Friday Song: Nirvana
I remember that week in 1992 when it felt like suddenly everybody was listening to a new song called “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by band called “Nirvana.” I’ve still never seen a musical phenom burst like that in my life and it was clear why. The jagged thudding song was the end of the romantic pop 80’s and the start of the grunge 90’s. Generation X had arrived. I didn’t like the song much and the first time I heard it, I said to my incredulous friends, “This is suicide music.” Yes, I was not a Nirvana fan. I have rage and sadness in me, but not that kind. I liked melodic melancholia, not nihilist despair. I was sad for Kurt Cobain and his pain, but the music was simply too depressing. It wasn’t until their MTV Unplugged show in 1993 that I came to appreciate their unique sound more, and the low-key acoustic setting gave more form and shape to the songs that I heard before. I particularly dug this version of “Royal Tea” and think the whole show is one of the best live performances in rock history. RIP Kurt.