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…
Pearl Jam and Nirvana having done their part to bring alternative edge to 90′s mainstream, Green Day and Dave Matthews Band swooped in just after Neverland and Ten to further atomized the scene. Each at the top of their own alt-genre, Green Day’s Dookie (1994) heralding an era of mainstream pop-punk while Dave Matthews Band “chilled” the mainstream with their seven-times platinum album Crash (1996). Radio is far more diverse these days, and for that we can thank all of the aforementioned. But Bracket Madness means there can only be one Greatest Artist of the 90s. Who should it be?
Bracket Madness is upon us once more, and this time around artists from the 90s are off and battling for the “Greatest” crown. This first round pits Nirvana against Pearl Jam, and it almost feels unfair to have to choose. Both groups emerged from the hair and flannel and sludge of Seattle in the 90s as alt-rock legends, distinguished in their tunely post-punk and oftentimes painful sincerity. Eddie Veder with his masterpiece, Ten, and Kurt Cobain with his masterpiece, Nevermind, are giants in grunge but different in the shadows they cast. Which represents the greatest of grunge?
Let’s consider: Read more…
Artists of the 90s rock! Not only did they produce some of the greatest music of all time, they were trendsetters with style, image and sound. Get ready to take a trip down memory lane with our Greatest Artists of the 90s Bracket Madness. While dwelling in the utopia of nostalgia, vote for the artist you’d like to reign as the greatest artist of the 90s. What’s awesome about the music from that golden era is the diversity in choices–from grunge, r&b/soul, big balladeers or alternative rock–the 90s ruled with indelible artists of every genre.
In Round One it’s Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam and Boyz II Men takes on TLC. How will you choose between Nirvana, hello Kurt Cobain anyone, and the creators of “Black?” Also in Round One pop diva Mariah Carey and Celine Dion duke it out while Green Day and the Dave Matthews Band go head-to-head. Mariah’s five octave range versus Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” and the punk rock sound of Green Day versus the jazzy rock of Dave Matthews Band. Only one can win the coveted VH1 Greatest Artist of the 90s title.
Vote, vote and vote some more to see your favorite artist advance to the next round. Round One is open from today to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8. Round Two opens from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8 to 4 p.m on Friday, August 10. The final round voting opens at 4 p.m. Friday, August 10 and closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, August 13. Check back daily to see who’s in the lead.
Courtney Love hasn’t said one way or another if she liked Lana Del Rey‘s Nirvana cover. But she’s insistent that one thing be clear before Del Rey goes on with the cover: that the song was originally written about Love’s very own, so-called heart shaped box. Kurt Cobain‘s once wife Tweeted — Twitter being her chosen vehicle for all thoughts unhinged and some things so true — and then deleted two messages @-ed to the attention of Del Rey that said: “you do know the song is about my Vagina right? “ and “so umm next time you sing it, think about my vagina will you? lol xc.” Well then! Cobain’s lyrics are charged with meaning and myth, and thankfully we have Love to defend what truths may be among them.
It’s Friday, and the internet has so kindly graced us with two worthy covers to drive us into the weekend:
Last night in Sydney, Lana Del Rey gave Nirvana‘s “Heart Shaped Box” a stormy and orchestral cover. Nirvana has come to be considered sacred territory, just ask Miley Cyrus, who took serious flack for her “Smells Like Teen Spirit” cover, but Lana’s haunting voice makes for an interesting tribute. Her obsession with fame is not without understanding of Kurt Cobain’s obsession with escaping fame, and her belts of “Hey, wait, I’ve got a new complaint” feel almost as tortured as Kurt’s devastating originals, and she somehow managed to make the brutal “I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black” line sound feminine and delicate. This was a risk, but it seemed to work.
