13 Random Velvet Underground Covers To Prove That Yes, They Really Were That Influential

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I usually try to stay away from listicles, but this one was way too much fun to make.

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David Bowie – “I’m Waiting For The Man”


R.E.M. – “Femme Fatale”


Joseph Arthur – “Heroin”

Note: Joseph Arthur recorded an entire Lou Reed acoustic tribute album that you can find on Spotify.


Bryan Ferry – “What Goes On”


Galaxie 500 – “Here She Comes Now”


Nirvana – “Here She Comes Now”


Joy Division – “Sister Ray”


Swervedriver – “Jesus”


Cowboy Junkies – “Sweet Jane”


Phish – “Cool It Down”

Note: Phish covered all of ‘Loaded’ live. It’s also on Spotify and it’s pretty great.


Cat Power – “I Found A Reason”


The Decemberists – “I’m Sticking With You”


U2 – “Satellite of Love”

Note: I know this was officially released as a Lou Reed solo song, but this song was written while Reed was in VU. You can hear a rough demo here.

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Playlist: 20 Songs For January 2015

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My first monthly playlist of 2015 includes new music from Sleater-Kinney, Viet Cong and The Decemberists along with some deep tracks from St. Vincent, Can, Nick Lowe, and more.

Here are my 20 songs for January 2015:

1. Cat Power – “The Greatest”

2. Parquet Courts – “Stoned and Starving”

3. The Breeders – “Drivin’ On 9”

4. Bully – “Milkman”

5. Madonna – “Hung Up”

6. Thea & The Wild – “Strangers and Lovers”

7. St. Vincent – “Champagne Year”

8. Nirvana – “Oh Me”

9. Arctic Monkeys – “Dance Little Liar”

10. American Football – “Never Meant”

11. Sleater-Kinney – “No Cities To Love”

12. Viet Cong – “March of Progress”

13. The Decemberists – “Philomena”

14. Jose Gonzalez – “Leaf Off / The Cave”

15. Sharon Van Etten – “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”

16. Can – “Vitamin C”

17. Belle & Sebastian – “Nobody’s Empire”

18. Daniel Johnston – “Life In Vain”

19. Nick Lowe – “The Beast In Me”

20. Cloakroom – “Outta Spite”

 

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Watch Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) Explain How Kurt Cobain Got The Inspiration For “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

 

I know I just posted about Nirvana and the one song Kurt Cobain hated the most, but this video is too good.

Kathleen Hanna tells a story of when she was with Kurt Cobain (the two were close friends at the time) in 1990 when they were hanging out and getting drunk, vandalizing fake abortion clinics, and creating the inspiration for the title of one of the most popular songs of the 90s.

The video is a bit long, but make sure to watch the whole thing.

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Music History 101: Nirvana Trolls A Live TV Audience With That One Song You Know

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“Smells Like Teen Spirit” might be Nirvana’s most popular song, but it was also the song that Kurt Cobain hated the most. Cobain didn’t like that the song had reached such a crazy level of popularity and that it became, for many people, the only Nirvana song they knew. Soon the band stopped playing the song all together live, and if they did play it live the band would deliberately play various versions of the song.

One of their most famous “alternate” performances of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was in 1991 on BBC’s Top of the Pops TV show. The producers had requested that the band play the backing track of the song with Cobain singing live. The request made Cobain furious, but instead of refusing the produers’ request the band agreed to play the show with the backing track.

The video below might be one of the greatest trolls of the MTV era.

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Playlist: 20 Songs From April 2013 (Via Spotify)

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Well April marked the final days of winter – we still had snow in Indiana at the beginning of the month – which means I was on my annual National kick during the ugly transition between winter and spring (and because they have a new album coming out!). There was also plenty of great new music from James Blake, Kurt Vile, Daft Punk, Fall Out Boy, Iron And Wine, and Phoenix.

Here are my 20 songs from April 2013.

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Music Journal: Nevermind Twenty Years Later – Why I’ll Never Love This Album.

On this day twenty years ago, Nirvana released their second album Nevermind, and the whole world stopped. All of a sudden every single human loved grunge, everyone worshipped Kurt Cobain, and corporate pop music was overruled by good rock n roll – all was good in the land.

