Still listening to Nirvana

Posted April 8th, 2009 by eric

It’s weird suddenly reading all these articles about Kurt Cobain that ask, rhetorically, if anyone still listens to Nirvana. I know today marks the anniversary of the day Cobain was found dead, which explains the plethora of Nirvana-related fare, but the fact that people wonder whether anyone still listens to Nirvana is what puzzles me. Why wouldn’t they? Is it assumed that Nirvana’s music is such that only an angst-ridden teen could appreciate it, and that those who were teens when Nirvana hit have all grown up? Most popular music that stands the test of time seems skewed to that very same demographic, so why would Nirvana be the exception that people stop listening to as they get older? Nirvana’s packaged hopelessness was no more nihilistic than punk’s no future ethos was, and people still listen to punk, regardless of age. I was primed and ready for Nirvana when Nevermind hit at the golden age of 17. No record had affected me quite the same way and, arguably, still hasn’t. I listened to that album every single day for at least six months after it came out. I shredded my throat singing along to it. It changed the way I appreciated music. And, while it’s true, I don’t specifically play Nevemind very often anymore, I still listen to Nirvana. I certainly don’t avoid them. In fact, this version of “Lounge Act” from the band’s legendary performance at the 1992 Reading Festival has me yearning for more.

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