25 October 2006

Nirvana forever?

I find this story somewhat disturbing. Is anyone else creeped out that Forbes keeps a list of the top-earning dead celebrities?

And is anyone else surprised that Tupac isn't number one? For God's sake, the man is releasing yet another album next month.

Besides... Kurt Cobain? Really? I saw that it has something to do with Courtney Love selling publishing rights, but this whole business reminds me that I've always been a bit skeptical of how cosmically important he is to rock music.

I feel like Cobain's status as the supposed voice of my generation hasn't really been borne out by history. At the time of his death, everyone was describing him as the most important musician in the history of music (or something like that), but has his influence really been that lasting? You can hear The Beatles in Snow Patrol, and you can hear Elvis in every country singer. You can hear Stevie Wonder and Prince all over the place, but can you really hear Kurt Cobain?

Emo/Screamo bands like My Chemical Romance or new punk like outfits like Fall Out Boy seem more influenced by 70s punk, 80s New Wave, or even Green Day than grunge. Your Nickelbacks and Hinders seem more indebted to hair metal than flannel.

Not that I don't appreciate Nirvana's music and Cobain's artistry. He just feels like a particularly good artist from a time that has passed, not a sea-changing force on our culture.

Or am I wrong? Am I missing something?



At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Jenni said...


I read this blog, and didn't know what to say. Then I flipped the pages of my NYT Sunday Style Magazine and there is an article on this very topic. (An anaylsis from the sartorial viewpoint, that is...)

Here's a bit of the article:

"when Kurt Cobain (alienated, awkward, heavily eyelined) and Courtney Love (baby-doll dresses, red lipstick slash) reigned as the slacker generation's anser to John and Yoko...it was exciting. We thought maybe we could make a difference, even just fashionwise."

Kurt Cobain is indeed an icon for youth and change.

If nothing else, being a child of Cobain gives us a damn good excuse to be rowdy and reckless.


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