I keep finding myself going on these artist catalog deep dives and finding things I’ve forgotten about. I love when that happens. Recently in the past few days, I wound up going on a Nirvana deep dive. I’m not quite sure how I wound up here but, while going through all sorts of their songs, albums, demos, etc, I remembered that they did a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Here She Comes Now.” When I listen back to the Nirvana version, it’s kind of interesting that at moments, Kurt really does sound like Lou Reed. The cover is a pretty solid and good version. As a huge fan of both The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, I can get behind this version. Plus it gives me an excuse to take a break from my Nirvana deep dive and go listen to The Velvet Underground!
Nirvana (The Velvet Underground)- Here She Comes Now:
Nirvana- Here She Comes Now (Live 1991):
The Velvet Underground- Here She Comes Now (from the album White Light/White Heat):
Back in 2014 when Nirvana was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Shame, the remaining members performed with a bunch of guest singers. Joan Jett, Lorde (for some reason I can’t ever understand why), St. Vincent and my personal favorite of the set, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. I especially liked Kim joining them onstage because she sang my favorite Nirvana song, “Aneurysm.” This was also the most “punk” thing the band did that night and it was glorious. A few interesting tidbits about this performance, the dress Kim wore on stage is actually the same one she wore when Nirvana and Sonic Youth toured together in the early 90’s. Also according to Kim’s book Girl In A Band (which you should totally read), during this performance she channeled a lot of her anger over her divorce with Thurston Moore (also of Sonic Youth) and the grief over Kurt’s passing into this performance. This explains a lot when you put it all in context.
I still remember listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind all the way through the first time and wondering why there was all this empty dead air after “Something In The Way.” Then, after about 10 minutes of silence “Endless, Nameless” begins to play and it all makes sense. The song itself is an interesting one. It’s a very Sonic Youth inspired song with all the noise but, it also has this really cool vibe that acts as a precursor of sorts (all be it probably indirectly) for what would become the raw sound attached to In Utero. It’s also worth noting that this is the only other song on Nevermind credited to all three members of Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” being the other.
My all time favorite Nirvana song is Aneurysm. I’ll never forget the first time I heard it thinking that this is one hell of a jam. The dynamics of quiet to loud on this song are stunning. One thing I’ve always noticed is that live versions of this song are way better than the version that appears on the Incesticide album. This live version is from their performance at the Paramount in Seattle in 1991. Some other tidbits you might find interesting about this song is that, “Aneurysm” is one of the few Nirvana songs credited to all three members. It was first performed live on November 25, 1990 at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle. The first studio version was recorded on January 1, 1991 and was the their first with Dave Grohl, who had joined Nirvana in September 1990. This version of the song was released as a b-side on the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single in September 1991.
Nirvana- Aneurysm (Live 1991 at Paramount Theater-Seattle):
On the bonus track edition of the new 10 Years album, (How To Live) As Ghosts, they did a cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box.” It’s quite a cool cover with a very moody approach. It’s one of those covers that when you hear it, you’ll enjoy it. They did the song justice and put their own spin on it. The vibe of this song would be great in a movie trailer.
While I was digging around the other day through Cave In live shows and assorted songs, I came across a cover that I totally forgot about. A few years back there was a tribute album dedicated to Nirvana’s Nevermind entitled, Whatever Nevermind. On it bands like Cave In, Young Widows, Touche Amore, Torche, and many others took on the songs from Nevermind. Cave In did “Breed” and knocked it out of the park. Everything about their version is top notch, especially Caleb’s bass tone. Holy crap is it good!
A couple weeks ago while looking for something to watch, I noticed that Shoot Em Up with Clive Owen was just starting. So, of course I had to get comfortable and watch. It had been quite a while since I last saw this movie, and it’s still a fun action movie. Far fetched as all hell but, one hell of a good time.
While I was watching, I totally had to make a note to share one of the shoot out scenes that featured Nirvana’s “Breed.” This song fits perfectly in the scene. Check it out!
Today is February 20, 2017, also what would have have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday. I thought today would be a good day to pay tribute to him. Over the course of his short yet very influential career, Kurt’s music took on a different life. Listening back to Bleach, there was a healthy dose of pop sensibilities in that album. Kurt’s love of The Beatles, especially John Lennon really resonated with that album. By the time In Utero came out, his attitude towards what was happening in his life was a complete 180. The sharp and abrasive In Utero was logical and made the most sense in his mind. Rather than repeat the same things they did on Nevermind, Nirvana opted for raw and uncompromising songs and production. I still think to this day that In Utero is Nirvana’s best studio album. One of the most poignant things Nirvana did in their career was the MTV Unplugged. Hearing those songs stripped down to the core, brought out a different side of Kurt and the band. If Kurt were still alive, I could see him doing acoustic tours and albums. Today is a day to look back and remember the music that helped to connect a generation and inspire so many.
Happy Birthday Kurt!
Here are my 10 favorite Nirvana songs (In No Particular Order):
03) All Apologies:
04) The Man Who Sold The World (David Bowie Cover):
The A to Z list continues to find the top ten bands/artists in the alphabet. N is here and needs help to complete the list. As usual your suggestions are wanted in completing this list. These are in no particular order as well.
01) Nine Inch Nails
04) New Order
06) Graham Nash
07) Night Verses
I was talking to a friend the other day and during our conversation the subject of Nirvana came up. While in the midst of our talk, I began thinking of making this ultimate set list and the songs that would be on it. Let’s pretend for a moment that Kurt is still alive and he and Nirvana did what Guns N Roses did, one day they announce that they are getting back together for a tour. The following ultimate set list is what I’d love to hear and the appropriate order to pull it off.
What would be your Ultimate Nirvana Set List?
As usual here are the rules:
Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be
Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show
Rule 3: maximum 25 songs
Line up: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novaselic, Pat Smear
Venue: Forum in Los Angeles
02) Scentless Apprentice
03) Milk It
04) In Bloom
05) Heart Shaped Box
06) Rape Me
07) Serve The Servants
08) Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
11) Pennyroyal Tea
12) Drain You
14) Negative Creep
15) Territorial Pissings
16) Stay Away
17) You Know You’re Right
19) Something In The Way (Just Kurt)
20) The Man Who Sold The World
21) All Apologies