June 24th, 2013

Lyrics to Jay-Z's upcoming song “Holy Grail,” which namechecks Kurt Cobain and quotes “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Courtney Love recently revealed she’d given Jay-Z her blessing to use the “SLTS” lyrics.

(Source: Billboard)

June 21st, 2013
December 14th, 2012
Ben Lee and Jake Fogelnest
The Fogelnest Files
The Fogelnest Files


Here’s a clip of BEN LEE and I listening to a young child covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the recorder and a grown man covering “Big Pimpin’” on the recorder. From the latest episode of THE FOGELNEST FILES which is out now on iTunes, Earwolf and Stitcher

Reblogged from JAKE FOGELNEST
December 7th, 2012

More pics from choreographer Ryan Heffington’s modern-dance interpretation of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, part of last night’s Art Basel Miami Beach show KURT. (Photos by Ian Witlen)

(Source: blogs.browardpalmbeach.com)

December 7th, 2012

RollingStone.com: Surreal Kurt Cobain Tribute Staged at Art BaselThe evening’s strangest component was a modern dance interpretation of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video by choreographer Ryan Heffington. If not for the flannel shirts and grunge-era haircuts of the dancers, one might have mistaken the performance – with its zombie-like movements and creepy soundtrack – not as a tribute to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” but its greatest-video-of-all-time rival, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” (Photo by Kevin Ornelas)

October 22nd, 2012

The Hollywood Reporter: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Writer Developing Family Comedy ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ at CBS

Or, as the Onion A.V. Club puts it, “Last lingering shred of ‘alternative’ culture dies as CBS buys Smells Like Teen Spirit sitcom.”

From the Hollywood Reporter piece: “The multicamera comedy revolves around an 18-year-old budding entrepreneur who forgoes Harvard and instead opts to launch a multibillion-dollar Internet company from his garage with the assistance of his sister, best friend and his 1990s indie-rock parents.” (Full story
here; H/T Jason Baldwin)

October 11th, 2012

"Weird Al" Yankovic: I only met Kurt in person once at a restaurant in Los Angeles. He just happened to be eating at an adjoining table with his friends. This was after the parody had come out, so I got to go over and thank him in person. I just profusely thanked him and said, “Anything I can do for you, let me know.” Kurt extended his hand to me and said, “Polish my nails.”

So many wonderful details in this Spin.com piece: 'Weird Al' Yankovic Looks Back at 20 Years of 'Smells Like Nirvana'

August 20th, 2012

The Muppet barbershop-quartet cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (from the 2011 movie The Muppets).

April 9th, 2012

The latest in the Muppet movie “Teen Spirit” controversy: Courtney Love calls Jason Segel “a coward” (full story here)

March 10th, 2012

'Everybody Loves Our Town': The Audio/Visual Experience!

To celebrate the trade paperback release of my book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge (out this Tuesday, March 13; order info here), I’ve rounded up video clips of 10 of the musical performances discussed in the book, along with corresponding excerpts (note: all page numbers are for the paperback edition). Hope you enjoy the ELOT A/V experience!

1. Mudhoney headline the Sub Pop Lamefest, the Moore Theatre, Seattle, June 9, 1989

BRUCE PAVITT (Sub Pop Records cofounder) The manager of the Moore Theatre had actually sent most of his security guys home because he was convinced that nobody was gonna show up. So when the local youth went off at the show, stage-diving and everything else, the security staff on hand was overwhelmed. Mark Arm very famously kicked a security guard and knocked him right off the stage. That show ignited the city’s youth and put Seattle on the map. (p. 200 of the paperback edition)

2. L7 and Cat Butt singer David Duet cover the Sonics’ “Strychnine,” the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, August 27, 1990

DAVID DUET (Cat Butt singer) I checked myself into a five-day-detox wino hospital. Stayed there about three days. L7 was playing down the street, and I convinced the nurse to let me out, that it would be better for me to go play rock and roll, and she did. It was amazing. I hobbled down the street, got on stage with L7, did a Frank Sinatra version of “Strychnine” ‘cause I was so looped out from all the medications they had me on, jumped in the van with L7, went to Canada. (p. 225; video is from Canadian tour)

