Monday, April 7, 2014
Who Gives a Shit?
I certainly don't miss, nor do I care, about the legacy of Kurt Cobain.
What was he? A guy who got lucky and made a good album and a half of music that a lot of people bought when you could still buy music? The guy who killed hair metal?
He overshadowed Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains; he was not really replaced so much as he was discarded in favor of bands like Green Day. If you want to be technical about it, the legacy of Billie Joe Armstrong is much, much stronger in terms of playing for years at a high level and releasing tremendously successful albums. Nirvana has one really good album. Green Day have more than five. WTF?
I just cannot venerate or tolerate those who kill themselves. I don't worship Ian Curtis, I still think Michael Hutchence was a victim of autoerotic asphyxiation, and I don't know why so many talented people just give up and let the gift of this life slide away. Cobain could have controlled his own art and his own legacy in the way that Radiohead controlled it--they formed a collective that cooperated in defeating the efforts of their fans to hold them to one kind of guitar music.
The previous generation had a slew of drug casualty heroes and suicides, which are almost entirely the same thing. This generation had Cobain. And he wasn't even that good, so there's that. If the dude from Hootie and the Goddamn Blowfish had been thinking of his future, he would have killed himself, too. Everyone would be calling him a genius based on one good album as well. After all, he lives in that select group of artists that have sold 15 million or more albums; Nirvana isn't even close to that. You have Backstreet Boys albums that have sold more. Double WTF.
We are cursed with what happened to the music industry in the 1990s. Good God, did it suck. And it drowns us today with mediocrity and bullshit.