We still can’t believe Beastie Boys‘ Adam “MCA” Yauch is gone. He kept his word on never selling out to corporate, though, and even in death he’s honoring that promise. DNA Info reports that MCA’s last will and testament specifically instructed that his image, music and any art he’s created be prohibited from use in advertisement. Considering the number of ads where deceased stars like John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Louis Armstrong have appeared well past their death, this ban is completely understandable. The rhymes from “Triple Trouble” take on a whole new meaning now. “Cause I’m a specializer, rhyme reviser/Ain’t selling out to advertisers/What you get is what you see/And you won’t see me out there advertising.” Read more…
It’s on, folks! Voting for Round Two of Bracket Madness for the greatest artists of the 90s is upon us. And the choice isn’t getting any easier. By popular vote, Nirvana slaughtered Pearl Jam in a land slide win of 29%. In a much closer call, TLC beat out Boyz II Men by a 13% vote. Now it’s time for the alternative rock band to duke it out with the super girl group for the chance to take on either Green Day or Mariah Carey for the championship win. Since we’re in Olympics mode we want you to jump hurdles, cartwheel or leap to vote for either Nirvana or TLC. Read more…
Best Coast Launch A Line Of Clothing With Urban Outfitters
Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino is collaborating with Urban Outfitters in her first foray into fashion. We’re guessing that the line is going to mimic her indie-cool vintage style, with flirty florals and lots of cute dresses. [Pitchfork]
Listen To Kurt Cobain’s Isolated “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Vocal
This is absolutely haunting to say the least. Kurt Cobain‘s stunning isolated vocal from Nirvana‘s iconic “Sounds Like Teen Spirit” will send chills up and down your spine. [SPIN]
This weekend, the world welcomed baby Blue Ivy Carter, the offspring of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and possibly the most important baby on earth right now (or ever, who knows?) into its open arms. After months of speculation, second guessing, and red herrings, the baby girl is finally here and now we’ve got a whole new set of questions to deal with. For starters: When are we going to see baby Blue Ivy? Do you think she’s made of gold or magic or sparkles? Does she have super powers? Will she grow up to fulfill Mom and Dad’s musical legacy? And if so, how long do we have to wait to hear the chosen one’s voice on a record?
With all these questions in mind, we tracked down some other famous babies with musician parents, found out how long it took them to get from the womb to the recording studio, and employed the law of averages to try and figure out when we can expect Blue Ivy’s first number one song. According to the following cross section, we’re expecting Blue Ivy to lay down her first album by age 11…
- Sean Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In 1981, at the age of 5, Sean recited a story on his mother’s album Season of Glass.
- Hailie Jade Mathers, daughter of Marshall Mathers a.k.a Eminem. At age 6, Hailie’s vocal was featured on Eminem’s “My Dad’s Gone Crazy”.
- Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of Olivia Newton John. At age 8, Chloe provided backing vocals for “The Way Of Love” from Olivia’s 1994 album Gaia.
Following the announcement that Amy Winehouse‘s first posthumous album will be released a mere four months after her death on July 23, we started wondering how that timeline compared to some of history’s other notable posthumous record releases. From Nirvana to the Notorious B.I.G., we take a look back at the often uneasy relationship between art and commerce.
Artist:The Notorious B.I.G
Died: March 9, 2007
Album: Life After Death
Release Date: March 25, 2007
Speed To Market: 16 days
Artist: Otis Redding
Died: December 10, 1967
Album: (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
Release Date: January 8, 1968
Speed To Market: 29 days
Died: September 7, 1996
Album: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Release Date: November 5, 1996
Speed To Market: 59 days
When Krist Novoselic announced that he’d be performing at this Tuesday’s Nevermind tribute concert at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, some hoped for a reunion of the surviving members of Nirvana‘s 1991 lineup?but it was not to be (although PROMO ALERT thanks to VH1 Classic we will be premiering unseen 1991 concert film Nirvana: Live At The Paramount Friday, September 23 at 11PM ET/PT on VH1, VH1 Classic, and Palladia). But Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and producer Butch Vig did reunite recently, for at least the second time in the last year (the first was in the studio for the recording of “I Should Have Known” for Foo Fighters album Wasting Light), to talk to Jeff Weiss for Britain’s NME.
