You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

January, 2013

The historical context of Smells Like Teen Spirit

The historical significance of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.
I know I've mentioned this in the past, but I really love to read or listen to people who know lots about something (like music) describe why someone within that discipline (like a band) is good. Reading this little retrospective on Nirvana and Smells Like Teen Spirit feels a little like that. An excerpt:
Nirvana had the right song at the right time. Guys like these guitar store guys had seemingly never heard anything quite like it. They had been listening to classic rock, likely some Pat Metheney, Leo Kotke, and prog rock, no doubt. They probably listened at one point or another to some Clash and Ramones. But this song represented something significantly different for them. It astonished them like a shiny object. They hit repeat again.
I liked Nirvana, but I didn't know why. (Or I did know why: Because MTV told me it was "good".) You hear a lot of people say they were overrated or underrated or rated just right, but they seldom give any historical context for why they mattered at the time other than some weird cultural Gen X explanation. I'm not sure how true this explanation is, but it comes from a very interesting place.
January 23, 2013
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.