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Thread: Nirvana

  1. #51
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Lots of musicians have been labeled icons unjustifiably and unnecessarily simply because they died young and in a dramatic fashion. Never really got into the Doors myself and feel that pretty much the same way about Jim Morrison you do Kurt Cobain. By the way never was into grunge myself either.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    i get this but - not to sound like s broken record - chops isnt the issue - its the execution....they are a band whos skill level is only a few steps above The Shaggs.....the chording is sloppy - like a beginning player, and they just meander as a unit - occasionally meeting up one day and in different ballparks the next, and the vocals ( live) go sharp and flat through the barrage of yelling, and yet all this made the media light up like a christmas tree and praise them as something incredibly innovative (which makes every first-time garage band something special), and they were rewarded with a Grammy........

    Their ideas are fine......i can even deal with it if they were just another band....but I cant see it for the amount of god-like worship they are given as a rock history icon
    I totally get what you are saying and don’t necessarily disagree with your points……..yet there is something for me that works about the whole thing. “Nevermind” clicked with me right from the beginning and still does. I can’t explain it though……..

  3. #53
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I hope I don't rustle too many feathers by saying this but Nirvana aren't really a band for the typical prog fan. That is to say that if the majority of your musical diet consists of mostly prog and the other stuff is mostly non commercial music then they are probably not a band for you. I enjoy them to a large extent but I have to remind myself to not take them too seriously when I listen. It's kind of like watching a horror movie that way. Or as one prog festival goer put it a long time ago in reference to prog vs punk: "sometimes you want a steak and sometimes you want a hamburger."

  4. #54
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    I totally get what you are saying and don’t necessarily disagree with your points……..yet there is something for me that works about the whole thing. “Nevermind” clicked with me right from the beginning and still does. I can’t explain it though……..
    thanks for the input Steve...I actually have my own theory: we were leaving the bright happy party 80s and the industry was looking for "the next big thing". One of my favorite periods for (corporate) rock music was between 1989 - 1993 because the industry was literally trying everything out. There was funk rock/metal/punk (take your pick) like RHCP, Living Color, Infectious Grooves, Dan Reed Network, etc but (imo) that was still a little too 'bright' and wasnt for everybody. Industrial was also being tried (basically, heavy dark techno) but that porridge was too cold. There were colleg-y girl-with-sundress bands. Post modern. Proto Grunge. New Hippy bands. Bands like Crash Test Dummies that escape category..I mean literally everything that can be thought of was being tried and tested and made for a flowing cornucopia of diverse content going over the airwaves. It was great!...it settled in on Grunge, with Nirvana in particular and, lets face it, it makes sense because everything about them is practically the antithesis of the 80s, from performance to dress

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I hope I don't rustle too many feathers by saying this but Nirvana aren't really a band for the typical prog fan.
    and i am a pop fan...as a matter of fact I post way more here on "OT" than I do on the main messageboard

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    I forgot I did want to touch on this one point: Warrant's music was cheezy and very bubblegum, I agree....but the musicians in Warrant were all very good above average players
    Yeah, I get that, but what good is all that musicianship when you're making crummy music, even by bubblegum standards?! I mean, you might as well be Yngwie Malmsteen if you're going to make records like that!

    The thing that drives me crazy whenever i see any of that stuff are the singers. Whether it was Janie Lane, Bret Michaels, Mark Slaughter, or that guy in Firehouse (or any of those other late 80's bands), they all look like they're desperate to get laid. Yeah, I know, everyone who joins a rock group is doing it to get laid. I get that. But up until about 1987, there was an aloofness present, the bands didn't act like that's why you were on the stage.

    But every time Bret Michaels or Janie Lane looked into the camera, their eyes just said, "Oh pleeaaaase give me a blow job!!!" (said in the same of tone of voice that John Belushi uses when he's begging Carrie Fisher to not kill him in The Blues Brothers).

    One thing I'll say about Cobain: at least he didn't come off liking he was begging the audience for head.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Now you had people in So Cal and Florida walking around with baggy jeans and flannel shirts tied around their waists, never knowing that there was ever a practical reason for that style of dress (and not a fashion statement).
    At the risk of asking for trouble, what was the practical reason? I assume it had something to do with all the rain?
    We do have Eddie Vedder to thank for all the goat-voiced posers that followed.
    One thing I respect Pearl Jam for was when they stopped doing music videos. I know I saw an interview some years later with one of the guitarists (either McCready or Gossard) who said the real reason they didn't do any videos for the second album was because they went on tour as soon as the album was finished and "we didn't have time". Of course, they could have planned that deliberately, because they might not have enjoyed the experience of making the ones for the first album (just as the real reason that Queen made the Bohemian Rhapsody video wasn't "We don't have time in our schedule to do Top Of The Pops", but rather "We don't ever want to have to do Top Of The Pops ever again!").

