September 16, 2011

Feeling Grungy

Today, the New York Times published a retrospective on “Seattle, Post Grunge,” some 20 years after Nirvana became a household name in North America. A multimedia recounting of the early 1990s Seattle sound was part of this look back at grunge rock’s stripped-down, high-energy aesthetic.

Courtesy of NY Times online
Key words: “retrospective”, “look back”…as I write this, I am reluctantly feeling my 40s. I even did the obligatory quiz to test my knowledge of grunge rock and passed with flying colors. Still, being a fan of the music that was popular during my university days no more made me a hardcore member of the grunge movement than it made anyone who bought LP records in the 1960s “real” hippies. I’m far too callow to commit to an artistic format that deeply; I just liked the raw intensity of the genre. (Still do.) I was in Seattle for a weekend adventure in mid-August 1990, although to my eternal regret it was to see a Mariners game at the Kingdome...arggh, what was I thinking?

The Times article on grunge was charming and I suspect it will resonate with my peers for the same reason I’m writing this post: it’s neat to see how one type of music ties a group of diverse people of similar age together at a point in their lives and, now, how the same music triggers 20-year-old-memories.  

For the record: the best grunge CD of all time is Pearl Jam’s “Yield” even though it was released in 1998, long after grunge music and the Seattle sound had lost its allure with the media.

I am truly looking forward to the day when the Rising Daughters are old enough to be subjected to the likes Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley on our car stereo. To the day when they scream from the back seat, “Turn that old crap music off, Dad.” I promise you, I will smile.

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