3. Pearl Jam’s first show (performed under the name Mookie Blaylock), the Off Ramp, Seattle, October 22, 1990

DAVE KRUSEN (Pearl Jam drummer) A week later, we played a show. It was at a place called the Off Ramp, and we were called Mookie Blaylock. I didn’t know anything about basketball, so I did not know who Mookie Blaylock was. I remember somebody asking, “Why Mookie Blaylock?” And Jeff answered, “Michael Jordan is just not very cool-sounding.” (p. 269)

4. Nirvana debut “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the OK Hotel, Seattle, April 17, 1991

KURT BLOCH (Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellows guitarist) That show at the OK Hotel was legendary! There were a few genre-defining shows, and certainly that was one of them. I remember standing next to Nils Bernstein, and then, “Hey, here’s a new song, blah blah blah.” They started playing “Teen Spirit,” and Nils and I looked at each other like, Holy fuck! This song is unbelievable. (p. 278) 

5. Screaming Trees trash the stage, Roskilde Festival, Denmark, June 25, 1992 

BARRETT MARTIN (Screaming Trees drummer) After Roskilde, something shifted in the way we were perceived: as being real brutish, tough, beating people up, looking for fights, fighting amongst ourselves. But it was a distortion of reality. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen on a small scale from time to time, but you wouldn’t have the energy to keep going if you did that all the time. (p. 338)

6. L7 singer/guitarist Donita Sparks throws a used tampon at the crowd, the Reading Festival, England, August 30, 1992

JENNIFER FINCH (L7 bassist) People were throwing mud at us when we were playing. Donita was like, “Fuck this!” and went behind her amp and pulled out her tampon and threw it into the audience. It was hysterical. That’s something we used to do, growing up: drive around and pull our tampons out and throw them at people that made comments. It’s the ultimate kind of “fuck you.” (p. 369)

7. Journalist Everett True wheels Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain onstage, the Reading Festival, England, August 30, 1992

EVERETT TRUE (U.K. music journalist) I was trying to walk in a straight line, and so I start pushing Kurt towards the mic, and he reaches up and grabs me. I thought, Oh cool, he wants to have a mock fight onstage like we always used to have. So I start kind of punching him, and he’s saying, “No, you asshole, you’re pushing me to the wrong microphone.” (p. 370)

8. Pearl Jam’s drunken MTV Singles film premiere party performance, the Park Plaza Hotel Ballroom, Los Angeles, September 10, 1992

DANNY BRAMSON (Singles music supervisor) The show started, and Vedder goes out onstage begrudgingly. He’s got a bottle in one hand, and he grabs the mic and his opening words are “FUCK HOLLYWOOD!” That set the tone for the entire evening. (p. 390)

9. Nirvana play MTV Unplugged, Sony Music Studios, New York, November 18, 1993

(MTV Unplugged producer) At the end, I asked them, “Is there anything else you wanna try? We don’t have to use it.” I didn’t even dare suggest “Teen Spirit.” And Krist and Dave were kinda brainstorming, and Kurt just looked at me and said, “How do I top that last song?” I remember reaching to my headset and going, “That’s a wrap. We’re done.” (p. 436)

10. Alice in Chains play MTV Unplugged, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Majestic Theater, April 10, 1996

MIKE INEZ (Alice in Chains bassist) Layne that night was so haunting. His voice, especially his performance on “Down in a Hole,” it still brings a tear to my eye. There was a couple times I had to pull my eyes off of Layne and remind myself, Hey, I’m at work. Instead of being a fan here, I better concentrate on my bass chords. He was just so mesmerizing. (p. 486)

Loading tweets...



Official Tumblr for Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, a Time magazine book of the year. (Now in paperback; purchase info here.) The blog is run by the author, freelance writer/editor Mark Yarm; he is of no relation to Mark Arm of Mudhoney.