Saturday, August 22, 2009

GOING BACKWARDS IN TIME WITH GRUNGE...
...another Rock Variation I'm just barely catching up to...
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When 'Grunge' music was happening in the Seattle area, and then spread to the rest of the nation and world, I must confess I Missed It All. I never had a chance to hear very much of it. I had never even heard a Nirvana album until 3 or 4 years ago. I found a 2nd-hand cassette of "Nevermind" (the one with the baby in the swimming pool on the cover) and listened to it more out of curiosity than anything else. "How depressing this music is", I thot. Despite all the news about group leader Kurt Cobain's demise, I honestly hadn't heard Nirvana, at all, before 2003. It's not because I don't like loud music; heck, I've listened to The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Soundgarden, The Dead Kennedys, and a group that called itself "X", as well as other sort-of punky, distorted, warped musical offerings by other similar groups. And having grown up on Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf and other heavy bands, I seem to have a need, still, to have my ears blasted out every once in a while. And I think I succeeded in doing that, listening to Nirvana. Plus, Nirvana's sound blasts obliterated some of that Waxy-ear-buildup I get from time to time. (Too much information, probably...)
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I found a copy of this videocassette (pictured, left) a while back. Nirvana "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!", which came out in 1994. Maybe I have a fascination with Dead Rock Stars; it's almost as if I'm bringing someone back to life for an hour and a half so I can see what they were all about. So I subjected myself to the Sonic Onslaught of Nirvana. "Sonic Onslaught" is, I think, a very accurate descriptive phrase, because there ain't nothin' pretty about Nirvana's sound. Not At All. It's a fully saturated, raw, blistering type of music which was intense, bordering on uncomfortably-intense. Kurt Cobain, the guitarist, lead vocalist and chief songwriter, certainly seemed to have a lot of Demons he was dealing with, and what better a way to air out your gripes than with music that approaches the roar of a 747 taking off.
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As I listened to this, I kept flashing back to the music of the Sex Pistols; they only issued one studio LP, back in 1977, and it was absolutely crammed to the gills with snarls, yells, overmodulation, frustration, anxieties, putdowns and rundowns, and I sensed a lot of those attitudes in Nirvana's music, too. The only difference, really, is that all of the Sex Pistols' songs were short and loud and very, very fast, whereas Nirvana dealt out the sonic anxieties in more deliberate fashion; the bass and drums work very well together, a bit more slowly in the tempo department, while out front, Cobain is screaming into the mike while flailing away on his guitar, coating every single note with absolute PAIN. Perhaps Cobain had felt the group had gone as far as it could go? Maybe he was feeling his group "sold out"? Perhaps he was feeling a lot of the pain which is implied in the music. Whatever the case, I'm sure Cobain was the voice of a generation, or at least part of a generation. Is there Actually That Much Angst in the world? There's probably more Angst out there now, since it's been 15 years since this video came out. Time is flyin' by, folks!
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I've needed a second tv, for use in the bedroom, 'cos I can't do any late viewing on my "main" TV, which happens to be in the Bird Room. They go to bed Early. (6pm!!!) (Does anyone out there know how to re-adjust the 'bedtime of a bird'?) Anyway, while shopping at Goodwill, I found one of those little TV's with a Videocassette player installed into the chassis, just below the screen. It has no remote, and it doesn't even have that ultra-fast-rewind-gear that newer units have. If you rewind, you'll see the entire film backwards as it wears out the tape heads trying to get back to the 'start' position. So you gotta find another way to 'rewind tape', like they did back in yesteryear, in the long-ago hazy days of the late 1980s/early 1990s. So I ended up taking one small step Backwards into the primitive times of yesteryear...join me, if you will, as I go trippin' back to the age of the Video Dinosaur...
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I ended up using something I've never used before: The Videocassette Rewinder. (Pictured at left) What a primitive concept, although it was undoubtedly a hot idea at the time...just think of it! You don't have to wear out your tape heads; let the rewinder preserve the life of your VCR! (How primitive that sounds now, don't it?) When you plop in the tape, it begins rewinding, although it doesn't sound high-tech at all (the tape whirrrrs by with thuds and clunks and bumps) but at least the tape gets rewound. Remember the old days when you rented a Videocassette, and there would be a big red sticker on it, with the words "Please Rewind". I guess that was a big deal, because, well, if you didn't, the next person to rent the video would have to risk wearing out his tape heads if he didn't have a rewinder.
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So I've managed to accomplish the impossible here: I've expanded my horizons by regressing backwards In Time, something akin, perhaps, to someone who's driven Maseratis their entire life jumping behind the wheel of a Stanley Steamer. I think the point I'm trying to make here, is that I never owned one of the old VCR units that took hours and hours and a degree in physics to hook up to yer TV; my first unit was a DVD/VCR unit that I bought back in 2003. I hooked it up in a matter of minutes; I doubt that I spent more than half-an-hour on it. So, by regressing as I have here, I now have a better idea of what folks in the old days used to have to do before all this high-falootin' technology came along.
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That's it for today's show, folks. Tune in next time when I try to replace my wristwatch with a portable sundial as I continue to regress thru my life at an ever-faster-pace...

4 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

:) Even though I have two of my sons in punk bands who are also both drummers, and amazing if I say so meself, I do not like loud music.... no no no.... I like to be able to hear the words..... and Im just grateful that my lads bands are 'new age punk' so its not like the old school stuff.. so, I love their noise :)

and oye, we still have VCRs LOL cos we had so many videos that I refused to lob them out, so thats why we still have VCRs, but that dont mean to say we dont have DVD players LOL

LOL@sundial..
x

9:34 AM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Hi, Marmieselle...(Like "Mademoiselle" only with your name in luded)...what's cool about VideoTapes is that they still look pretty good, and you can buy them in thrift shoppes (second-hand stores or whatever they're called in England), and they cost next to nothing.

Oh...regarding the other thing...the Sundial does have one minor glitch...it doesn't work on cloudy daze.....

9:04 PM  
Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

:) we dont call them thrift shops, we call them 'Charity Shops' - some are 'The British Heart Foundation' - 'Scope' (which is the old spastic society) - 'Dr Barnardos' (look him up on google) - 'Save The Children' and so the list goes on..... We had loads of kids videos from when my lads were little, which I have kept for the minded nippers, and I often pop in the charity shops to see what other old videos they have for pennies....

I find my sundial watch is a bugger to use at night LOL

x

12:10 AM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Marmie...problems with your sundial at night? I have the answer: Get a FLASHLIGHT. You can find 'em cheap at any thrift shop. Just about all the Thrift Shops here have a charity where much of the proceeds go to. There's even a Thrift Shop which helps finance the Humane Society. Maybe I should start my own thrift shop. Then everyone could contribute to ME.

2:55 AM  

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