Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ages of Rock

Last week I got so unbelievably excited beyond belief when I found, much to the new-found amazement of FREEVIEW, that BBC4 were running a 'Nirvana Night'. Of course, remaining my eternal favourite band 4eva & 4eva this would be... interesting. How many hours of it could I watch without falling asleep? Nah, well I ended up recording them, and thank my lucky stars I did.

First off was the iconic Nirvana 'Live at Paramount Theatre, 1992' which featured Dave powerhouse, Kurt floppy hair and bouncy Krist running through their new found hits in their new, new stardom. The best 'song' of the set ended up being for me, the one that I'd least expect overall, 'Endless, Nameless'. Oh gosh, more than anything else, the ENERGY that it provided out of my television screen was out of this world. I'd stare at my screen, transfixed, not being able to move because I might miss something if I'd literally blinked. Cue Pete Townshend smashing and looping guitar movements, fun fun fun.

Coincidentally, If you were to break down the structure of 'Endless, Nameless' (which is funny because it's supposedly totally obscure, with no structure or sense of being- just total orgasmic punk rock) it's literally Very loud- Paced 'quiet'- Very loud- Paced 'quiet', which was a dynamic practically invented by the Pixies.

The Pixies and their legacy were discussed in detail on the next program 'Seven Ages of Rock' - Black Francis and Kim Deal discussed their Nirvana-inventing, soul inspiring musical song structures, and it was actually so interesting. This was a program that actually discussed, in detail, the rhythms of Kim Deal's bass line in "Where is my Mind?" and why that makes her a good bassist, better than others and Black Francis broke down the eternal Pixies hardcore fan favourite, 'Gouge Away'. After watching this program, 'Gouge Away' is now one of my favourites, being so ridiculously clever and simple simultaneously. It's memorable, because it's different and it demonstrates such beautiful melody with the Punk Rock ethos still intact. Francis runs through the line on an acoustic during the program, and I don't want to give much away, but he's still got it. If only Pixies were doing a UK tour soon... But anyway, make sure you check out the informatively factual Seven Ages, because it is the only doc I've seen that cares about the music and doesn't talk about any of the other selling media nonsense like "their songs got more painful blah blah blah cause she was on heroin blah blah and he was too blah blah music junkies vanity fair blah marriage blah she's a bitch". The program that came after, "The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain", I don't want to talk about, because it made me cry that much. It's very well done, but so sad I felt depressed for hours after.

But in the meantime, here's some Pixies to feed your brain. Because once you like Pixies, there is no going back. It is a way of life.

Fun fact for you: this is the Brixton gig in 1991 that they did that Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl supposedly 'snuck into'. Rock star stories amaze me.

P.S. I've got my family so educated on Nirvana my Grandad even watched the Paramount performance and said Dave Grohl was 'wow... he's just such a powerful drummer, isn't he?'. I've got him interested... and I hope anybody that reads this blog can be, too.