    At any rate, I just liked the idea that they put their feet down and said "We're not doing videos". I think they did two or three albums with no videos, which in the 90's was kind of unheard of, certainly for a major label band. Then finally they did that strange animated video for Do The Evolution, which I thought was kind of cool. But then after that, I'm not sure they did anymore. I think all the videos I ever saw after that were just clips taking out of the concert films they made.

    And I always dug that 8 string bass intro on Jeremy.

  7. #57
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    And I always dug that 8 string bass intro on Jeremy.
    Jeff Ament used a Hamer 12-String bass on that one

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    Jeff Ament used a Hamer 12-String bass on that one
    Yeah, I just checked the Wiki page, he does say there it was a 12 string. I remember a transcription in one of the guitar magazines, where the guy who did the transcription noted that he wasn't sure what Ament played on it. Then a couple people wrote in and said it was a 12 string, as if to suggest that the guy was an idiot for not knowing that (apparently, Pearl Jam had done the song twice on MTV, both times Ament used the 12 string). So the transcriber guy responds that he eventually figured out it was an 8 string, but at the time he was doing the transcription, the sound of the instrument "threw him off" (he apparently thought it was some kind of acoustic instrument at first). So that's why I've always thought it was an 8 string.

    WHich begs the question: how are you supposed to be able to tell the difference between a 12 string bass and 8 string on a record?! What is the point of the four extra string on the 12 string, since they're tuned to the same note as the extra strings on a 8 string, usually?!

    At any rate, it's still a cool intro. Probably the best thing in the entire catalog.

  9. #59
    Member frinspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    Lol I WAS there: I was in my 20s when they hit.......didnt get it then; still dont get it now------- Grunge itself I didnt care for but I 'got' (sort of) but there were far better bands that could actually play (like Soundgarden) than Nirvana
    If you're pretending to try to understand something 20+ years after is happened, with multiple definitive statements about how much you hate it still, should you really be taken seriously? Balls.



    It wasnt a troll thread...
    Cool, maybe it wasn't consciously meant to be, but it is 100%.



    and im trying to find out the why
    Why do you feel anyone should convince you now to like them?



    Way to not know who I am or anything about me and make assumptions --- nice job
    Pssh.

  10. #60
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frinspar View Post
    If you're pretending to try to understand something 20+ years after is happened, with multiple definitive statements about how much you hate it still, should you really be taken seriously? Balls.
    Do us both a favor and stick me on your "Ignore List"...I dont have time for condescending a-holes on the internet...Have a nice day

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    ^ I agree ...but that wasnt the point -- GnR had some skills (when they were sober)....and they didnt always sound like a garage band (when they were sober - subjective). Player for player compared to Nirvana, theres a big difference between the skill levels of Slash or Izzy compared to Cobain, a big difference in skill of McCagen and Novoselic (krist wasnt bad isolated, and he got a decent tone of a Ripper, but he and Grohl didnt lock-in very well as a rhythm section) and a big difference of skill between Adler and Grohl.......that was the point
    All true, but Cobain could write songs. Catchy, sometimes even Beatle-esque melodies. It was the catchiness of the songs, the image that was right for the times, and a natural "reluctant front-man" for times that were right for it.

    I would certainly concur with the general idea that Nirvana is not an all-time great band, strictly in terms of the music, and that Cobain was no John Lennon, but I think that not giving them their due as several cuts above the grunge norm in 1991/2 is not being fair. The Unplugged album and the official live release are both excellent albums, IMO; both capturing the different sides of the band. I'll always love Dinsosaur Jr. and Soundgarden and Sonic Youth more than Nirvana (in fact, Nirvana never really connected with me at all on a "love" level, even in their day), but I get why Nirvana - being more tuneful and more relatable than those bands - was such a hit with a broad audience.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    As for the "riffs", isn't Smells Like Teen Spirit basically the first half of the Godzilla riff?
    I thought it was More Than a Feeling.

  13. #63
    Member frinspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    Do us both a favor and stick me on your "Ignore List"...I dont have time for condescending a-holes on the internet...Have a nice day
    Why me you? You should me, yo. Syntax be damned.

    You hate them, said so yourself in your first post. Why did you start a thread asking people to convince you to like them?

  14. #64
    As for the "riffs", isn't Smells Like Teen Spirit basically the first half of the Godzilla riff?
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    I thought it was More Than a Feeling.
    Uh, no. It doesn't sound anything like More Than A Feeling. It's been a long time since I've played that song, but I'm pretty sure it's not even the same chords.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Ideas first, chops second. The best music is about melodies and hooks not chops. Without melodies and hooks, chops are a parlor trick that wears thin fast.

    Not everyone who likes something that eventually became popular are sheep. GnR's Appetite for Destruction was around almost a full year before MTV told us it was cool to like them.

    Yes, the Seattle music scene was an actual scene before anyone knew about. Most of the people I knew in this area thought it was a scene but weren't fond of it becoming a national phenomenon. Hell, they weren't really crazy about the term grunge. The Puget Sound was a shitty place for live music because all the big name acts avoided the area or if they did stop by it was on a Monday or Tuesday. Local bands cultivated a devout following because of the area's isolation from mainstream rock tours.

    Was it really ever a national scene? No one involved directly or indirectly with the late '80s, early '90s Seattle music scene cared or even wanted it that way. Everyone else had their music, Seattle rock fans wanted their own. It was Seattle bands playing hard rock for Seattle fans of hard rock, something you could experience locally on a weekend; no esthetic required. By the time Nevermind and Ten hit big it was over locally. Local rock fans weren't jumping up and down reveling that Seattle rock was finally getting noticed... more like, "ah shit, well, it was fun while it lasted" Now you had people in So Cal and Florida walking around with baggy jeans and flannel shirts tied around their waists, never knowing that there was ever a practical reason for that style of dress (and not a fashion statement). You also had a bunch outside musicians moving here so they could get a contract as one of those grunge bands. The Grunge Sound was a flash in the pan and Seattle rock fans wouldn't have had it any other way.

    We do have Eddie Vedder to thank for all the goat-voiced posers that followed.
    These are all excellent points. In a way, Seattle was the last regional scene that we had. Pretty much the year that grunge "ended" as a movement (1995) is "year one" of the internet becoming a mainstream phenomenon. And as we all know, the internet and digital changed everything pretty fast.

    Seattle music from 1988 until Nirvana broke in 1991 really was a pretty local scene that generally was serving itself. Mega rock stars had already been around for many years, and the look and style that these guys adopted was intentionally in opposition to all of that. None of them had any idea that what they were doing might one day make big stars of them.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Uh, no. It doesn't sound anything like More Than A Feeling. It's been a long time since I've played that song, but I'm pretty sure it's not even the same chords.
    Uh, yeah.

    It's Louie, Louie; More Than a Feeling...

    Not exactly the same thing, but it's kind of the same.

    Others have made the same observation:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/vi...eling-20150129

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/thread...spirit.242534/

  17. #67
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    ^Quite, that comparison has been around for years and years.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    ^Quite, that comparison has been around for years and years.
    Yeah, that was the point.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    Uh, yeah.

    It's Louie, Louie; More Than a Feeling...

    Not exactly the same thing, but it's kind of the same.

    Others have made the same observation:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/vi...eling-20150129

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/thread...spirit.242534/
    I'm sorry, I've never got what people were talking about when they compare Smells Like Teen Spirit to More Than A Feeling. I suppose there's sort of a similar rhythm to the guitar part, but the actual chords, are definitely the beginning of Godzilla. That much I remember, because at some point, I actually learned how to play both Smells Like Teen Spirit and Godzilla, and I picked up on that right away.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I'm sorry, I've never got what people were talking about when they compare Smells Like Teen Spirit to More Than A Feeling. I suppose there's sort of a similar rhythm to the guitar part, but the actual chords, are definitely the beginning of Godzilla. That much I remember, because at some point, I actually learned how to play both Smells Like Teen Spirit and Godzilla, and I picked up on that right away.
    Alright, well, we can probably agree that it evokes classic rock riffs - though exactly what is not necessarily apparent to everyone.

    Probably has something to do with its appeal - the familiar usually does better than the unfamiliar.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by klothos View Post
    and i am a pop fan...as a matter of fact I post way more here on "OT" than I do on the main messageboard
    So you can understand then that Nirvana had the best pop tunes. You can whistle them in your bathroom. And that's the reason for their mainstream success. Even their "punkiest" stuff (Territorial Pissings, Negative Creep etc) sounds mainstream and media friendly. Compare it with the glories of the past, below...



    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    ...the actual chords, are definitely the beginning of Godzilla. That much I remember, because at some point, I actually learned how to play both Smells Like Teen Spirit and Godzilla, and I picked up on that right away.
    Well, not really. There are three chords that are used in both songs, but the rhythm and the resolution of the two riffs are totally different. Here is each song (for simplicity of comparison, I start each on a F chord):

    Godzilla:

    F (hold 3 beats) Bb slide C G slide Ab
    D slide Eb Ab (play 4x)


    Teen Spirit:

    Fsus2 Bbsus2 Ab Db (x4)

    The F, Bb and Ab chords are repeated, but Teen Spirit resolves to the Db. Godzilla resolves to Ab after the D > Eb slide, chords which don't appear in Teen Spirit. Godzilla also approaches the chord movement in a very different way. So I'd say there is some passing similarity in some respects, but they are far from identical. I personally see more in common with More Than a Feeling and Teen Spirit than Godzilla.

    But if we really want to play the comparison game, you realize that Territorial Pissings is actually the exact same progression as Wurm from Starship Trooper, right? For that matter, so is Heart Shaped Box. Kurt must have been an uber Yes fan.

    Bill

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I hope I don't rustle too many feathers by saying this but Nirvana aren't really a band for the typical prog fan. That is to say that if the majority of your musical diet consists of mostly prog and the other stuff is mostly non commercial music then they are probably not a band for you.
    What is a "typical prog fan"? Is there any such thing? I'm not so sure. And if there's such a thing, I hardly think any "typical prog fan" is implied to have a "musical diet [that] consists of mostly prog"; this very place [PE, that is] would serve to indicate otherwise - namely that your "typical prog fan" sticks to a rather limited number of given niche artists and approaches while often shunning the general concept underlying that niche, yet erstwhile keeping to "classic" rock or hard rock or whatever.

    Progressive rock music as concept is that of eclectic and particularly thought-processed, organized electric/electroacoustic and somewhat rhythm-based sound aiming at stylistic transcendence and based on a varying set of artistic and aesthetic virtues. And it is mostly radical in nature and character, thus aschewing the inherent "straightness" of idiomatic templates. Somehow I find it more logical for progressive rock fans to dig edgy post-punk, The Residents and cutup-collage noise, extreme metal etc. than to file out the Magnums and GTRs and Asias.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  24. #74
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frinspar View Post
    Why me you? You should me, yo. Syntax be damned.

    You hate them, said so yourself in your first post. Why did you start a thread asking people to convince you to like them?
    I didn't say anywhere in my first post, or any of my posts, that I "hated" them. I said I thought they were "horrible". Thats not the same thing: Hate would imply an emotional stigma that would render this thread worthless. Emotion has nothing to do with it: There are many iconic bands that I personally don't like but at least they have a degree of musical skill. Conversely, theres many underground bands that also have a good degree of musical skill, arranging, and songwriting but remain underground and (more than likely) will never achieve popular critical acclaim or win any Grammys.

    As musicians/performers/songwriters, I view Nirvana as (far) substandard in relationship to other "Iconic" bands or artists that are important staples in popular music history (some of which are required listening at colleges) and, while just my opinion, it is also apparently a popular opinion shared by others (some in this thread alone) or at least persons understand that to a degree --- please note that,out of the four pages in this thread, only one post champions their ability as players ...and that one post only does it indirectly. Lets try that in a Beatles thread, or even a U2 thread (another iconic band of moderate players but that can at least play together uniformally as well as play their instruments individually with some degree of basic skill). Nirvana are not very good musicians, even for basics, only on occasion rising to the level of mediocrity at their best -- just fine for a flavor, but to be heralded as icons I dont get (and certainly not innovative: The Sex Pistols also did limited-skill counter-culture music -- and they did it 15 years earlier...nobody handed them a Grammy). To reiterate once again, this has nothing to with "chops" or hate - it just "is"......If you want to accuse me of placating the iconoclast, then that is exactly what Im doing -- and with good reason. We do that a lot here on PE as par-for-course every time a "Critic's List" thread surfaces.....this thread is just microscoping one band that has a huge laundry list of reasons why anybody should placate the iconoclast...
    Last edited by klothos; 10-18-2016 at 12:22 PM.

  25. #75
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    So you can understand then that Nirvana had the best pop tunes. You can whistle them in your bathroom.


    Melodics in counter-culture bands are nothing new.....even The Clash and The Sex Pistols had a lot of "sing-songy" melodics........if this is the case, Green day should have been the 90s Beatles.........

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