Monday, May 22, 2023

Comments Elsewhere: on Nirvana at Reynolds Retro

So, not sure why I would have the gumption to mouth off about Nirvana, and to do so at one of Simon Reynolds' blogs, no less, but that's exactly what I did.

Reynolds reposted or reprinted or whatever you'd like to call it, a contemporary review he wrote of a show Nirvana did at the Kilburn National Ballroom in December of 1991, and he'd thought the band "didn't quite happen" because of all the "goofing around," so I said

Exactly! Never saw Nirvana live, but through their videos and interviews I completely got the feeling that Nirvana refused to take themselves seriously, to the point where the band's disrespect towards itself had a deleterious effect on THE BAND as a concept, as a working unit, as an artistic collective.

Goddamn right, they should have taken themselves and their music seriously. They were, um, a lean mean rock machine. Be proud when you're being artistic, you know?

And then Kurt's liner notes on that outtakes thing were serious to the point of melodrama, so what the fuck, they/he were/was just a complete mess, always doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Which, I guess, was a state Kurt had an inkling of.

Didn't have to be, anyway, if they'd just had confidence in their art, and their own goddamned *worthiness*.

Being old enough to remember when the prime criticism of my favorite (read: prog) bands was that they took themselves too seriously, all I can do when I think about Nirvana since Kurt died is to think about the same things I do during the middle sections of "The Revealing Science of God" or when some bozo references that transgender manifesto-writing person from Liturgy: It's bad to take yourself too seriously, but it's much worse not to take yourself seriously *enough*

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