Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Live! Tonight! Sold Out!

For the first time in at least 10 years, I watched the Nirvana movie "Live! Tonight! Sold Out," which was recently re-released on DVD. It was even better than I remembered. It is just amazing to me how incredibly huge Nirvana was, all across the world. And though there have been bigger bands in terms of record sales - e.g. NSync, Britney Spears - since Nirvana, I don't think it's possible for a band to ever change the face of music the way Nirvana did. Thanks (?) to the internet, music is so accessible, so diverse and changes so fast, that no one artist can create a paradigm shift.

The DVD also reminded me of a few things. First of all, Kurt Cobain was so cool and hiis refusal to play by any of the celebrity rules made him even cooler. (One of my favorite parts of the movie is when the band plays on a British talk show. The host introduces "Nirvana playing their hit 'Lithium,'" but instead, the band comes out and blasts through 'Territorial Pissings,' before destroying their instruments.

Secondly, Nevermind was a great album. I listen to it very rarely, but watching the footage tonight reminded why the band got so huge. (I still think that In Utero is more enjoyable to listen to.)

Thirdly, Nirvana was much more punk than they get credit for. Thinking of the musical landscape of the time, combined with Kurt Cobain living in a very small town with very limited access to actual punk rock music, the band created great pop music with punk intensity and ethics.

Another thought was that Kurt Cobain was 27 when he died, the same age I'll be in a few months. I work in insurance.

Why haven't we seen a comprehensive Nirvana documentary, telling the band's story? I think it's because Courtney Love is crazy. Maybe instead of selling her share of the rights to the band's catalog to Rock Star INXS, she could let some independent film makers in on the material.

Do yourself a favor and check out this movie. You can get it at the Murray Library.

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