“My life was split in two by Nevermind,” Grohl tells the magazine, noting that he doesn’t remember the recording sessions or album release that well?and recalls plenty of time after its release but before it really broke: “In our own little world, things stayed the same for a while.” Of course, all three spend the interview alternately downplaying the content of the album as particularly revolutionary (chalking its success up to timing and pop sensibilities) and giving any credit for what might be special about Nevermind to the late Kurt Cobain. “You can’t forget what an artist Kurt Cobain was,” Novoselic insists. “He would draw, he would do sculpture, and he would write songs. He was really gifted.” (When later asked what would have happened if Cobain had not died, he only responds, “You can’t downplay what happened at the end, so that’s a really hard question to answer. It’s just too monumental.”)
Butch Vig, who would later form Garbage, mostly stays quiet (though if you’re interested in his comments on the album, check out the documentary Classic Albums: Nirvana: Nevermind, in which his extraordinarily obvious-in-retrospect observations about his production technique belie his real talent as a producer). Of course, there was little to add about the experience of recording because, as Vig reports here, “There was no drama.”
“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment today. The cause has not yet been determined. For those who have followed her longstanding battle with depression, eating disorders and substance abuse (a constant source of fodder for tabloids), this sad news may not come as a huge surprise. In August of 2007, Amy came close to death after overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy and cocaine – and later that year was found wondering barefoot outside in nothing but a bra and jeans. These incidents were preceded by Amy’s marriage in May of 2007 to Blake Fielder-Civil, who was quoted by a British tabloid as saying he introduced Amy to heroin and crack cocaine. Earlier that same year, Amy performed for VH1 Unplugged. Blake and Amy divorced in 2009.
The singer dominated the 2008 Grammys with five awards for Back to Black, her sophomore album, winning in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Known for her singular voice and unorthodox retro look (tattoos, extreme cat-eye makeup and beehive hairdo), Amy is said to have paved the way for artists who wouldn’t previously have fit into the mainstream. Lady Gaga, for one, famously told AOL: “Because of Amy, very strange girls like me go to prom with very good-looking guys. She’s a different kind of woman. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible, and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music.” Regardless of whether this is true, Winehouse certainly seemed to pave the way for fellow British songbirds Adele and Duffy, both of whom share Amy’s ’60s soul vibe.
In June, YouTube videos surfaced of an intoxicated and discombobulated-looking Winehouse forgetting her own lyrics and getting booed off stage in the first stop of a European tour, which subsequently had to be canceled. Amy was reportedly working on a third album. She joins a long list of musicians who have died at 27. A phenomenon known as The 27 Club, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain are among those who died at the same age. Let her legend begin.
Miley Cyrus has been catching some flak for her cover of Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Friday night in Ecuador. But the criticisms aren’t really about her rendition?which was not great, but not terrible, and let’s remember that the audio quality is pretty low?but about the difference between what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” means to Miley Cyrus and what it means to those who were alive when the song was recorded. Miley has said that Kurt Cobain is her “dream boyfriend” but there’s no indication that she sees much of a difference between him and, say, Bret Michaels, with whom she recorded an unreleased rendition of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
And so what? News flash, Generation X: Kurt Cobain isn’t ours anymore. He entered the pop imagination almost twenty years ago. Learn to share. (At the same time, that doesn’t mean you have to like the covers.)
In that spirit, here are the ten most notable reimaginings of the classic Nirvana single, in chronological order. Classic? Misguided? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. The music he and his bandmates in Nirvana created helped to catapult the indie rock underground of the 1980s into the public spotlight and forge a new rock mainstream, inspiring and influencing millions of listeners.
But Cobain, who never found an effective way to cope with that spotlight, would likely prefer to be remembered as a person, not as an icon of sadness, forever moping over his guitar on the set of Unplugged: