A contracultura e suas urgentes responsabilidades – Sobre a turnê cancelada dos Dead Kennedys e o grito punk de um poster

“Don’t hate the media, become the media.” JELLO BIAFRA

Uma cultura ajoelhada diante do altar do conformismo é uma cultura com rigor mortis. E é disso que sofre a cultura hegemônica sob o império do capetalismo neoliberal que hoje em dia anda flertando desavergonhadamente com o fascismo: é uma cultura engessada na forma-mercadoria, quando a bagaça sempre esteve conectada, para o artista revolucionário, com o ato explodir a gaiola da mercadoria e instaurar no mundo a experiência sensorial inédita que é vocação da arte autêntica propiciar.

A Cultura Viva é balbúrdia anticonformista, e não – nunca! – cumplicidade com os tiranos. Diante das injustiças, os artistas são os berram, não os que se calam. Em nossos tempos de neofascismo e de democracias golpeadas pras cucuias, a Contracultura tem sua responsa e sua urgência. Até porque o Coiso que hoje tem por função ser presidente da república é tão “culto” que não fala uma palavra em homenagem a Chico Buarque pelo prêmio Camões, não dá seus pêsames após a morte de Beth Carvalho, mas presta suas homenagens ao MC Reaça depois que este espancou sua amante grávida e depois se suicidou…

O Brasil de 2019, sob a batuta insana do Bolsonarismo, raiou já com a extinção do MinC perpetrada pelos que, no palanque, faziam o gesto das armas de fogo, instrumentos da morte. A arte, que é o sim da vida à criatividade que é intrínseca a tudo que prospera e evolui, é o contrário do armamentismo destrutivo que pregam aqueles que poderiam repetir como o célebre dito nazista: “quando ouço a palavra Cultura, puxo meu revólver”. Quando Bolsonaro ouve a palavra Paulo Freire, puxa seu lança-chamas. E o Museu Nacional ardeu mesmo em chamas até as cinzas no país do pós-Golpe, desgovernado pela barbaridade desses “cidadãos-de-bem” que aniquilam a cultura no altar de Mammon, ou seja, da mercantilização geral de tudo e da imposição da política de terra-arrasada para a educação e a cultura…

Contra tal barbarismo, somos os que levantam uma contravoz, dissonante em relação à monocórdica voz dominante: quando nos falam em revólver, sacamos nossa cultura. Somos os que se armam de livros e se livram de armas. Os que se armam de grafites e beats, de teatro e de poemas, de cinema e de canções, para resistir à canalhização geral da vida. Assim coletivamente e sem muito programa vamos parindo a contracultura da atualidade, cultura-do-contra que é essencial para a cultura viva. Como Gilberto Gil e Juca Ferreira sonharam e começaram a concretizar, antes de tal utopia ser (também ela!) golpeada. Tantos golpes, e ainda assim nos levantamos (and still we rise!). A contracultura enquanto organismo indomável e insurgente é prova viva de que o devir histórico é Movimento irrefreável e serão levados pela correnteza os que desejam imobilizá-lo.

Em seu cartaz para a turnê dos Dead Kennedys no Brasil, Cristiano Suarez criou a A Grande Carapuça, obra endiabrada em que evoca clássicos da banda hardcore californiana como “Kill The Poor” e “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”. O artista parodia o Cidadão-de-Bem, vulgo Coxinha ou Bolsominion, que está todo aderido ao projeto-de-país miliciano-torturador hoje em voga:

O polêmico cartaz realizado por Cristiano Suarez já se tornou uma das imagens mais emblemáticas do Brasil de 2019 (quer comprar um poster, em tamanho A2 e por apenas 30 pilas? Siga o link >>> https://bit.ly/2Ji6fgL). Emblema de um país desgovernado pela extrema-direita Bolsonarista que tomou o Estado de assalto para impor uma fusão caótica e imbecilizante de neoliberalismo selvagem e neofascismo.

