– the first half of this doc (covering Cobain’s frenetic childhood and rise to pop culture ubiquity) is more engaging and interesting than the latter, though the back end helps humanize the Kurt who descended into tragedy (not to mention his widow Courtney Love, an immensely likable figure throughout Heck, even when discussing drug use during her pregnancy [and she was right, her kid turned out fine])
– the Scanner Darkly style animated segments, while very richly detailed and atmospheric, ultimately feel too clean (read: too Hollywood) for the rest of the film’s aesthetic (read: notebook scrawled punk rock anarchy)
– there are no revelations here concerning Kurt’s personality or approach to life; it all just reinforces how difficult the world can be for ultra altruistic and/or ultra idealistic figures, especially when they have major aspirations
– I’m enormously satisfied this prestige work includes that hilarious circa ’91 footage of Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic videotaping himself in the rest room of an airplane, joking about “this bird [goin’] down”
– it was cool at the end when they credited every person who ever passed through Nirvana equally
– the worst thing you can say about Montage Of Heck is that it gets a little repetitive and ends abruptly—of course, this simply mirrors Kurt’s final years, so maybe this entire exercise is perfectly honest and unflinching
– as sad a figure as Kurt Cobain seems this documentary does a great job proving he could be just as funny and light-hearted as anyone else; in fact, his wit seemed so quick I could easily see him holding his own on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” next to Greg Proops and Ryan Stiles; I for one would have lovingly embraced Kurt Cobain, Improv Comic
– it’s inevitable another doc on Kurt or Nirvana will be produced someday, but after Heck it shouldn’t be (Obama can secure his legacy by making this an executive order or constitutional amendment or whatever process this country uses to legislate movies about grunge)
Still the reigning champ of Nirvana songs in this cobwebbed mind. A stellar performance here, and also you can see Kurt clicking his jaw to keep time. Deceased celebrities: they’re just like us!
– Peter Criss and Ace Frehley join the Foo Fighters for eighteen minute “Strutter”/”Beth”/”RNR All Nite” medley
– acoustic run through of “About a Girl” featuring Paul Stanley on lead vocals, Krist Novoselic on squeeze box
– current KISS lineup plays “Come As You Are” in full costume w/ Dave Grohl (wearing Vinnie Vincent’s makeup) on vocals
– Criss/Frehley lead “ex member” jam of “Endless Nameless” featuring Chad Channing, Vinnie Vincent, Dan Peters, Dale Crover, and Bruce Kulick
– Foo Fighters play Animalize in its entirety w/ Sir Paul McCartney doing backup vocals
– surviving KISSes/Nirvanas hire Girl Talk to play thirty minute mashup of every song both band ever wrote
In Utero also debuted today in the ’93 season. I’m certainly not the first schlub to note that Nirvana’s final album is as angry, dense, and grotesque as it is amusing, touching, and melodic, and I’ll never forget bringing it home on cassette for the first time to experience it all in one jaw-dropping listen. Rather than debate “the greatest” Nirvana album, let’s just agree that In Utero is great unto itself, an exciting journey charting Nirvana’s attempt at musical purification, the emotional and real Empire to Nevermind’s blow-out Star Wars. Thank you Kurt, thank you Krist, thank you Dave.
Attention rock historians registered with eBay: You only have eight days to bid on “Melvan,” the 1972 Dodge Sportsman that grunge pioneers the Melvins and Nirvana used to shuttle themselves to various gigs back in the day. Bidding is currently stalled at $4,950.00; seller Mitch Holmquist (not Tad Doyle, singer of Tad, a mistake previously reported because Mitch’s eBay handle is “taddoyal” and I occasionally suck at this) will accept Paypal but prefers payment via cashier’s check. Other pertinent details: Down payment of ten grand due seventy-two hours after auction closes, absolutely no refunds, vehicle must be picked up within thirty days, “KISS Mural on the side was hand drawn by Kurt Cobain using sharpie markers shoplifted from the Thriftway grocery store in Montesano, Washington.”
Audiophile blog the Lost Turntable has been all over the twentieth anniversary rerelease of Nirvana’s Nevermind, calling out everyone involved for simply jacking up the volume of the record and ruining the aural dynamics that made the damn thing so interesting in the first place. Unfortunately, nobody else in the world really seems to care, probably because they all figure iPod earbuds are slowly deafening society and everything’s gonna need to be five times louder soon anyway.
The blame lays in many hands for letting Nevermind fall victim to the Loudness War (record label, surviving Nirvanas, etc), but if one person could be fingered as being solely responsible, it’s probably audio engineer Bob Ludwig. Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering handled the re-diddling of Nevermind, and why not? The guy’s won some Grammys. Bob had also, up until this point, been pretty outspoken about the Loudness War, making presentations against it at audio engineering conventions and the like. As such, it seems a bit odd he’d contribute to the menace via the album that CHANGED EVERYTHING (i.e. murdered Michael Jackson’s career).
On Wednesday, the Lost Turntable hit Bob Ludwig up on Twitter to ask him why Nevermind’s reissue is too friggin’ loud. Ludwig’s response? He got straight paid to crank it into the red.
Remember, kids: The people with the money are the only ones who count. The rest of us peons, the ones who are appreciating all this art on a day-to-day basis? We can just frig right off. #OccupyBobLudwig