15 - Influences

20 + 1 Questions with Ben!
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:13 am

15 - Influences

Post by MegBot3000 »

What kind of music were you influenced by early on and how do you feel these influences have helped to shape your career?
WhiteSwirl takes no responsibility for MegBot malfunctions.
Pinball Wizard
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:40 am

Re: 15 - Influences

Post by subpopfan1 »

My involvement in all this mess can be traced back solely to Nirvana. One's first exposure to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really is that watershed moment for people my age. But I think a lot gets muddled in hindsight. Most people forget (or don't know) that Pearl Jam's Ten came out BEFORE Nevermind and that Pearl Jam's Vs. sold more than FIVE times as many copies in its first week than In Utero did and they were only released a month apart. Ten has sold 3 million more copies than Nevermind while it gets not even half the importance heaped upon it. I personally remember at the end of 1993, early 1994 vaguely favoring Vs. to In Utero. But once Cobain died it totally flipped the tables. There was, all of a sudden, some deeper meaning to it all. The death instantly glorified the music. Their Unplugged performance was immediately imbued with some sort of haunting aura. It basically made Nirvana the cooler band. And there were definitely more layers to Nirvana once one began to investigate. Azzerad's Come as You Are book was essential and you can be sure that every band name mentioned in that book was permanently etched into my cortex as a signifier of cool. From there I began to search out bands like Sonic Youth and Mudhoney and was (at the time surprisingly) excited when I discovered I sincerely liked their music. You search out a copy of the Vaselines' Sub Pop compilation and the Germs collection for their obvious Nirvana connections and it all starts amassing into an expansive web. The Breeders mix into it all too (Last Splash was the first CD I ever purchased) and pretty soon there's a personal music identity that, while still wholly indebted to what I was exposed to via MTV and 89x radio, was all mine. Pearl Jam's "Self-Pollution Radio" juggernaut of early '95 had close to the same effect as far as opening my eyes to new things, but ultimately it caught me a little too late and only about half that stuff interested me (whereas Nirvana's successful recommendation rate hovered closer to 90%). It would all be quite different had Cobain not died when he did. It really was a sea change.
User avatar
Fate Accelerator
Posts: 2831
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:17 am
Location: Citadel Hill

Re: 15 - Influences

Post by 7th_son »

Great read, thanks! I remember getting Vs., Ten, and Nevermind all at the same time through one of those 10 CDs for 1 cent deals, what a deal for me. Some of my first exposure to that type of music as well and I also still remember seeing the Smells Like Teen Spirit video for the first time on muchmusic. I was fascinated and stunned and never looked back. That video was like a giant fork in the road for me.
Little Acorn
Posts: 452
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:33 am

Re: 15 - Influences

Post by LaurieAK »

It's so interesting how generations seem to meld so much more than before in the sixties. Here I am at fifty still loving a lot of new stuff and still loving the old...and in the reverse, when music was made is not so important to younger generations (if they have any sense) and tastes vary decades. So long to that olde "generation gap" that used to define us when 'groovy' wasn't ironic.

I've had Patti Smith's "Teen Spirit" on frequent play lately...And if you haven't heard Polyphonic Sprees, "Lithium" I think you're missing out.

Death really does elevate artists, doesn't it? Plath is the same way, really. When Kurt Cobain died, my grandfather was still alive and living in Portland. He wrote my mom and said that Iris and Leland's grandson is making all the papers (Iris Cobain was my grandmother's niece)--it was then I realized why I recognized that last name. I guess he was like my second cousin. My family is from Aberdeen. It is a surreal bit of trivia, since I am still isolated from the Aberdeen clan here in AK.

It took me listening to covers to appreciate Nirvana. Their music intimidated me when it was fresh off the press.
Post Reply