorts. It ended around 1997 when the Spice Girls became popular. But a lot of people forget it was an aberration. Corporate pop wasn't shoved totally out of the way even then. The likes of Michael Bolthead and Saline Screamon had hits throughout the decade.

And alternative rock never really died either. The term just became outdated.

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Sun May 11, 2014 2:51 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Personally I disagree that pop was in a "dire" state, I eprsonally love hair metal and I find it much more enjoyable then any of those grunge bands(I sort of like some Alice In Chains, and NIN, but that's about it).

Hair metal seems to have made a resurgence in recent years though.


Sun May 11, 2014 4:39 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
Personally I disagree that pop was in a "dire" state, I eprsonally love hair metal and I find it much more enjoyable then any of those grunge bands(I sort of like some Alice In Chains, and NIN, but that's about it).

Hair metal seems to have made a resurgence in recent years though.


I wasn't thinking as much about hair metal as I was thinking about the bubblegum likes of Color Me Badd.

There are some 80s metal bands I enjoy (Motley Crue).

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Sun May 11, 2014 5:57 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Jeff Wilder wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Personally I disagree that pop was in a "dire" state, I eprsonally love hair metal and I find it much more enjoyable then any of those grunge bands(I sort of like some Alice In Chains, and NIN, but that's about it).

Hair metal seems to have made a resurgence in recent years though.


I wasn't thinking as much about hair metal as I was thinking about the bubblegum likes of Color Me Badd.

There are some 80s metal bands I enjoy (Motley Crue).

Oh yeah, the "I wanna sex you up" guys. Not surprised that that song ende dup on VH1's "most awesomely bad songs ever" list.


Sun May 11, 2014 6:38 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
"Hair metal", like "grunge", is one of those categories that describes the fashion rather than the music. Hey, this band dresses like that band. They must be in the same genre!

Never mind that, like grunge, any two given hair bands might sound utterly unlike one another aside from the production standards of the time. Compare Extreme to Mr. Big to Skid Row to Poison to Motley Crue. Compare Soundgarden to Pearl Jam to Nirvana to Alice In Chains. Not very much in common between any of them.

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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Vexer wrote:
Jeff Wilder wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Personally I disagree that pop was in a "dire" state, I eprsonally love hair metal and I find it much more enjoyable then any of those grunge bands(I sort of like some Alice In Chains, and NIN, but that's about it).

Hair metal seems to have made a resurgence in recent years though.


I wasn't thinking as much about hair metal as I was thinking about the bubblegum likes of Color Me Badd.

There are some 80s metal bands I enjoy (Motley Crue).

Oh yeah, the "I wanna sex you up" guys. Not surprised that that song ende dup on VH1's "most awesomely bad songs ever" list.


I'm doing a video on CMB as we speak and I maintain that I Wanna Sex You Up is the single worst thing to ever happen to them. We should remember their excellent and on-point vocal harmonies and great songs like All 4 Love, Forever Love, Choose and The Earth, The Sun, The Rain. And to a lesser extent I Adore Mi Amor and Remember When. But noooo, we endlessly mock them about telling a chick that they can do it until they both wake up.

And I guess my Nirvana thoughts mirrors most of you guys. Smells Like Teen Spirit was my favorite song when I was 13 and like it or not, Nirvana single-handedly changed the musical landscape in America. And one of these days I'll get Nevermind and see how it actually holds up as a cohesive body of work and as an album instead of as a legend. Who knows what would've happen if Kurt was alive today...whether Nirvana would've broken up or if Nirvana would shift styles or whatever.


Sun May 11, 2014 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Kurt Cobain- 20 years
Jeff Wilder wrote:
I like Nirvana. But I was always a bigger Pearl Jam fan. Nevermind is a good album. But I'd rank both In Utero and Unplugged ahead of it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that at the time Nevermind was released, mainstream pop was in a relatively dire state. About a year before its release, Milli Vanilli was being regarded as a legitimate musical act. Around the time it actually came out, Color Me Badd and Paula Abdul were dominating pop and rock was dominated by the worst aspects of hair metal.

In September 1991, there was a recession going on, a short but brutal war had just ended in the Middle East and there seemed to be a sense of doomsday hanging over everything, especially for most people within 5 years of my age either way.

Unlike our parents, most teens and young adults of the 1990s didn't grow up under the threat of Vietnam or the bomb. And this was before the era of war, terrorism, economic decay and reality TV/infomercial culture that the last decade or so has been. But there always seemed to be a sense that things could erupt in chaos at any moment. Indeed the attitude many seemed to have in that era was embrace the chaos. Enjoy it while you can. Parents and teachers often say that. But in that era it seemed true even without knowing what lay around the corner.

In some ways the 1990s were a loose cross between the lost generation 1920s and the Inward looking 1970s with a few elements of the 60s thrown in for good measure. (The 2000s flat out stole the title of Decade Of Greed from the 80s).

Nirvana did NOT destroy corporate pop. The only genre it really ended was hair metal. Anyone who truly thinks they did kill corporate pop has not listened to a Top 40 station lately which is likely to be playing Justin Bieber or a Justin Bieber equivalent.

I try not to get caught up in nostalgia. But I realize that my favorite musical era of the ones I've been alive for was the period between 1991 and 1997, Lots of great rock, Hip-Hop in its final golden era, some pretty good R&B. Sure there was a good amount of dreck in that period (The Macarena anyone?). But the better stuff in that era stands as a classic moment in rock and pop history. Hell, Aerosmith had only just started on their downward slide.

Likewise, aside from Oasis, Britpop was relegated to underground status in the States. There were some popular acts here and there. But they never quite caught on that big. Blur remain an underground act for the most part and The Verve are seen erroneously by much of the general public as a one-album wonder.

Grunge's time in the spotlight was pretty brief, it started around 1991 and began to fade when Cobain committed hari kari. The post grunge genre picked up slack for it for a while and led to a lot of one-hit wonders and of their moment acts that became irrelevant once the decade ended, much like the likes of Winger did when the 80s were over.

The "alternative era" started around 1989 and was an aberration of sorts. It ended around 1997 when the Spice Girls became popular. But a lot of people forget it was an aberration. Corporate pop wasn't shoved totally out of the way even then. The likes of Michael Bolthead and Saline Screamon had hits throughout the decade.

And alternative rock never really died either. The term just became outdated.


I think some clarification is needed. Alt-rock was around much earlier than 1989; a better starting point would be 1981, when R.E.M. formed. This is important, because how else could we classify the Pixies, Butthole Surfers, Husker Du and the Replacements?

I'm inclined to partially agree that pop music wasn't at its peak in the late 1980s. It was blander, but compared to the shit that is n the radio today, a lot of it sounds absolutely vibrant. I actually think Milli Vanilli was ahead of their time. They got dragged through the coals because they didn't sing on their album. Now nobody sings on their albums. So give Milli Vanilli their Grammy back.

And in hindsight, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" was the moment when Aerosmith completely, totally jumped the shark.

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Sun May 11, 2014 9:40 pm
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