The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which means that New York is overrun with rock legends. Jimmy Fallon has been welcoming new members of the HOF on his show all week, and last night he sat down with Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic to talk about Kurt Cobain, the band’s origins, and the psychosis required to play in front of 350,000 people.
Tag: Kurt Cobain (1-10 of 14)
Twenty years ago, we lost Kurt Cobain. Few singular stars were as deeply influential as the Nirvana frontman, who smashed apart the otherness of the rock star persona and made it a more egalitarian pursuit.
No two Nirvana albums were ever alike, and it seemed like Cobain’s musical horizons were continuing to expand when he left us. His approach to singing, his songwriting style, and his band’s shifting dynamics so permeated rock radio that there seemed to be an entire subgenre of hit-making bands (Bush, Silverchair, Sponge, and the like) who seemed to exist solely as Nirvana avatars. READ FULL STORY
Kurt Cobain’s old home sits in Seattle’s quiet Denny-Blaine neighborhood, a posh place with water views where people probably kept to themselves even before an iconic rock star died in their midst. The room over the garage where the Nirvana singer’s body was found on April 8, 1994, after he ended his life at 27 with a gunshot wound to the head, is now gone, and the house is isolated by a large fence, an imposing gate, and some Middle-earth-level greenery growing up around it, so fans tend to stick to Viretta Park next door. There, a pair of benches have acted as a standing tribute to Cobain, with decades’ worth of messages etched into the wood by grunge pilgrims from around the world. I’ve made this trek myself multiple times, and as I sit on one of the benches, the same question that has occupied alt-rock devotees for the past 20 years tugs at me: Had he not died so young, what would Kurt Cobain’s music sound like now?
In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, I ruminate over the anniversary of the death of one of the last great rock stars with a simple question: Had he not died in April 1994, what might Kurt Cobain’s music have sounded like now?
In order to find some possible answers, I talked to Cobain’s friends and collaborators about his potential musical directions; the master playlist craftspeople at Beats Audio took those cues and built a batch of songs that help extrapolate what Cobain might have sounded like had he lived.
“Cobain always seemed like an old soul and I agree that he would have continued to explore more acoustic music, as opposed to electric,” says Beats’ Scott Plagenhoef. “He wrote personal lyrics but they were opaque and non-linear and he never wrote narratives. There is also a temptation to assume major creative forces like Cobain would remain progressive into their older age but the fact of the matter is that was never a quality that he displayed even during his lifetime. There is no indication he would have embraced electronic music, for example.”
The playlist includes a handful of tracks that seem like inevitable Cobain compositions (Elliott Smith’s “Waltz No. 2 (XO),” Wilco’s “How To Fight Loneliness,” The White Stripes’ “We’re Going To Be Friends”), as well as some reasonable stretches (EMA’s “California,” Cat Power’s “He War,” Lambchop’s “My Face Your Ass”). Spin the whole thing here while you consider what might have been.
What do you think Kurt Cobain would have sounded like in 2014? Let us know in the comments.
Recently uncovered video footage from Nirvana’s final gig in Los Angeles features the iconic band stripping it down for an unplugged version of the Vaselines’ “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam,” before plugging back in to deliver performances of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World,” and their own “All Apologies.”
Watch the video below:
READ FULL STORY
Though he had all the makings of a proper recluse, Kurt Cobain actually submitted himself to a surprising number of interviews over the course of his too-brief career.
And no two were alike, because nobody ever knew which version of the Nirvana frontman would show up. The acid-tongued cultural critic? The in-joking goofball? The shy suffering artist? The sweet family man? They were all part and parcel to the Cobain experience.
In a recently unearthed interview from 1993 conducted by British journalist Jon Savage and animated by PBS’ new Blank on Blank shingle, each one of those Kurts shows up for a minute or two.
There’s some stuff that has come up in conversations in the past, like the idea that Cobain thought at one time that he might be gay, and details about his various stomach ailments. But there’s also a fun bit about looking for the roots of the name Cobain, what annoys him about Aerosmith records, and how he felt about becoming a father.