The Seattle scene of the late eighties and early nineties produced some of the most beloved rock bands not just of the last twenty years, but of all-time. The influence and impact that acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains had on the world of music, both artistically and commercially, cannot really be overstated. However, there is far more to the “grunge” story than just the rise and fall of these four bands, as author Mark Yarm goes to very impressive lengths to chronicle is his new book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History Of Grunge (now available in handy paperback form!)
Over the course of three years and change, Yarm interviewed over 250 key players in the Seattle scene of that now historic era, everyone from superstars like Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Courtney Love, to the owners of the storied Sub Pop record label, to bands like the U-Men and the Melvins that were very influential in the scene but never quite broke on a national level in the way that the Big Four did. The book was named one of the Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2011 by no less an authority than Time Magazine, and is full of so many entertaining stories and thrilling anecdotes that we have read it cover-to-cover TWICE. You should do the same!
We recently sat down with ELOT author Mark Yarm over a cocktail or two in Brooklyn and talked about many subjects relating to the book, everything ranging from what it’s like to receive manic phone calls from Courtney Love, to Seattle’s well-documented infatuation with heroin, to the “missed opportunity” that was Cameron Crowe‘s Pearl Jam Twenty.
VH1: One of the things that everyone, including myself, finds so impressive about this book is the comprehensiveness. You talked to virtually every major player in the Seattle scene. How did you go about convincing people that you were the person who could tackle this story?
Mark Yarm: The general rule of thumb was that the further away from the white hot epicenter of the grunge explosion of the early nineties, the easier it was. I had the Blender piece that this emerged from, which was an oral history of Sub-Pop on the occasion of their 20th anniversary in 2008. I had already spoken to a lot of the players, and that was a good calling card for me. Some people didn’t talk to me, most notably Pearl Jam since they had their own book coming out. They’re usually not the most accessible guys, anyway. I had spoken to Jeff [Ament] and Stone [Gossard] for the Blender piece, and I also talked to Matt Cameron through the Soundgarden people. I spoke to all their previous drummers, who, if you’ve seen the Cameron Crowe documentary [PJ20], they didn’t bother talking to those guys. They just kind of gloss over them in a funny interstitial.
Chris Cornell is one of the figures in the book that gets some crap because he was always ripping his shirt off. A lot of people, including people in his own band, didn’t like that he presented himself in that way. What was your sense of him, and did he ever tell you why he chose to be the shirtless guy?
There was a Mudhoney song, the song that this book gets its title after, called “Overblown.” It takes kind of a veiled jab at him (“And you’re up there, shirtless and flexin’ / Display of a macho freak”). I asked him about that song, and it didn’t really bother him. If you’re gonna be The Shirtless Guy, you gotta own it, I guess?
I don’t know, I’ve never been The Shirtless Guy!
Me neither! Not since infancy. But yeah, it was a small bone of contention because it was so ostentatious, and this was a scene that in many ways —not all ways, but in many ways— rejected that as “rock star behavior.”
Billy Corgan Compares Modern Musicians To “Strippers”
Billy Corgan got all “grumpy old man” in an interview at SXSW and said things like, “I was part of a generation that changed the world — and it was taken over by poseurs.” Everyone has an opinion, right? [Spin]
Courtney Love Has Beef With The Muppets
Even though it was approved by surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love is furious with The Muppets’ cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Ah, Courtney, will there ever be an end to the Love vs Everyone Else beef? [Pigeons & Planes]
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]
Nirvana Are Re-Releasing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” To Vie For Number One
We swear the late Kurt Cobain turns in his grave every time something like this happens. Nirvana decided to re-release “Smells Like Teen Spirit” when it came to the surviving band’s attention that fans were rallying to make the classic song Britain’s Christmas Number One over whoever takes out the X Factor crown. Sigh. [NME]
Lady Gaga Goes To The White House To Battle Bullies
Lady Gaga really does love her ‘Little Monsters.’ So much so, she’s heading to the White House to chat with Obama‘s administration about combating bullying. Go go Gaga activism! [Popdust]