Music – Kurt Cobain and exploring music

I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog post but I did want to put something up on this date quite simply because of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. They’re my favourite band and Kurt Cobain is my favourite songwriter. However, the problem with your favourite musician being dead is that there’s no hope of any new releases even on the distant horizon and you know that the supply of home-recordings and behind the scenes riffs will eventually run out so I have been listening to an awful lot of new music recently.

I started with the bands that I really should listen to more like System of a Down, The Libertines and Queens of the Stone Age. I loved it a lot, particularly Queens. Then I started moving down the YouTube route of looking at post-punk bands a bit like Paramore (even though I don’t listen to Paramore at all and have no real interest to) because they just seemed to keep coming up in my suggestions.

Icon for Hire, Halestorm (bleh! Not for me) The Marmozets, Scarlett Riot, The Dirty Youth, Of Eyes That See, To Paint The Sky and Darling Parade. YouTube led me down some weird, female-fronted punk band road that I quite enjoyed. Obviously, it’s only on subsequent listens that you see if you really like a band and, having gone back, not all these have the longevity of others but I still enjoyed their music and that’s a plus.

Death cab for cutie is another that I have been listening to a lot, Blink 182, Seether, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and anything uploaded by the YouTube channel Stoned Meadow of Doom (and Stoned Meadow of Doom 2) usually tickles my fancy. I’ve really expanded the range of music that I listen to and I really love it.

However, there’s one band that I really love that I only discovered yesterday. Bikini Kill are everything that punk should be. It’s vulgar, to the point, heavy, loud and simple. I absolutely love them. I’ve tried to listen to the Riot Grrl movement before with Sleater Kinney and The Slits but, at the time, didn’t find it to my tastes at all. I’ll probably go back and relisten in the next week but, particularly for Sleater Kinney, I hold out little hope.

The point that I’m trying to make is, basically, that it’s so easy to try so many different things with the internet and I think everyone should. I think I have gone overboard a bit with the range of things I’m listening to but certainly trying out new things on a whim doesn’t really cost you anything now and, if you listen to music for 8 to 16 hours a day like me (it basically depends how much time I spend doing maths and gaming. The only time I’m not listening to music is when I’m hanging out with friends or watching something) then you have plenty of time to listen to the songs you can sing along to.

I would also encourage people, wherever possible, to go out and support live music. I don’t care what it is (though seeing pop live is questionable at best) just go out and enjoy it. The live night at my university is criminally under attended compared to the club-nights they do every week and it was really good to see Asylum really packed when I went there for Mercury Rising’s album launch last week. Short review of that night however, Mercury Rising were not performing as well as they had been built up to be by the other bands they had invited, however, Daxx & Roxanne, Kill The Freak and The Antiques were all really quite impressive, particularly The Antiques as it was their first show.

So this is how I am going to spend the 22nd anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death; listening to punk and post-punk bands that I have never heard of before with an emphasis on ones with women in because, in my iTunes library, they are criminally underrepresented and I want to change that. In fact, out of curiosity I just checked how many and, excluding samples and electronic and dance tracks in general, there are 7 female musicians that feature. That said, doing a count, I only have 54 bands that I own more than 5 songs for, which is quite frustrating actually. That’s what you get for having a 2GB iPod Shuffle and never upgrading.

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