Teenage Angst Has Payed Off Well



The big giant mega blowout HE Store sale is over, and we are putting the final touches on the new HE store which will soon live HERE.


In Utereo, an album that defined my youth and shaped the way I would love music for a decade to come turns 20 years old this week. To commemorate the fact that Nirvana hasn’t generated as much revenue as it could have since the mid 90’s, the record company/rights holder to Nirvana’s catalog have rereleased In Utero in a 3 disc mega box set situation with a remastered 2013 version of each song, a few b-sides that have been available since the albums original release in 1993, a bunch of EXTREMELY rough, instrumental demos and the audio from Nirvana’s 1993 Mtv Live and Loud concert (the only thing in this collection that I don’t believe has ever been officially available in audio-only format).

It might sound like I, a person for whom discovering Nirvana changed their life in a PROFOUND way, am not entirely enthusiastic about this release. This would be mostly true seeing as how A) it marks my further decent into the void as age creeps up behind me, wrapping it’s silky, wispy fingers around my throat and whispering… hissing in my ear, “Soooooon, Friend. Soooooon,” and B) It doesn’t really offer a true Nirvana fan… anything. I suppose the casual fan that remembers being fairly familiar with flannel 20 years ago might enjoy the 4 or 5 b-sides (Marigold, Moist Vagina, I Hate Myself And Want to Die, Sappy, etc.) they’ve never heard, but old school listeners like myself actually had to seek out the b-sides in the ACTUAL RECORD STORES to listen to these musical morsels. Among them, Marigold (a Dave Grohl song which was later rerecorded and released by Foo Fighters) and Sappy are the only songs you might want to listen to more than once.

Which brings up my major complaint with rereleases like this: They aren’t going to unearth any new high quality Nirvana recordings. Ever. There was one (You Know You’re Right), but it came out years ago for the 20th anniversary of Nevermind. That was it.  Every other “never before heard” thing is going to be a garbage recording from a tape deck, or a blown out, unmastered, meandering noise jam (there are two of these on the In Utereo rerelease). And don’t even get me started about the utter mess that was 90% of the content on With The Lights Out (the 700ish disc set of mostly unlistenable Nirvana b-sides, rarities and live performances). These are recordings that you can listen exactly once, go, “Huh. Well. That was certainly something,” then go back to listening to the same 11 songs you remember from the first time you bought the record. Even the remastered versions of the album tracks offer very little in terms of new discovery. The left/right balance is different and you can hear more of the duo-tracked vocals and guitar parts (where the same exact part is recorded twice, and played on top of each other to get a subtle variation in the sound and make it sound larger without adding additional parts or instrumentation), but that’s about it.

So check out In Utero‘s 20th anniversary edition on Spotify where you can listen to the handful of “new” tracks a few times then jump face first into your flannel lined coffin as a choir of greasy haired gutter punks hold a candle light vigil and sing All Apologies as you’re lowered into your eternal dirt hole. This thing is a record company money grab, and not worth your time.

COMMENTERS: What media release anniversary made your realize you were SUPER FUCKING OLD? 


This is my wife’s birthday week! Celebrate it by buying yourself a present from her Etsy store “Science and Fiction.” Check out her her latest geeky creation, a Pacman inspired necklace!

Pacman Necklace on Etsy

Comments (15)

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The 25th Anniversary of The Goonies was pretty hard to comprehend. But In Utero’s 20th is almost harder, because it coincides with me starting high school, 20 fracking years ago this month.

Age math sucks, man. IT SUCKS.

It happened in 2002, when I realized that Quarterflash’s debut album was old enough to drink legally. It was one of the first albums I bought right near the time of its release in 1981 (I was in high school at the time), so that had an impact.

For myself, Nirvana was part of the reason I stopped listening to new music in the ’90s – the entire “grunge” thing was a complete musical turn-off for me and as the only other genre getting a lot of attention at the time didn’t appeal to me either (various kinds of hip-hop/rap) I just tuned out.

Out of pure serendipity, you’ve paralleled the choruses of Barenaked Ladies’ “Box Set” from their debut album, 1992’s “Gordon”:

“Disc One, it’s where we begun, it’s all my greatest hits. And if you are a fan then you know that you’ve already got ’em.

“Disc Two, it was all brand new, an album’s worth of songs. But we had to leave the whole disc blank ’cause some other label bought ’em.

“Disc Three, yes this is really me, in a grade school play. I had about a hundred thousand lines but of course I forgot ’em.

“Disc Four, never released before, and you can tell why: it’s just some demos I recorded in my basement.

“Disc Five, I was barely alive, I was coughing up a lung. So we had to use a special computer as my replacement.

“Disc Six, a dance remix, so I can catch the latest trend and it’ll make you scratch your head and wonder where my taste went.”

Of course, “Gordon” is even older than “In Utero”, so… GAH! I’m old! There are CDs in the rack that I’ve had since 1988 when I got my first CD player.

Steve Albini’s letter to Nirvana on producing In Utero

1 reply · active 90 weeks ago

That’s refreshingly straightforward and completely devoid of bullshit. I like it.
Dave's avatar

Dave · 90 weeks ago

It’s my son that makes me feel old. He was born in 2012, I was born in 1981, roughly 30 years earlier. Here are a few ugly revelations.

Star wars came out 4 years before I was born. 4 years before he was born: Dark Knight. He will think of Bale’s 2nd Batman movie the way I think of Star Wars.

The Lion King came out 18 years before he was born. 18 years before I was born: Cleopatra and From Russia With Love. He will see The Lion King the way I see the 2nd Bond movie ever made. The Lion King is ALMOST old enough for him to be seen the way I see the Original Series of Star Trek.

Shall we go on? Yes Lets. Because I hate me.
He’ll think of Bill Clinton the way I think of JFK.
He’ll think of the turn of the millenium the way I think of the Moon Landing.
He’ll think of the Animated Transformers Movie the way I think of The Seven Year Itch (Time wise anyway… at least I hope)
The first episode of the original TMNT cartoon is as far away from his birth as the Ten Commandments was from mine.

and on and on.

4 replies · active 90 weeks ago

Gretchen's avatar

Gretchen · 90 weeks ago

I hear you. I was born in ’82, my son in 2012. I distinctly remember my mom playing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as she cleaned the apartment when I was very, very young (I like to say my love of zombies was established then). Michael Jackson died before my son was born.
Dave's avatar

Dave · 90 weeks ago

Thriller is a good one! Released 30 years before my son was born in 2012. Elvis’s first album is 5 years TOO NEW to be considered the same as the Thriller album to my son.

Michael Jackson is OLDER to him than Elvis is to me.
I don’t even recognize these songs from the top 30 of 1951. Too Young by Nat King Cole? On Top of Old Smokey by the Weavers? Mockin’ Bird Hill by Les Paul?

Gretchen's avatar

Gretchen · 90 weeks ago

I recognize On Top of Old Smokey, but only because it was turned into a kid’s song. I’m feeling old!

And just in terms of world events, there will be no “pre-9/11” in his understanding of the world. The event happened over a DECADE before he was born. The things we recognize a direct results of that event will, to him, be just the way the world is. It’s funny to think how different our kids’ understanding will be (because I don’t feel nearly as old as I thought MY parents were when they were my current age).

Everyone one of these made me let out an audible, “GUHHHHHHH”.
lou's avatar

lou · 90 weeks ago

I was born in 1984, same year as (among other franchises) Transformers, which is approaching their 30th anniversary, which means I will be officially out of my 20’s in a matter of time. Time, that dick.
Lawrence's avatar

Lawrence · 90 weeks ago

Not a re-release, but in 2011, I was listening to TMBG’s “Flood” for the first time in a few years, and was of course singing along, and found myself singing out loud in front of my pre-school child, “Why is the world in love again? Why are we marching hand in hand? Why are the ocean levels rising up? It’s a brand new record, for 1990 JESUS H. FUCKNUT”

1 reply · active 89 weeks ago

Yes, “Brand new” and “1990” seem in direct opposition.
KryssLaBryn's avatar

KryssLaBryn · 58 weeks ago

Hah, this isn’t an album or what, but the other day, during a conversation a few coworkers were having in the lunchroom about whether or not 23 was young or not, I suddenly realized (and immediately blurted out): “Dude, I’ve been having sex since before you were born!”

It pretty effectively ended the discussion of whether or not 23 was young.

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One Comment

  1. Hah, this isn't an album or what, but the other day, during a conversation a few coworkers were having in the lunchroom about whether or not 23 was young or not, I suddenly realized (and immediately blurted out): "Dude, I've been having sex since before you were born!"

    It pretty effectively ended the discussion of whether or not 23 was young.

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