Emblema também de um território contaminado pela disseminação massiva de odientas ideologias que foram inoculadas nesse pessoal que relincha slogans como: “bandido bom é bandido morto!”, “o Lula tá preso, babaca!” e “nossa bandeira jamais será vermelha”. Originalmente criado para a turnê-que-não-rolou dos Dead Kennedys – na formação atual, que não inclui o vocalista original Jello Biafra (líder do Guantanamo School of Medicine) -, o poster foi renegado pela banda de hardcore californiana (a despeito de um entusiasmo inicial do qual eles depois arregaram).

Os Kennedys Mortos cancelaram sua vinda ao Brasil devido a todas as tretas vinculadas à disseminação viral desta provocativa peça de propaganda antifa saída da pena de Suarez. Uma arte rapidamente reapropriada, via hacking cibernético, por outras bandas – a exemplo dos Ratos de Porão, dos Garotos Podres e do francisco, el hombre. Sobre o episódio, Biafra assim se manifestou:

Sim, nós estamos preocupados com o Brasil. Porque nós nos importamos com o Brasil. E porque nós nos preocupamos com o mundo. Nós tememos pela situação dos brasileiros, tememos pela Amazônia. Tememos pelas tribos indígenas que poderão ser massacradas. Nós não queremos que mais nenhum inocente morra como aconteceu com a Marielle Franco. Sim, a notícia de seu assassinato chegou até os noticiários americanos. E, meus caros amigos, nós admiramos e respeitamos muito cada um que tenha a coragem de se posicionar contra o Bolsonaro e seus apoiadores fascistas metidos a valentões. – JELLO BIAFRA, Leia na íntegra em Tenho Mais Discos Que Amigos

 

Com o cancelamento da tour, choveram críticas contra os Dead Kennedys (sem Jello, os fake kennedys…) por terem “amarelado” – e não faltaram antigos entusiastas da banda, responsável por discos clássicos como “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”, que os xingaram, cuspindo e dizendo que não se fazem mais punks como ultimamente…

A produtora EV7 Live teve que arcar com os custos astronômicos vinculados ao cancelamento da turnê e, para isso, está vendendo camisetas e pôsteres A2 com a arte de Suarez, numa curiosa estratégia mercadológica de transformar em commodity aquilo que o poder hegemônico desejaria censurar e silenciar.

A viralização do poster não foi à toa: ele encapsula toda a insanidade coletiva que conduziu ao triunfo provisório do que existe de mais sórdido e péssimo entre nós: a cultura do ódio e do irracionalismo, da segregação e da desunião, da intolerância e do chauvinismo cego, da subserviência acéfala ao Tio Sam e seus tanque$ e dollar$ – todo o “caldo” mórbido que serviu de substrato para o assalto-ao-poder que empoderou a Necropolítica mais brutal.

Não é preciso ser um ás da semiótica para ler, no centro do quadro, a presença da Família Tradicional Brasileira, pequeno-burguesa e que sonha em enriquecer mais, conservadora nos costumes e liberal na economia, idólatra das armas de fogo e das soluções truculentas para os problemas sociais. A Família, muitas vezes bestificada por religiões instituídas e por lógicas evanjegues, que reúne-se diante da TV para sua dose diária de alienação com sitcoms e filmes de ultraviolência made in Hollywood.

A Família Tradicional Brasileira que, aos milhões de exemplares, é o sustentáculo do Estado de Exceção que hoje nos desgoverna propondo o desmonte dos bens públicos e dos direitos sociais duramente conquistados. A Família Tradicional Brasileira que, durante a fraude do golpeachment, teleguiada pela rede Globo e demais integrantes do P.I.G., bateu panelas e encheu as ruas do país para “protestar contra a corrupção”, sem notar no absurdo que era fazer isso vestindo camisetas da CBF, votando em Aécio Neves e apoiando um golpe parlamentar liderado pelo gangster Eduardo Cunha.

