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Damian: Kurt Cobain’s influence

April 6th, 2011

Yesterday marked the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. I would be lying if I claimed to be a fan during his life. I was an 11-year-old devoted Guns And Roses fan when Nirvana got mainstream attention and as the two bands had beef with one another I chose my side (funnily enough, even though both bands were seemingly at odds with one another both had roots in the ’80s Seattle punk scene). Nirvana of course was a product of that scene, as was GNR bassist Duff McKagan, who before joining had done time playing in the Fartz, the Fastbacks, 10 Minute Warning and The Vains. It wasn’t until just after Kurt Cobain had died and I had already become a big a Sonic Youth fan that I went back a heard all I been missing.

Nirvana though was not simply great, they were also cultural. There is a reason that we don’t really mark the passing of GG Allin every year. Kurt Cobain transcended simply being a big rockstar and really became the martyr of his generation. Much in the way that the violent death of John Lennon at the hand of a deranged fan was strangely poetic, as the major narratives that ran through his generation were the rise of the pop-star and anti-violence, Kurt Cobain’s death at his own hands during a drug binge is reflective of his own generation’s internal strife.

The fact is that, even without being a fan of the band at the time the influence they exerted over a large swath of popular culture meant that the impact was inescapable. Without Nirvana’s popularity major coporations that had all but ignored underground music were forced to pay attention. I seriously question whether a show like The Wedge would have ever existed without them.

Long story short, we will be playing Nirvana on the show this week… but a deeper cut then “Smells Like Teen Sprit”. We will also be showing new videos by the likes of the Dum Dum Girls and Kurt Vile. We will also have an interview with Mr. Kurt Vile that I did. And if that ain’t enough, making art with local artist Stephen Appleby. Oh and I nearly forgot, we will also have the interview I did with my pals in the Arcade Fire.

@leftfordamian

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