One of the more difficult things about achieving a goal of mine (getting an article published on Cracked.com), is that now I worry about the next article I’ll get published. Whether it’ll be good. Whether all the nice comments I got this time are going to turn into nasty ones.
In light of that, and because I now suddenly have an insane number of followers (Hi everyone! Thank you so much!), I’m going to talk about “sophomore albums.”
I’ll post a real bit in the next day or so, but my mom stumbled upon this: http://www.spinner.com/2008/09/04/kurt-cobains-last-days-detailed-by-manager-danny-goldberg/ and shared it with me on the ol’ Facebook. There’s one tidbit in that article that particularly intrigued me—
“Early in 1993 Nirvana began recording ‘In Utero.’ Kurt was focused on balancing songs with punk energy with those that could work on the radio. When he finished ‘Heart Shaped Box,’ he called and ebulliently announced to me, “I’ve got the first single.” While he was writing ‘All Apologies’ he played the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’ over and over again, hour after hour.” Emphasis mine.
When I read that, I immediately rushed off to listen to both songs back to back. I strongly urge my readers to do the same:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY5i4-rWh44 The Beatles “Norwegian Wood”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LFVQpDKHk4 Nirvana “All Apologies”
It changed my perception of both songs, particularly Nirvana’s. I think Kurt Cobain gets enough credit for his lyrics, but never really sufficient credit for his melodic sensibility. A comparison like this, for me, underscores that quality in Cobain’s work.
When I was about seven years old, my step-sister moved in with my parents, my brother and I. The downer was that, after a few months of having the sweet freedom of my own bedroom, I was made to share my room with her for a little over a year. The upside to this was that, since my step-sister is about 7 years older than me, she was at that point a teenager, and my close living with her exposed me to music that I would have otherwise not known about for years.
Technically, I was probably not in the slightest bit old enough or mature enough for the themes in the videos I was exposed to at that age, but I’m glad that I was exposed to them so young—my unformed mind wasn’t judging things based on a lifetime of ideology. Instead, I was enjoying a completely different sonic aesthetic than I had been accustomed to, and engaging some interesting counter-culture. For example: