Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Seattle Weekly has a great series of article on Nirvana's "Bleach", 20 years old now, this week

I happen to like it a lot. I remember when Bleach came out, I was nine and had a mohawk. Just kidding. But I do remember when I found Bleach. I was either 13 or 14 and had gone into a record store looking at the cassette tapes and was amazed that there was a Nirvana album before "Nevermind". I got it, took it home, and it became my favorite Nirvana album, although Nevermind is a classic and "Unplugged" is really good too. The way that I found out about Nirvana and alternative rock is interesting in and of itself.

As a kid of 13, living out in the country, going to a small school, new cultural trends were hard to come by. Early on in '93, though, I became temporarily indisposed and ended up living away from home for a short while. During this time I met a guy, hyper with ADD, who was into all of these bands that I had either never heard of or had vaguely heard songs that turned out to be by them once on the radio. When I met him I was completely into the neo-hippie business that was percolating in the early '90s. The Doors and the Grateful Dead were favorites, and I'm still a fan of them even though my musical tastes are much more abrasive and industrial these days. Blind Melon, on the other hand, can now go to hell, but that's neither here nor there. Anyways, we talked a lot and he would bombard me with songs and band names that I'd never heard of. I'd ask him if he could repeat some lyrics or a describe what it sounded like and a vague switch would click in my head and I'd say "Oh yeah, I know this one." There was a high bullshit content in all of this, with most of it being me nodding my head and agreeing in order to sound cool and like I was in the know about all of this stuff. When I got back home I started checking out these bands and my exposure to music other than the Dead had begun. Thankfully, although I continued with that sort of music for a while, the more annoying aspects of frankly bourgeois neo-hippie culture were discarded.

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