Ecoando a ironia de “Kill The Poor”, porrada hardcore em que Jello Biafra exibia toda sua endiabrada e cáustica crítica social repleta de um cinismo indomável, o cartaz fala da Família Bozólatra como adoradora do cheiro de pobres mortos na manhã que fede à gasolina e óleo diesel. Tudo pega fogo no país em que os incêndios na favela são comemorados de dentro das BMWs e dos apartamentos de luxo onde se juntam, na Varanda Gourmet, os eleitores do Homem-de-Bem (aquele mesmo, que idolatra torturadores e defende grupos de extermínio… aquele mesmo, que até agora não sabemos que relações tinha com seu vizinho, assassino de Marielle Franco, miliciano dos mais de cem fuzis domésticos…).

O cartaz é brilhante por mostrar em uma cápsula imagética todo o tragicômico de nossa desastrosa situação. Em situações normais de temperatura e pressão, uma figura como o Coiso não passaria de fato de uma piada de mau gosto, de um Bozo da política, não muito diferente de um Tiririca anazistado. Em um país que estivesse são da cabeça e são do coração, uma figura como Jair Bolsonaro seria apenas uma espécie de Novo Enéas e não teria conquistado nem 5% dos votos para a eleição presidencial, tamanho o grau de sadismo, crueldade e desconsideração com os parâmetros mais básicos de ética e civilidade que ele manifestou nestes 28 anos de vida pública. Aliás completamente pífia e nula em matéria de quaisquer benefícios prestados à população.

Em suma, qualquer mente lúcida sabe que esse cara nunca fez merda nenhuma em prol de ninguém a não ser a favor de seu enriquecimento familiar e do favorecimento de conglomerados empresarias de que é o títere e o bem-remunerado cafetão.

Este poster incendiário, retrato hiperbólico da Bozolatria (mas que também remete ao Coxinismo), serve também como um retrato caricatural da Base Eleitoral que foi usada como trampolim por aquela minúscula fração da elite brasileira tão bem cognominada por Jessé de Souza como “Do Atraso”.

A Elite do Atraso composta por homens brancos e ricos, herdeiros dos senhores de escravos e capitães-do-mato, que se notabilizam por misoginia, racismo, LGBTfobia, supremacismo, armamentismo, para não falar na apologia da tortura e dos grupos de extermínio, tudo isso portando a máscara do “cristão” e do “cidadão-de-bem”.

Aos que se sentiram incomodados e ofendidos com a arte, talvez seja pois a carapuça serviu. Aos que gritaram por censura e mordaça, talvez seja pois vocês tem saudades do AI-5 e do totalitarismo repressor que foi o fruto amargo, em 1968 (início dos Anos de Chumbo), do golpe desferido contra o governo Jango em 1964.

Aos que acham que isto não é arte, mas propaganda política, eu diria que as noções de arte de vocês estão muito quadradinhas: a arte está aí também pra incomodar, pra instigar o debate, pra provocar reações emocionais, pra sacudir as apatias, pra cutucar as onças com varas curtas.

Aos que desejariam acender fogueiras para queimar este pôster junto com seu autor, vocês são a Nova Inquisição e integram a vergonhosa Cruzada por um Brasil Medieval – e contra vocês, só nos resta desejar que os artistas do Brasil resistente e insurgente prossigam sendo, e cada vez mais, deliciosamente endiabrados.

Fellipe Fonseca foi outro artista que, nada sutil e seguindo na senda de Vitor Teixeira, botou a boca no trombone, ou melhor, meteu as tintas no papel pra gritar #EleNão, porra (e seus minions muito menos!):

São claros os sinais de que a Cultura se insurge, apesar do decreto de extinção do MinC. Como organismo social de vida que transcende o âmbito institucionalizado, a cultura (selvagem) é indomável, resiste à domesticação. O mesmo fogo que incendeia as favelas no poster de Cristiano Suarez – um fogo-no-morro que vem somado às cataratas de sangue que fluem por debaixo dos tanques no asfalto – é convocado para outras funções pelo Francisco El Hombre, a banda neotropicalista latinoamericana que cometeu dois álbuns de extrema caliência e incandescência: Soltasbruxa Rasgacabeza.

