Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The historical context of 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 // This post is about: , , ,

Subscribing to Music

Almost three years ago I wrote a little aside in a blog post about subscriptions about how I wished that I could subscribe to my favorite label’s releases for the year. The label I had in my mind was Morr Music and the service didn’t exist yet.

Now, a few years later, the fine folks at Ghostly have built Drip.fm, a service that allows labels to distribute music to fans who can subscribe to receive all releases. I’ve been a fan since they launched and was incredibly excited to get an email this morning saying they’ve added Morr Music.

It’s fun when these things happen.

June 1, 2012 // This post is about: , , , ,