Bullshit.

This is the story I’ve hear from almost every music magazine, website, blog, documentary, and person born before 1979. There has been so much said about this album, almost all of it so positive, that if you didn’t know any better this album is one of the greatest of all time, and Kurt Cobain has now elevated to the status of rock n roll martyr. This album apparently single handedly created grunge, and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is apparently the greatest song of the 90s.

Now in 2011, twenty years after its release, Nevermind smells more like 90s cliché than teen spirit. I can name no other album that is so closely associated with a specific time in history than this one, and the quality of the music gets lost in the mix. I’ve listen to this album multiple times in the past couple of years and I went back again for its 20th birthday, every time hoping that I’ll have a sudden realization that will make me love this album.

It never happens.

The album is a mix of mostly good songs with occasional great songs. However, the overall album is underwhelming, and at a certain point I can’t tell one song from another. And don’t get me started on the closing track – It’s very hard for anyone to defend “Something In The Way”. I wouldn’t even considered this to be Nirvana’s best album – I would give that title to In Utero.

There’s no way for me to talk about this and not seem to come across as an ass, and for that I am sorry. I’m not saying this album sucks, it doesn’t. I would still consider this to be one of the best albums of the 90s. However, I cannot believe that this is considered to be the best album to come out the 90s. I think of other albums to come out during that time – Pearl Jam’s Ten, U2’s Achtung Baby, Weezer’s Pinkerton just to name a few – and I’m baffled at why these albums get so little recognition compared to Nevermind.

This is also not a rant against this band. This was a truly talented band; Kurt Cobain was a great songwriter, Krist Novoselic is a hell of a bass player, and I would put David Grohl up there with some of the best drummers alive. I would recommend checking out their MTV Unplugged album to hear some truly great music, or even In Utero.

I guess this is just a rant against Nirvana fans, especially those who weren’t alive when this album came out. To be a teen when this album came out would of been great, but it’s all those teens who have grown up now and are telling us how perfect this album is, and there is a lot lost in translation here for my generation who did not grow up with Cobain and Nevermind.

But hey, what the hell do I know? I was not even alive when this album came out, and so I do not share a bond with Cobain. However I didn’t grow up with The Beatles and I love Abbey Road. I wasn’t alive when London Calling came out, but I still think it kicks ass. I can’t say the same for Nevermind. I am judging this album based solely on the music, and what you get is a better-than-average rock album.

Really I’m just blowing off some steam. I’ve heard so much about this album and every time I listen to this album I just can’t call this is truly great album. I’ll probably get a good scowling on why this album is amazing as soon as I post this. In the end all I can do is complain about how popular this album is – a very hipster thing to do. This album will always be considered a classic, and Nirvana will always be considered one of the most important bands in history.

Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

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Top Lists: Great Albums Turning 20 This Year

One year shy of legal drinking!

1991 must have been an incredible year for music (I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t born yet!).  Many remember 1991 simply as the year Nirvana released Nevermind, which ended hair metal and began a grunge movement that bands today are still taking inspiration from.  As important as that album would become, there were many other albums released in 1991 that were just as good, if not better, than Nevermind.  For the 20th anniversary of the great year that was 1991 (it was also the year Silence of the Lambs came out!) let’s take a walk down memory lane and see what music was released.

Soundgarden – Badmoterfinger

Pearl Jam – Ten

Stevie Ray Vaughan – The Sky Is Crying

Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusions I and II

U2 – Achtung Baby

B.B. King – Live at the Apollo

Nirvana – Nevermind

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque

Metallica – Metallica (The Black Album)

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Blur – Leisure

The inspiration for this post came from an article from Guitar World, check out that article here.

Any albums that I missed?  Hit me up on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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R.I.P. Kurt Cobain

Yesterday marked the unofficial anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide seventeen years ago.  The video below – follow the link to youtube – is from their unplugged show just months before Cobain’s death.  It’s my favorite Nirvana song and it always reminds me how great Cobain was as a songwriter and even as a singer.  It’s also proof that he was bigger and more talented than the grunge music he helped popularized in the early 90s.

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