O ato de botar fogo na monotonia, expressa pela banda, é sinal desta vivacidade da ContraCultura, organismo indomável e insurgente, prova viva de que o devir histórico é Movimento inescapável e serão arrastados pela correnteza aqueles que tiverem pretensões de estagnação. Algumas obras de arte do Brasil contemporâneo parecem-me expressá-lo com uma admirável beleza queer de intenso fascínio:


Queimando os velhos mapas pra vida renovar, Ju Strassacapa teve a genialidade criativa suprema ao parir “Triste Louca ou Má” – uma tão bela poesia, e que encontrou sua perfeita expressão musical nesta canção destinada ao cânone da MPB do Futuro. O Francisco El Hombre é um coletivo utópico, neohippie, purpurinado, pós-binário, que demonstra a vitalidade desta cultura que estou chamando de selvagem e indomável.

Num país que observa também brutais retrocessos nas políticas de drogas, com o incremento das internações compulsórias em “Comunidades Terapêuticas” de forte marca teocrática-sectária, o “Parafuso Solto” francisco-el-hombreano, somado ao jornalismo-subversivo do Gregório Duvivier, são salutares doses de cultura insurgente:


Pra terminar, queria lembrar de algo aparentemente estúpido, mas que tem seu interesse: o termo Bozo, que alguns usam para apelidar Bolsonaro, remete a um famoso palhaço televisivo brasileiro, mas também na língua inglesa existe o termo Bozo e este possui toda uma carga semântica dentro do movimento punk. Os Dead Kennedys, por exemplo, têm uma canção chamada “Rambozo, The Clown”, fusão de Rambo com Bozo, perfeitamente atual para a descrição de muitos brucutus Bolsonaristas.

Tanto que, em fins de 2018, com a ascensão do Capetão, o Rambozo fã do Ustra, “California Übber Allez” foi reavivada pela vigorosa versão, transposta pro Brasil em incendiário videoclipe em p&b pelo Projeto Rambozo:



Retrocedendo ainda mais na História da Contracultura, encontramos pulsando no epicentro do Movimento Punk a entidade inglesa The Clash; numa adorável entrevista concedida a Steve Walsh e publicada em Sniffin’ Blue em Setembro de 1976, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones e companhia já se manifestavam explicitamente como Anti-Bozos:

– Some people change and some people stay as they are, bozos,  and they don’t try to change themselves in any way. (…) I think people have got to find out where their direction lies and channel their violence into music or something creative.  (…) The alternative is for people to vent their frustrations through music, or be a painter or a poet or whatever you wanna be. Vent your frustrations, otherwise it’s just like clocking in and clocking out. (Mick Jones, In: Let Fury Have The Hour, p. 26)

Eles que foram um dia conhecidos como A Única Banda Que Importam ensinam lições que nada perderam de seu valor à contracultura da atualidade: em uma das mais icônicas faixas de London Calling, de 1979, “Clampdown”, Joe Strummer pede que a gente dê uma chance à fúria:

“Let fury have the hour
Anger can be power
D’you know that you can use it?”

 

O PUNK ROCK AINDA GRITA “LIBERDADE & AUTONOMIA!” – The Interrupters: muito mais que o ska-punk mais chiclete do pedaço

Caí violentamente fissurado numa droga sônica bombando no pedaço: The Interrupters, banda da Califórnia que grava pela Hellcat Records, braço da Epitaph. Justo quando as veias pediam uma dose cavalar de punkadaria política e poesia flamejante, descobri nos Interrupters uma banda que é muito mais que o ska-punk com as canções mais “chiclete” do pedaço. 

