Nirvana

Satan, Saturn, and Rock’n’Roll: The Mythology of the 27 Club

Sandra Canosa

Alan Wilson of Canned Heat, Pete Ham of Badfinger, Pigpen McKernan of the Grateful Dead, Kristen Pfaff of Hole, Chris Bell of Big Star, and Amy Winehouse have all passed in the midst of their prime, at age 27. Some comprehensive lists span 50 names or more. It is an uncanny fact that more musicians seem to die at age 27 than at any other age – one that, since Cobain’s death in 1994, have sent conspiracy theorists reeling. 

Exploring Seattle’s Thriving Music Scene

Melinda Parks

It’s no wonder Seattle has been dubbed the “City of Music.” A small town, geographically isolated from mainstream record industries in New York, Chicago, and LA and steeped in the independent spirit of its northwest settlers, Seattle eventually gave rise to an innovative and wholly unique musical scene. In the late 60s, it gave the world rock legend Jimi Hendrix. In the late ‘80s, its underground hardcore punk and heavy metal influences fused to create grunge, made popular nationwide by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. As the ‘90s gave way to the aughts, it became a launching pad for a host of indie rock bands (think Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, or The Head and the Heart).

Only the Good Die Young: Remembering Ill-Fated Icons

Mike Mariani

There has always been something highly conspicuous about our obsession with the macabre deaths of famous people. There is the aforementioned Sylvia Plath bowing into the oven, playing Gretel to the wicked witches in her head; Kurt Cobain and all the conspiracy theories casting a gaseous haze around that sinister shotgun; even Anna Nicole Smith, who has been immortalized, paradoxically, because the narrative of her life seemed so destined to end in sordid, premature death. 

Paying Homage to Punk and Hip-Hop, Death Grips Rebels Against the Mainstream

John McGovern

A new independent group, Death Grips, merges punk and hip-hop, amongst a kaleidoscope of other genres, creating tracks filled with boldness, impatience, licentiousness and jolts of unfettered creativity. But the group’s chaotic sound isn’t exactly hedonistic or apathetic; it is, at its core, a call to the audience to create themselves. If Sir Philip Sidney was resurrected, he would probably approve: for not only do they delight the audience, but they move the audience to action. 

Legendary Rocker Dave Grohl Breaks Through the Wall of ‘Sound’

Mark Bizzell

Grohl has assembled an assortment of diverse music legends for interviews throughout the movie, including Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Rick Springfield and Barry Manilow.  All these artists and more, including Fleetwood Mac, have recorded at the now defunct Sound City Studios, a run down, hole-in-the-wall recording studio in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles that contained a unique soundboard, the Neve console, in the age before digital recordings.  

Rhapsodies of the ‘Golden Era’

Andrew Cothren

For those of us who worship at the altar of pop culture, it’s easy to suffer crises of faith. We look at television ratings and see crime dramas and reality shows dominating the landscape while critically acclaimed comedies stand constantly at the brink of cancellation. We look at box office returns, where sequels and CGI-heavy blockbusters make hundreds of millions at the expense of smaller, more original films. We shake our heads when manufactured hits (or their inevitable Glee a capella cover versions) come across our radio airwaves.

 

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