Kurt Cobain


V.25 No.28 | 07/14/2016
Kurt Cobain's house
Desiree Garcia

Jetsetter

A Black Hole in Emerald City

Creeping on Kurt Cobain's house

When you think about traveling, the thought tends to bring more of an anxiety attack than excitement. You think about where you want to go, how much it's going to cost, where you're going to stay, how long you can take off of work, things to do, and if you'll have enough time to do everything you want because who knows when you'll be back to this destination. But then there are the people like me who pick somewhere that seems cool and just pick up and go. Money will always figure itself out, and why not go for a day or three rather than sit around and wish you could because of this excuse or that excuse?
One April morning, I headed out to Seattle, Wash. and it was only a one night stay. The flight was a rough 5am flight that had a connection in Las Vegas, Nev. that left my actual flying time at a rough four hours. Why was I on my way to Seattle, you may ask? There was no real reason, I had the opportunity and that was enough to get on a plane. Have ticket, will travel. I had no set plans for when I got there, honestly.

After arriving, I spent half of the night in the hotel room eating pizza and watching “Law and Order” and falling in and out of sleep but waking myself up with gross burps from the orange soda I'd also consumed. I wasn't up for hardcore exploring after a short five hours of sleep and a long flight, but I ventured out into Seattle, had myself some coffee from the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market (which is Downtown, for those who don't know), and walked on a small boardwalk that had a ferris wheel on it. I felt constant plume of regret breeze across my skin, stemming from the fact that I wore shorts and forgot I wasn't in the desert anymore.
I ate at the Hardrock Cafe and got to end dinner by watching a drunk guy get carried out by two of his friends at 8pm. The night was still young and since I didn't do my research about Seattle, I ran out of ideas but I didn't want to go back to the hotel just to watch more “Law and Order.” And then it hit me, why not look for the house of the legendary Kurt Cobain? You know, the one he lived in before he died. I immediately had to do it.

I had the plan, I just didn't realize that it was actually going to take three hours to accomplish because my GPS is probably the worst pre-installed app to ever come on a cell phone. It took me everywhere else except where I wanted to be in the first place. I mean, I never even thought I'd find myself driving up and down a few blocks in the dead of night, looking for a house that I thought was going to bring me some sort of revelation to my angsty adolescent days to begin with. The neighborhoods that I got lost in all felt and looked the same. They were slightly weathered from all the rain and humidity, but were surrounded by trees and bushes that looked like one of those photoshopped pictures that is enhanced to make it seem like you have better photography skills than you actually do.
After getting lost in three different neighborhoods, I ended up in a quiet suburb. It was dark, and the property had that haunted feeling that crawls across the back of your neck. It sat on what felt like an island as the neighborhood was surrounded by the ocean and faced directly toward the heart of Emerald City.
As I sat there, a small red car pulled up and passed through the gate of what use to be Cobain's house. I stared at what was probably the owner, so anxious that this was even a real thing. I was 97% sure I was going to throw up. I mean, what's the big deal, right? He was just a regular guy who I only wanted to be like when I was a teenager because I thought that would make me cool. But looking at his house, it seemed like reality was altered. I've never had such a surreal feeling before. I gazed out at the house, then got out of the car to take a picture once the owner's car was completely beyond the gates. In a fog of angst and nostalgia, I somehow forgot how to take a picture on my phone and that I was in the dark and needed the flash on. When I excitedly jumped back in the car and looked at the picture ,it literally looked like a black hole. Just like Cobain left in my heart when he died. Perfect.

V.24 No.45 | 11/05/2015

The Daily Word in the US, Bees and Policing

The Daily Word

Presidential Candidates as Disney villains.

Details of the US-led attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital are being released.

This women's underwear brand is getting a lot of attention—but not for the reason you think.

Listen to the bees!

More disgusting issues regarding APS employees.

Kurt Cobain's unreleased songs will be made public soon. You can listen to one right now!

Police unions are active against fighting reform. Surprised? Me either.

Scaring kids doesn't teach them to know better. Water is wet.

V.24 No.24 | 6/11/2015
Cobain

I Like to Watch (Instantly)

Heck of a Montage, Kurt

Montage of Heck makes use of Cobain’s personal artifacts to tell a tale that rises up from the world of rock music and comes to reside in the realm of American culture as a portrait of one our nation’s great makers.
V.23 No.24 | 6/12/2014

Finally, a snippet of what Jenny Lewis has been up to for the past few years. You see, I mentioned a week or two ago that her new record (The Voyager) is set to hit the music-sphere on July 29. Little did I know that Lewis was getting ready to release a lyric video of an album track a short time later. Fate or not, I'm glad for it. The song is called “Just One of the Guys,” and it's produced by none other than Beck himself. If we're judging Lewis' sound off this one track, it definitely lacks the grit of Acid Tongue, but hey: evolution, right? Listen to that below.