Além de mestra em grudar melodias em nossas memórias, Aimee Allen é também querosene. Seus bandmates, vestindo terninhos à la The Hives, são uns carequinhas com TDAH, que em seu hiperativo transe puxam ao extremo o andamento e a pulsação rítmica das canções. Querem ser serelepes como foram um dia Little Richard e Chuck Berry, dois dos Pais da Matéria: rock and roll, um das artforms of the 20th century. Secundada pela trupe, Aimee parece antenadíssima com os músicos que lhe fornecem às mancheias as fagulhas e faíscas que fazem-na explodir como incendiária vocalista:

Para além do bubblegum, da máquina de rhythm’n’blues apunkalhado que o quarteto realiza com seu impetuoso senso rítmico, evocando grandes bandas de outrora como Richard Hell, Television ou Blondie, há conteúdo subversivo explosivo. Desde a denúncia da indústria midiática de celebridades em “Media Sensation” até a conclamação à insurreição e à rebeldia em “Take Back The Power”.

MEDIA SENSATION

“Land of the free, home of the slave
The uniformed are digging their own grave
Pacified with the mainstream media
What’s it gonna take? mass hysteria!
And that’s fine ‘cause i’m not blind
I’m ready for a fight of any kind
And we’re forming, trust me the drones are swarming
Take this as a global warning!
 
Don’t watch their T.V. stations!
It’s all a fabrication!
And don’t march in their formation!
A media sensation…

They’ll keep you suspended in fear
Until your freedoms disappear
I said it once, but you’re not hearing me.
You’re giving up liberty for security
And that’s fine, the sheep are blind
shepherds indoctrinate the minds of the masses,
Poor and middle classes
all parading like a bunch of fascists.
 
Don’t watch their T.V. stations!
It’s all a fabrication!
And don’t march in their formation!
A media sensation…
(I’m not buying, I’m not buying)
a media sensation
(I’m not buying, I’m not buying)
a media sensation
(I’m not buying, I’m not buying)
a media sensation!”

 

A discografia se limita, por hora, a três álbuns estupendos onde convocam, em alta dosagem de decibéis, a “lutar a boa luta”: The Interrupters, de 2014, o álbum de estréia; “Say It Loud”, de 2016; “Fight the Good Fight”, de 2018.

É verdade que, escutando os Interrupters, vocês se arriscam a ser fisgados pela iscas melodias infectious e o contágio será profundo – e a cura, repetidas doses da drug-of-choice. Assim como faziam outrora Green Day, Offspring, Undertones ou Ramones, os Interrupters são propulsionados pela forte melodiosidade das linhas vocais de sua fenomenal cantora-líder, Aimee Allen. Mas por trás de todo, um senso de performatividade de quem acredita que a música mobiliza. Canções são forças mobilizatórias, e o punk é movimento-de-movimentação.

Na primeira das mais de trocentas repetições do álbum Fight the Good Fight que por aqui rolou, o impacto das paredes-de-som do Interrupters serviu de background para que explodisse um vulcão de lirismo em flor. Foi só ouvir aquela voz e todo um panteão de musas se levantou: Brody Dalle no auge dos Distillers, Mia Zapata cantando no The Gits até ser brutalmente silenciada-assassinada, Patti Smith encarnando aqueles orixás brilhantes que ajudaram a parir obras-primas como Horses e Easter.

Os Interrupters são mais uma prova inconteste do poderio feminino no punk rock, um estilo musical que conta entre seus greatest chick-artists um time deste nível: Patti Smith, Blondie, Sleater-Kinney, Elastica, Breeders, X-Ray Spex, Hole, The Gits, Bellrays, Bikini Kill…

Uma canção como “Jenny Drinks” é um exemplo do quão foda o Interrupters consegue ser: sobre uma máquina de groove que evoca o The Clash ou o Gang of Four, a banda descreve a mina vida lôka Jenny, uma junkie a quem se dá voz no refrão da canção para que ela enuncie, em desespero altissonante:

“The world just ain’t ready for a spirit like me!
I never been so frustrated with humanity!
And I suppose that I’m the one who seems crazy!
But the world just ain’t ready for a spirit like me!”

Um certo espírito nietzschiano está aí manifesto: a sensação de ser “extemporâneo”, de ter “nascido póstumo”, como Nietzsche dizia de si mesmo.

