Throwback Thursday: “Doll Parts” by Hole

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20 Years Post-Kurt Cobain

A lot of sites are posting about Kurt Cobain today, 20 years after his death. Of those I’ve read, I find Time’s the most interesting since it has quotes from members of Soundgarden, Weezer and The Roots about Nirvana. I hadn’t planned to write anything myself for the same reason I didn’t review the 20th anniversary edition of In Utero…that icky feeling of capitalizing on a tragedy. But the significance of today and the memories it evokes are much stronger than any misgivings I felt before, so here we go…

I was a high school freshman 20 years ago and I, along with most of my classmates, was in love with everything connected to Grunge. I dyed my hair black, raided my brother’s and grandfather’s closets for old flannel shirts and traded mixtapes with friends made up of songs by Temple of the Dog, Tool, Pearl Jam and, of course, Nirvana. We all watched their videos on MTV with an almost religious fervor and had excited debates about their music in between (and sometimes during) classes.

Previous generations remembered where they were when Kennedy was shot and we all know where we were on 9/11. But, in between, I always remembered the moment when MTV News announced Kurt Cobain was dead. I was home sick from school that week watching our huge, ancient living room television and that’s where I stayed for days, glued to the news coverage in a way that was unusual in those pre-24-hour-news days. I cried as Courtney Love read her husband’s suicide note to a crowd of his fans.

Across the sea in Ireland the same day, Brendan heard the news on Irish radio. Which in itself is kind of amazing considering it was such a different time in music, in life, then. Long before the internet connected everything and everyone and gave local bands a worldwide audience. It was somewhat of a miracle at that time for the Seattle music scene and subsequently Cobain’s death to make such an international impact. Or maybe it wasn’t. There certainly hasn’t been anything since that sounds like this….

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 11

What can I say about Hole’s Live Through This that I haven’t already said here a million times? It remains one of my all-time favorite albums and I think it is one of the – if not the absolute – best rock albums ever recorded. In my opinion, songs like “Violet,” “Miss World,” “Plump” and “Doll Parts” hold their own against the best of any respected all-male classic rock band. The second half of Live Through This – with the exception of the awesome finale “Rock Star” (which will always be “Olympia” in my mind) – isn’t as strong as the first, which is why I always rewound the cassette after “Doll Parts” back in high scool. But the overall album – particularly the first six songs and the final track – is one big, loud, screaming, quaking ride. Any youngsters who’ve recently discovered “classic rock” bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden (yes, we are really that old, people) should check out Hole. Next we’ll follow the example of Lindsay on Freaks & Geeks

This week’s classic album is…The Grateful Dead: American Beauty

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 10

Last week’s selection, The Doors’ self-titled debut, played like a greatest hits album. The first half of the CD features back-to-back favorites “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” “Soul Kitchen,” “The Crystal Ship,” “Twentieth Century Fox,” “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar),” “Light My Fire” and “Back Door Man”. The Doors are one of those polarizing bands that people either love or hate, rarely does there seem to be an in-between. I fall into the former category, having been one of those teenage girls who fell obsessively in love with Jim Morrison’s voice in high school. My personal favorite Doors songs are “Whiskey, Mystics & Men,” “Hyacinth House,” and their instrumental cover of “Albinoni’s Adagio In G Minor,” but the songs on their self-titled debut aren’t far behind. Listening to the album straight through on a roadtrip this past weekend was a very enjoyable experience.

This week’s classic album is…Hole: Live Through This

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Elsewhere: Hole, Elspeth, The Stone Foxes, Abby

It’s been a while since I had time to read other music blogs, let alone post about them. But it’s a lazy Friday and I’ve been browsing elsewhere, and found some great posts to share with you…

First up is Muruch‘s occasional Chicago gig reviewer Chelle‘s heartfelt, eloquent essay on her Northern Downpour Tumblr regarding her history with and deep love for Hole’s Live Through This album (still one of my all-time faves) and all things Courtney Love.

Next Rawk Blog shares a fantastic mp3 of “Song for Goodbyes” by Irish rock band Elspeth, which Dave accurately compares to The Bends-era Radiohead (the best Radiohead era, in my opinion).

My girl Tart at Love Shack, Baby has the great, retro-influenced blues-rock mp3 “I Killed Robert Johnson” by The Stone Foxes.

And finally, my favorite blog post series continues to be Abby’s Road. Her most recent ramble is about nostalgia and music.