Talk about cute: Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has formed a group with his 18-year-old son. They're simply called Tweedy, and their debut record (Sukierae) hits stores on Sept. 16 (aka my birthday). The duo have made a song from said record available on the interwebz. Have a listen to “I'll Sing It” below, and look out for more news about the record in the coming months. Cheers!

I was one of those people that listened to Interpol's first LP (Turn On the Bright Lights), obsessed over it and never paid much attention to what they came out with afterwards. It wasn't necessarily from lack of interest ... or maybe that's exactly what it was. Regardless, they've been steadily releasing records over the years, and they're preparing the release of their fifth studio album El Pintor. That record drops on Sept. 9. Head over to Pitchfork for album details and whatnot.

Though there's been leaked videos galore all over the internet (all of them having shitty quality, I might add), the official video of Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has now appeared online. The ceremony aired on HBO on May 31 and included other inductees like Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. However, since the late Kurt Cobain obviously wasn't in attendance, there was a lot of speculation over who would perform as lead singer. In short, Joan Jett (who provided an underwhelming version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”), Kim Gordon, Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) and Lorde performed vocals. The best performance was definitely Lorde singing “All Apologies.” You can view the performances, induction speeches and more below.

I first found out about Common after seeing him on HBO's “Def Poets.” By the way, they need to bring that back. Now, Common is set to release his upcoming record Nobody's Smiling on July 22. And like most artists trying to build some buzz over a forthcoming LP, he's made album track “Kingdom,” which features Vince Staples, available online for listeners and the like. So get to listening.

Unless you've been following her career, which I haven't, you probably know Sinead O'Connor mostly from “Nothing Compares 2U” or her tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II. Regardless, she's preparing to release her 10th full-length effort, which recently got retitled as I'm not Bossy, I'm the Boss, after Sheryl Sandberg's “Ban Bossy” campaign. The album is set to hit stores on Aug. 12. For more info on that, head over to Billboard.

It's no secret that people are seriously itching for the release of Lana Del Rey's third full-length effort (Ultraviolence), seeing as how every week a new song becomes available. It's almost as if the countdown to the Mother Ship docking into the Atlantic will coincide with the record's release. And judging from the title track, it's clear that Del Rey has honed her skills to make sultry, noir-pop that aims for some semblance of controversy (ie. “he hit me, and it felt like a kiss”). I can already see headlines asserting she's glorifying abuse. But whatevs, it's one of the better tracks she's put out in a hot minute. Take a listen below, and look for the album on July 17.

I can't remember how I first heard of indie-pop duo Tennis. I want to say it was one of those momentary lapse of Pandora-predicted listens that brought me to them. While I wasn't wowed, I thought their cutesy vibe was enough to sustain a few more songs from their repertoire. And now the band is coming out with a new record titled Ritual in Repeat. To give fans a taste of the LP's vibe, they've shared the song “Never Work for Free.” The album doesn't hit stores 'til Sept. 9, so that gives you some time to reacquaint yourselves to the sound of balls ... uh, I mean Tennis. Head to Stereogum to listen to that little number.

Hey there, album streamers. We've got what some good ones for ya. First is Jack White's Lazaretto. If you're too impatient to wait 'til Tuesday to pick up a physical copy, iTunes Radio has you covered. But since I lack the hardware, have Pitchfork guide you to the land of free music ... or rather, free music streaming. PS: You can watch the video to “Lazaretto” below. And while you're at it, why don't you stream First Aid Kit's latest LP (Stay Gold), which also comes out on Tuesday. That one's over at NPR.

Fresh off her last release (The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You), Neko Case has come out with a new track that also features Kelly Hogan. The song (“These Aren't the Droids”) comes off a compilation titled 2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery. The release is a “comedy-musical benefit compilation” that hits stores on July 4, and proceeds from purchases will go to OneKid OneWorld. Other folks appearing on that record are Patton Oswalt, Andrew W.K., Aimee Mann, Reggie Watts and much more. Head to Pitchfork to give that a listen.

V.23 No.13 | 3/27/2014

I'd like to take a quick moment to honor the memory of Scott “Rock Action” Asheton, drummer and one of the founding members of The Stooges, who passed away this week at the age of 64. We'll miss you. And here's a tune from The Stooges eponymous debut as a little send-off to the man. R.I.P.

Wu-Tang fans rejoice! The legendary hip-hop group has come out with a new single (“Keep Watch”), which comes off their upcoming LP A Better Tomorrow. The track features Method Man, GZA, Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck and Nathaniel. You can head to MissInfo to hear the tune.