A Jenny, eu-lírico da canção, provável alterego de Aimee Allen, sabe que gentileza não é fraqueza. Seu senso apurado de inadequação provêm de seu inconformismo: ela não se conforma em abaixar-se até a mediocridade que reina no tempo contemporânea.

E assim grita à rosa dos ventos para que todos ouçam: “o mundo não está preparado para um espírito como eu / nunca estive tão frustrada com a humana / e eu suponho que sou quem parece louca / mas o mundo não tá pronto pr’um espírito como eu!”

O aspecto político deste desespero inconformista fica mais explícito em “Take Back The Power” e “Babylon”. A primeira reativa afetos insurrecionais presentes no Rage Against the Machine, no System of a Down, e mete no trilho de um delicioso punkpop TheClash-esco. A segunda, adere a um tom imperativo e tenta afetar nas massas a rebelião: “Rebel against the kings of Babylon!”

BABYLON
God made man and man made kings
And the kings rule man and they bring the suffering
When the people rise up they see it as a riot
They wanna have control so you can’t be self-reliant
They make your world and don’t make an alliance
They sell your soul, they will buy it for a dime
They sell it for a dollar, so they can turn a profit
It’s a vicious cycle and the only way to stop it:
Rebel against the kings of babylon!

Yeah: they got the swords and the spears
and the bows and the knives
But we’ll fight it with our brothers
And our sisters for our lives.
Rebel against the kings of babylon!

A extraordinária cantora que encabeça o quarteto, Aimee Allen, tem alguns trampos pré-Interrupters que vale a pena conhecer, a começar por “I’d Start a Revolution If I Could Get Up in the Morning”, canção título do álbum homônimo e que tornou-se famosa na trilha sonora da série Birds of Prey:

Batizando a nossa era como The Age of Outrage, o Interrupters denuncia os poderosos e suas máscaras, trazendo abaixo o engodo e a fraude por trás das media sensations. Realizam assim um trampo de importância social ao tirar um sarro e lançarem um alerta aos que ficam pagando micos ao tratarem imbecis psicopatas e fascistas monstruosos (como Trump ou Bolsonaro) como se fossem Mitos:

Aimee Allen, em toda sua versatilidade, é uma artista imensamente colaborativa. As parcerias são notáveis: com o Sublime, gravou “Safe and Sound”; com Tim Armstrong do Rancid, “Phantom City” e “Got Each Other”; com um tal de Scott, um álbum inteiro (ao vivo e em clipe abaixo:).

Para além dos memoráveis e cantaroláveis refrões, a banda vem para interromper a caretice de um cenário que parece ter esquecido a lição do The Clash, a de que o único sentido de uma banda existir é tentar ser a “única banda que importa”.

A ponte Rancid – Interrupters aparece na atualidade histórica do punk-rock-em-movimento como uma reativação daquele espírito salutar que animava Joe Strummer, Mick Jones e Cia. Os Interrupters sabem-se enraizados em uma história linda e cujo legado tem que ser berrado para as próximas gerações – e é o que acontece no hino-de-empoderamento “11th Hour”, um emblema do poderio do punk como forma estética e ruptura comportamental. Tudo isso cabe em 2 minutos e meio de pura dinamite estética:

Neste esplêndido tributo (dê o play acima) prestado a uma das melhores bandas punk da história, o Rancid, quem homenageia os mestres é o quarteto ska-punk mais quente da atualidade, The Interrupters.

Honrando o legado do Rancid, os Interrupters replicam e reativam todo aquele ímpeto indomável, aquele entusiasmo afetivo, aquela salutar idolatria pela “Única Banda Que Importa” (o The Clash), toda a lírica subversiva e rançosa desses punkrappers do gueto, todo o espírito de equipe-em-plena sintonia que ajudam a consagrar …And Out Come The Wolves (1995, Epitaph Records) como um dos melhores álbuns já paridos na história deste treco ruidoso, rebelde e rude que se chama rock’n’roll.

