SPIN Loses Its ‘Mind’ On Nirvana Tribute Album
July 27th, 2011 | Entertainment
“Life is not nearly as sacred as the appreciation of passion,” Kurt Cobain mused in his posthumously published Journals. In a strange twist, just a few days prior to Amy Winehouse’s death, SPIN Magazine released ‘Newermind’ – a collection of reworked Nirvana songs – as an homage to the landmark ‘Nevermind’ turning 20. Lassoing artists like (P!nk producer) Butch Walker, Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls CEO), and Cobain faves the Vaselines and the Meat Puppets, the 12 infamous songs, now refashioned, cling more wholly to the commissioned artists, rather than the other way around. The hidden track “Endless Nameless” by EMA rounds out a well-intentioned, if at times hard-to-digest ode.
I don’t like tribute albums. I should’ve stated that earlier. At best, they are unnecessary (especially given the plethora of YouTube covers by artists and laypeople alike; and that Tori Amos already silenced us with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” before Kurt even flew off) at worst, they are insulting.
Like the painful confession by Jessica Lea Mayfield (covers track 9, Lounge Act), “I found out about Nirvana through the Foo Fighters. I’m sure I’m not the only one who walked that discovery trail.”
Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what Eddie Vedder would sound like doing “Polly,” as opposed to Palmer’s too-chilling and at times, too sparse, rendition. (BTW, Mazel Tov on your nuptials to Neil Gaiman!)
Available as a free download, the favor feels like salve on an inconsolable wound. Below, find a psychedelic Led Zeppelin-esque “In Bloom” by Butch Walker and The Black Widows. (You may recall his salty Taylor Swift cover of “You Belong with Me” which he later performed alongside the sexless blonde in her triage at the Grammys.)