Book Review: Teen Spirit

1196433Title: Teen Spirit: The Stories Behind Every Nirvana Song

Author: Chuck Crisafulli

My Rating: ★★★1/2

Summary: Teen Spirit tells the story behind every track on the band’s albums. Why did Kurt Cobain feel moved to write “Polly”? What is Teen Spirit? Who is Floyd the Barber? The book follows Nirvana from its earliest beginnings to rock superstardom, pinpointing the genesis of each of the band’s original songs, and exploring the sources from which they chose to cover songs that punctuated their records. This is the story of the most important band in what will surely stand as one of the most important times in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.”

My Thoughts:

I just want to start this review by noting the irony in this book just existing, as it is exactly what Kurt Cobain didn’t like: people dissecting his lyrics and music. (As you can see below…)

Now to be fair, the book does tend to mostly tell the stories behind the songs, but it does also look into what songs mean, which is the part he didn’t love. Regardless, it’s a pretty good book. Which is what I am here to discuss.

I really liked the pictures used in Teen Spirit a lot. There were many good shots of Nirvana performing, as well as from photoshoots. There are also pictures of The Vaselines and the Meat Puppets, (as well as some other bands), to show the bands Nirvana covered and appreciated.

One thing I will say is that Teen Spirit is not an incredibly in-depth look at Nirvana’s discography. Many of the stories told in the book are well known or at least not unknown. It does put all of these stories in one place for each song, but I think many people who are big Nirvana fans (like myself) will have already heard some of the stories previously.

Overall, it was a good look at Nirvana’s incredible ability to create great music and why it was created. It told their story, but mostly just musically, which is a bit refreshing given most Nirvana books focus on Kurt Cobain and his death. It is a good book for anyone who wants to learn more about Nirvana and how they created their music.


Playlist:

For this playlist, I based the song choices off of stories from Teen Spirit that I found to be especially interesting. (Which means, of course, this playlist consists of only Nirvana songs or covers they did). Additionally, I included performances for each song!

  1. Floyd the Barber
  2. Hairspray Queen
  3. Territorial Pissings
  4. School
  5. Mr. Mustache
  6. Scentless Apprentice
  7. Paper Cuts
  8. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
  9. Plateau
  10. Where Did You Sleep Last Night

You can hear the full playlist here.

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So 2016…

2016 was not a good year for many, many people. I could name many reasons that 2016 was a hard year, but that doesn’t seem very helpful. There are enough people pointing out the bad parts, so I thought I’d make a post about the good parts of this year. Here are some things that went well for me this year:

  1. I fell in love with some great bands: Foo Fighters, Hole, Nirvana and Hands Off Gretel.
  2. I went to two great concerts with my friends! I saw Troye Sivan in February and Melanie Martinez in March, here are some videos from them:
    1. Melanie Martinez
    2. Troye Sivan
      1. (Creds. to my friends!)
  3. I met my friend Taryn for the first time in person (and we didn’t take a picture for some dumb reason ughhhh).
  4. I finished my sophomore year of high school.
  5. I survived my first quarter of IB classes as a junior.
  6. Bruno Mars released a great new album, and I made plans to go see him when he comes to Minnesota! On August 5, 2017!
  7. I made this blog.
  8. I made new friends and got closer some other friends.
  9. I wrote more (still not as much as I wanted to though).
  10. I had fun with my hair by cutting it really short and then months later dying it (twice):

    What was good for you in 2016? I hope you have a great 2017!

15 of the Saddest Lyrics I Know

First of all, I want to quickly apologize for how long it’s been since I last posted. I’ve been pretty busy with school and Driver’s Ed, but now I have more free time and it’s spring break! Finally! Anyway, onto the post!


I listen to a lot of music, much of which is really sad. But some of those really sad songs are really beautifully written, so I thought I would share them with you. I’m all apologies in advance if you cry *ba boom chhh*

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At least Kurt thinks I’m funny

(If you didn’t get it, All Apologies is a song on the 1993 album by Nirvana, In Utero.) Anyways, on to the crying.

There are going to be four quotes in a row from Troye Sivan, because he likes tearing my heart apart, apparently…

“So what are you waiting for?
‘Cause someone could love you more
I’m just a lost boy, lost boy.”- LOST BOY by Troye Sivan

“Yeah, we knew from the beginning
That this wasn’t never ending
Shouldn’t stay too long
‘Cause we’re both too young
To give into forever.”- LOST BOY by Troye Sivan

Yes. Both of those extremely sad lyrics came from one song. It’s so good, but so sad. 

“‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder’
Said by someone stronger than me.”- DKLA by Troye Sivan

“I don’t mind that I know that you’re wrong
I don’t mind that you think you’re right
All I want is a fight to fight
Anything but quiet.”- THE QUIET by Troye Sivan

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My heart hurts

But we must continue!

“Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here, it’s safe here, I’ll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open.”- Broken Open by Adam Lambert

This one is a little more inspirational, but still super sad. The whole song is about falling to pieces. If that’s not sad, I don’t know what is.

“Think I got myself in trouble
So I fill the bath with bubbles
Then I’ll put the towels all away
Should’ve never said the word ‘love’
Threw a toaster in the bathtub
I’m sick of all the games I have to play.”- Soap by Melanie Martinez

Here’s another Melanie lyric, this time about rape, capturing the idea in a very chilling way.

“Eenie meenie miny mo
Catch a lady by her toes
If she screams, don’t let her go.”- Tag You’re It by Melanie Martinez

Back to the subject of relationships, here’s another one…

“Wish I could just find a way
To have all your memories erased
‘Cause constantly they’re haunting me.”- Can’t Let You Go by Adam Lambert

“I wish I was like you
Easily amused.”- All Apologies by Nirvana

And more Nirvana…this one is a bit more bittersweet, but still pulls on your heartstrings.

“She loves him more than he will ever know
He loves her more than he will ever show.”- Swap Meet by Nirvana

“Radio – radio
I’d sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights.”- Radio Ga Ga by Queen

More Queen…

“Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.”- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

This next one deals with war in such an interesting way. It’s another Troye Sivan lyric.

“Let’s go have fun, you and me in the old Jeep
Ride around town with our rifles on the front seat
Fun, you and me in the Middle East
Shooting at rocks, bullets cocked in the midday sun
You and me in the old Jeep
Ride around town with our rifles on the front seat
Fun, you and me in the Middle East
Shooting at rocks, bullets cocked in the midday sun.”- Fun by Troye Sivan

Any song dealing with death is sad, but this one stabs me in my heart. The artist knew he was going to die when he wrote it, and knowing that makes the whole song so much sadder.

“Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands.”- Clouds by Zack Sobiech

This one is not necessarily about death, but I listened to it after someone I knew died, so I associate it with that, and it’s a very sad song any way you look at it.

“But you are not alone
I am here with you
Though we’re far apart
You’re always in my heart.”- You Are Not Alone by Michael Jackson

Ugghhhh…ouch my heart. I don’t know why I do this to myself! But the songs are so beautiful, so I guess I understand why. I made a playlist with all of these songs on it, so go listen to it hereClouds is not included on the playlist because it’s not on Spotify, so sorry for that, but I have the link to listen to it on YouTube here.

Comment Below: What is one of your favorite sad lyrics?

Mash-Up Mini Series, Song #10

I’m starting to realize this title is a little stupid. 12 songs is kind of a lot. Oh well. I’m not changing the name of this series now.

This one I first heard a few years ago. I have a live performance of this by Bruno Mars, but on account of the fact that he didn’t come up with this, I also linked one that wasn’t a live performance. I wouldn’t have thought of these songs going together, but it works really well. The mash-up is: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

This was uploaded by DI4VOLO, I hope you like it! Now on to the live performance…

This video was uploaded by Purple Wire, so thank you! This performance is so good 🙂 I hope you like it as much as I do.

Check out the rest of the series:

 

Vinyl Haul

I got to buy some music on Saturday in the form of vinyl! I bought two records, both from Barely Brothers in St. Paul. I went looking for Queen and Nirvana, and ended up getting one album from each, which I’m very happy with. They were both new as well 🙂

91zzp0mmutl-_sx355_Title: MTV Unplugged in New York

Artist: Nirvana

Rating: I’ve only heard it three times, but I think it deserves: ★★★★★. I never expect this to go down, even after I’ve heard it many times, I mean this performance is legendary and so good.

Favorite Song: This is super difficult to answer, but one of my favorites is “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” I love the way Kurt’s voice sounds on this, especially towards the end.

91gry6fzecl-_sx355_Title: News of The World

Artist: Queen

Rating: Again, I’ve only heard this two and a half times, but as of now, I give this album ★★★★★. Again, I never expect my rating to go down, because I love Queen, and it’s Queen! I expect no less.

Favorite Song: Other than the obvious choices of either “We Will Rock You” or “We Are The Champions,” which are both really great, legend-wait for it-DARY (does anyone get that reference? I love Barney Stinson!) songs, I would probably say “Sheer Heart Attack.” It’s really fun and upbeat. Even though the lyrics are more somber, I still have a lot of fun dancing and singing to it.

Comment Below: Do you like Nirvana or Queen? If so, what is your favorite song?