In further evidence that the 1990s are indeed coming back (see our story from earlier this month) Spin magazine has just released a special download of artists covering the classic Nirvana album that was actually released 20 years ago.
The result is a fun, and novel mix. It may be just the sort of thing you enjoy without much analysis, but if you do want to take a deeper look, here's our thoughts on the breakdown of styles.
Meat Puppets do "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and The Vaselines do "Lithium," both making an effort to steer away from the original Nirvana versions. They must have figured, "Well, Nirvana made our songs their own, so we have to make their songs our own!" The brothers Meat make "Teen Spirit" sound like it could have been from their "Meat Puppets II" album and The Vaselines practically beg David Lynch to use their cover in his next movie with its sheer eeriness. But if you're going to have people who were close to the flame, why not twist Dave Grohl's arm and get the Foo Fighters to do a tune on here?
Bands that Nirvana obviously influenced
Telekinesis do a straight-ahead "On a Plane," Titus Andronicus do a by-the-book "Breed" and Surfer Blood does "Territorial Pissings" without marking their own area.) The only thing they missed in this monkey-see/monkey-do arena was not getting Deer Tick to participate. Those guys killed as Deer-vana at this year's SXSW fest. Maybe they'll be on the "In Utero" tribute?
Left-field for the lefty guitarist
But what is most exciting about this collection are left-field interpretations that Kurt Cobain would have appreciated such as Amanda Palmer's glockenspiel-led "Polly" and Foxy Shazam's Queen-inspired "Drain You." (Remember, Kurt did mention Freddie Mercury in his suicide note. That's it, nine lines down on the right.) And "Stay Away" as a soul song by Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band? Absolutely awesome! Jessica Lee Mayfield's narcotic acoustic approach to "Lounge Act" is another one you'll be dropping into your turntable.fm queue soon.
But don't take our word for it. Download it yourself by visiting the Spin Facebook site. Oh and hey, visit the Metro Monthly Music Podcast Facebook site and click that you like it while you're making the rounds on FB.
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