“Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana (1993)

3 12 2008

Nirvana blew the doors open to the Seattle music scene, paving the way for the grunge explosion in the ’90’s, but also blazing a new trail for alternative music in general.  Their breakthrough album, “Nevermind,” is just incredible.

This track comes from their third and final album, “In Utero,” an album I vividly remember craving its release date.  It’s an edgy, raw, sublime record that did not disappoint.  It didn’t sell as well as “Nevermind,” and apparently the band was just fine with that.  They were proud of this record, as they should be.  It had respectable sales (as if that really matters), but more importantly, the album was lauded by their peers as well as critics.

Unfortunately, Kurt Cobain, the singer/songwriter/guitarist, died shortly after this record was released.  I remember first hearing of his death, and just feeling awful about it.  I really considered Mr. Cobain to be the Bob Dylan or John Lennon of my generation.  He had the talent, the vision, and the potential to really shake things up, as he proved in his short life.

Why do all of our heroes die young?  So many visionaries, busy creating such beauty and positive change in the world, and they are taken away so soon.  The list is depressingly long, people like Bob Marley, Tim Buckley, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, JFK, MLK, RFK, just to name a few.

Why do crusty old conservative hacks, who do nothing but obstruct any effort at progress or reconciliation, live long lives, dying peacefully of old age?

Something is seriously wrong with this system.

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