Sunday, March 8, 2009
SOMETHING STUPID AND CONTAGIOUS
Nirvana perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on Top of the Pops. This four chord blitzkrieg attacked the world the year I moved to Seattle. In an instant, alternative rock was commercial, predatory A and R men descended upon Puget Sound, and sleek Paris runway models were sporting "Le Grunge." A screwed up Aberdeen kid from the muddy banks of the Wishkaw was suddenly a reluctant hero. He couldn't just "play the hit." As you can see, he did it his way. Punk or die.
This performance smells more like teen spirit than the official MTV-ready video. Ironic, right? In spite of the artifice, this is the real deal. A total refusal to simply entertain, to surrender, to just be stupid and contagious. We screened this clip during our underground garage party and people screamed and threw folding chairs. It was happy and kind of sad, and yet I guess it makes me smile. I found it hard--it's hard to find. Oh, well, whatever. Nevermind.