Listen below: READ FULL STORY
Just as they did in 2011 with Nevermind, the surviving members of Nirvana are celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the band’s final studio album In Utero with a deluxe reissue.
Hitting store shelves on September 24 (pre-order on iTunes here), the anniversary edition of In Utero will be available in a number of different versions, but the most deluxe edition features three CDs featuring a fresh mix of the album, a never-before-released instrumental, Dave Grohl’s first demo, “Marigold,” the Steve Albini versions of singles “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” (R.E.M. producer Scott Litt sweetened the album versions), new liner notes by Bobcat Goldthwait, and Kurt Cobain’s handwritten lyrics.
There’s also a DVD that features the entirety of the legendary Live and Loud performance (among one of Nirvana’s final concerts), as well as a handful of other live performances and the director’s cut of the Anton Corbijn-helmed video for “Heart Shaped Box.” That version of the video appeared on Corbijn’s Director’s Series DVD, though it has never officially been available online—until now.
Watch the exclusive premiere of Corbijn’s version of “Heart Shaped Box” below:
READ FULL STORY
Last year’s Grammys really spoiled us. Though the death of Whitney Houston cast a certain somber pall over the entirety of the evening, there was a clear narrative that emerged from the show’s proceedings: Adele has arrived as a superstar who will be around for a long time and whose work is as close to bulletproof—both critically and commercially—as it can get. It was an easy story to digest, and all Adele had to do was show up and act gracious (the fact that she was singing in America for the first time since throat surgery helped the narrative, too).
Last night’s show offered no such clarity. The winners were scattershot (the Black Keys took home the most awards of the night, though they didn’t win any of the Big Three—Record, Song, or Album of the Year), and just about everybody walked out of the Staples Center roughly as big as they were when they walked in. There were no clear moments of ascendence, though Justin Timberlake, the Lumineers, and fun. are all getting iTunes sales bumps today.
In fact, this year’s Grammy Awards were perhaps most notable for something that didn’t happen: The elevation of Frank Ocean from modestly successful critical darling to full-blown superstar.
As we noted in our on-the-scene report, there was a lot to be unamused by at the 12-12-12 concert in Madison Square Garden last night. Courtney Love thought so too — even before the show began.
According to a TMZ report, Love was “not amused” by the thought of Paul McCartney sitting in with her late husband’s band, Nirvana. And while her concerns regarding “Beatlevana” — Macca playing with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear – were shared by many, her solution was a little less solid.
TMZ noted that Love was “upset at Krist and Dave for calling tonight’s show a Nirvana reunion because she says Kurt was the heart and soul of the legendary band,” which we totally get. But she also told them, “Look, if John were alive it would be cool,” referring of course to the late Lennon. Which, like, yeah — if we’re playing that game, it would also be cool if Kurt Cobain were alive.
Brett Morgen, director of HBO’s new Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, is in the process of putting together a Kurt Cobain doc. But, contrary to widespread reports, Courtney Love isn’t involved in the process.
The New York Post quoted Morgen as saying, “Courtney is the one that brought me into this… We’ve been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now.” Added Morgen, “We are going to do the movie sort of like a third-person autobiography — [as] if Kurt was around and making a film about his life.”
Courtney Love’s rep, however, denies Love’s role in the project, telling EW that while she herself isn’t working on the film, she’s “very happy” Morgen’s making it. “She thinks he’s a great director,” Love’s rep said.
Morgen confirmed this, explaining that his widely reported comments in the Post were taken out of context.
“Back in 2007, I had a meeting in L.A. with Courtney Love to discuss my possible involvement in a Kurt Cobain documentary,” he told EW in a statement. “She had seen my film, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and thought that I had the right vision and passion to bring Kurt’s story to life. Since that time, I have been speaking exclusively with Kurt Cobain’s estate, who have given me their full cooperation in order to make the film. Courtney isn’t currently involved with the project in any capacity. The estate and I will be releasing more information about our plans in the coming weeks. Production on the film will begin in the coming months and we are aiming for a 2014 release.”
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