Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

I am 33 years old, and I feel like to understand, if that's the right word, the impact that Nirvana had on so many people, you'd have to be my age or either a year or two older or younger. And I understand its weird to sort of lay claim to something like that, a feeling if you will, but I figure that Nirvana hit at just the right time, early in my freshman year of college to, and I know this sounds a bit grandiose, to change my life. And I mean this in the musical sense, and in my outlook on music in general. This is going to make me sound like a 65 year old man with a pocket full of ribbon candy, but in 1991, this was before the internet, or at least the internet as we know it. And if you didn't have say a cool relative to introduce you to music, for the most part, all you had was the radio and MTV.  That was especially true if you were in the eighth grade or a freshman in high school because...even then, where could you go? You'd need a relative or older friend or something to, say, get you to a record store or take you to a show, or show you something more was out there, especially as far as anything "indie" or "underground" goes. It seems weird to say now,  but Nirvana was definitely that lightening rod and compass that led me towards that underground, an underground that, back then, truly seemed underground. I don't know how, per se, but Nirvana showed me there was something more out there, and it was because of them, as well as becoming friends with like-minded people, that I would become a crate digger, looking further and further into pretty much any release I could get my hands on. This led me to start going to local shows and seeing acts that would set up on the floor of a VFW or the local Knights Of Columbus. Because of them, in a weird way, the underground came to us in our small towns and they lifted the lid on a secret that either we wouldn't have found or would have found much later. Nirvana isn't the whole solution to the puzzle, but I have to admit its a big part of that.

Steven Hyden does an excellent job of explaining this feeling in this new series he is starting over the AV Club, focusing, year by year on the music of the nineties. He really does a good job of capturing and mirroring my feelings, not only how felt back then about what would become a sort of grand discovery, but, in a way, how my feelings have grown and changed about the music from back then. I probably shouldn't push it so much, but it looks like it is going to be pretty interesting. Particularly for people in a certain age bracket.



  1. I love this post, Kev. You know, I've never been a huge Nirvana fan -- I liked them well enough, but they were never a band whose music I listened to over and over -- but in terms of the time we grew up in, they were incredibly influential. I remember watching the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video on MTV for the first time (and looking up what "mulatto" meant). I remember you guys telling Mrs. Sikorski about "Rape Me" when we were in high school. I remember when Kurt died and people I knew were so deeply affected -- I remember Vin Savo being especially distraught. Even now, when I see Courtney Love, I'm always brought back to high school in my mind.

    OK, off to check out the AV Club link now!

  2. Here's the funny thing, I remember distinctly seeing the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and I remember, in the next day or so talking about it with Matt Crandall on the bus either going to or coming from a football game. Freshman football. Thats how I remember the timeframe it came out in.