I like a powerful pop tune as much as the next guy and that's what Lykke Li has delivered with her new track “No Rest For The Wicked.” Unfortunately most of what I know about Li has been that song where she calls herself a prostitute or some such … and I didn't dig it at all. Thank Urban Outfitters for overplaying that one. But the track comes off her upcoming LP I Never Learn, which hits stores and online markets on May 5. So keep your eyes and ears out for that. You can hear the track below.

This is one that bears repeating. 'Member a few weeks (or months) ago when I mentioned that Veruca Salt might be getting back together. Well the band has announced that they are, in fact, reuniting with the original lineup (including Louise Post, Nina Gordon, Steve Lack and Jim Shapiro), and they're scheduled to come out with new material for Record Store Day. It's a good day, indeed.

It's another sad one, folks, and I found out about this one too late to include in last week's column. Gary Burger, lead singer/guitarist of garage rock band The Monks died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72 on March 14. The band was formed in the '60s by five American soldiers who were stationed in Germany, and they only came out with one album (the excellent Black Monk Time). It is a sad day for rock and roll. R.I.P. Gary. And as a salute to the contributions he made to music, here's the band playing my favorite Monks tune.

I don't know much about BANKS. Nothing, in fact. The only reason I'm sharing this next bit is because I was, and still am, a fan of the late Aaliyah. Her music just has that capability of taking you back to when times were simpler (considering I was a kid when she came to prominence). But the aforementioned artist BANKS did a cover of Aaliyah's track “Are You That Somebody?” for BBC Live Lounge. It's a pretty great acoustic cover, and her voice is pretty stellar. You can hear that (as well as her track “Brain”) over at Stereogum.

And the good news just keeps on comin'. The fantastic Kim Deal (of The Breeders and former bass player for Pixies) is coming out with a fourth installation of her 7” series. The upcoming release will be available for purchase on April 1, and it will include the tracks “The Root” and “Range on Castle.” You can view the official video for “The Root” below.

There's not really a whole lot you can say about Joy Division that hasn't already been said before, so I'm just gonna get right to it. Their debut EP An Ideal for Living is getting reissued for Record Store Day, and the release features notable tracks like “Warsaw,” “Leaders of Men” and my personal favorite “No Love Lost.” You can read more about it over on Facebook, and save them pennies for this illustrious event.

I'm not that into the Melvins, but the band is an institution, considering they've been playing for over two decades and were a favorite of the late Kurt Cobain. I also got to interview frontman Buzz Osborne via phone before a show in Austin, Texas, and he was funny as all hell ... comparing listening to your own records to looking at yourself in a mirror while masturbating. I digress ... now Buzz Osborne is coming out with an acoustic solo LP, titled This Machine Kills Artists, and he's shared a track off the album. And Judging from the song, this release is something I could get on board with.

Seaking of Kurt Cobain, who died nearly 20 years ago, I should mention that Seattle police are looking at four rolls of 35mm film that investigators found in Cobain’s home at the time of his suicide in 1994. The film was recently developed, and police report that “they depict the scene more clearly than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.” You can read more about that over at CBS News.

V.20 No.15 | 4/14/2011

Culture Shock

Kurt Vonnegut Is Still Dead

Monday, April 11, marked four years since the passing of the greatest American ever to pick up a pen and write down his thoughts— Mr. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.13 |

history lesson

DayBird - April 5th

1614 – Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, marries John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia. The marriage ensured peace in the valley. Englishman John Rolfe cultivated the first tobacco in Virginia, which made him wicked rich. I bet.

How did they hook up? In 1613, Pocahontas was taken hostage. The Virginian kidnappers were hoping to use her to negotiate a peace with her father. During her incarceration, she converted to Christianity and was baptized Lady Rebecca. Lady Rebecca? How lame is that? Eventually papa agreed to the terms for her release, but by then she had fallen in love with John Rolfe. awww. They had a kid, sailed to England, people gawked, and as they prepared to return to Virginia, she died. Smallpox.

1621 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain. It mysteriously sinks in the middle of the ocean.

1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.

1827 - Baron Joseph Lister, English surgeon and scientist (d. 1912) is cut from the womb.

Sir William Gull: I think you mean to draw a Lister knife.

1859 -Naturalist Charles Darwin sends his publishers the first three chapters of Origin of Species, which will become one of the greatest stories ever told.

A bunch of heavyweight actors are born on this day:

1900 - Spencer Tracy, American actor (d. 1967)
1908Bette Davis, American actress (d. 1989)
1916Gregory Peck, American actor (d. 2003)

1976 - Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes dies (b. 1905).

1994Kurt Cobain, musician (b. 1967) dies. It is sad.

1997 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet (b. 1926) dies too.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix;
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.

2008 Charlton Heston, American actor (b. 1923) died. I watched the 10 Commands this weekend, and I was reminded how much I despised the sound of Charlton's voice. I was really pulling for Yul Brynner.