A poesia questiona onde começa e termina o Poder:

THE 11TH HOUR

“Hey little sister,
Do you know what time it was
When you finally seen
All your broken dreams
Come crashing down your door?

They demand an answer
And they demand it quick
Or the questions fade
And then the wasted days
Come crawling back for more

Do you know where the power lies?
And who pulls the strings?
Do you know where the power lies?
It starts and ends with you!

The face of isolation
Well that’s one you recognize
Well you can’t get straight
It’s a lonely place
And one you do despise

Boredom is for sale now
And helplessness you feel
It’s a wounded dove
And the hawks are above
Blood splattered in a reel to reel

Do you know where the power lies?
And who pulls the strings?
Do you know where the power lies?
It starts and ends with you!

I was almost over
And my world was almost gone
And in a sudden rush
I could almost touch
The things that I’d done wrong

My jungle’s made of concrete
Although the silence I could feel
My aim is true
And I will walk on through
These mountains made of steel

Do you know where the power lies
And who pulls the strings
Do you know where the power lies
It starts and ends with you
Ohh, I say: it starts and ends with you!
I say: it starts and ends with you!”

Nestes tempos tenebrosos em que somos submergidos por uma enxurrada de retrocessos civilizatórios e agressões fascistas, em que estar antenado à mídia é como estar alerta a um constante pesadelo de péssimas notícias, há pelo menos uma boa nova: o punk rock ainda grita “Liberdade & Autonomia!”

NIRVANA: MTV Live And Loud – Seattle, 1993 (Show Completo, 1h 16 min)

nirvana-live-and-loudNirvana – MTV Live And Loud – Seattle, 1993 (Full Concert) DVD

0:00 Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
4:47 Drain You
8:30 Breed
11:46 Serve the Servants
15:09 Rape Me
17:49 Sliver
20:08 Pennyroyal Tea
24:47 Scentless Apprentice
28:41 All Apologies
32:38 Heart-Shaped Box
38:42 Blew
43:05 The Man Who Sold the World
47:40 School
50:31 Come As You Are
54:16 Lithium
59:14 About a Girl
1:02:03 Endless, Nameless
1:10:12 (stage destruction begins)

 P.S. Confiram também um artigo que escrevi aos 20 anos do suicídio de Kurt Cobain, de nariz afundado em livros sobre o cara e sobre a banda que encontrei na Toronto Public Library, em 2014: It’s better to burn out than to fade away (em inglês)Em breve, pretendo traduzi-lo, aprimorá-lo e republicá-lo por aqui. Um trecho:

He violently departed from us, 20 years ago, in April 1994, by blowing his brains out with a shotgun on his 1-million-dollar mansion, chez lui on Trigger-Happy America. When he chose suicide as a way-out-of-the-Samsarian-mess, his daughter Frances was 20 months old and couldn’t possibly understand anything about the struggles of a heroin addict with his condition as an international pop-superstar. Singing as if he was a tree rooted in dark angry soil, his voice seemed to arise from an abyss of suffering, especially located in an intense point of pain inside his belly. That invisible wound made tremendously audible by his music rang so true and filled with authenticity, in an era of poseurs and fakers and hair-metal yuppie cowshit. Lester Bangs once wrote that “expression of passion was why music was invented in the first place”, and Cobain also seemed to believe in this – and he wasn’t ashamed to put his “dark” emotional side, from depression and paranoia to sociophobia and alienation, to craft the punk-rock hymns that turned him unwillingly into The Spokesman Of A Generation. Extraordinarily capable of expressing his feelings, Cobain’s heart poured out of himself like lava from a volcano, letting us peek through a sonic keyhole into the labyrinths of an anguished life seeking release and craving for pain to end.

A ORAÇÃO PUNK DO PUSSY RIOT – Documentário escancara os detalhes do levante anarco-feminista russo-ucraniano

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PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER

De Mike Lerner e Maxim Pozdorovkin (2013, 1h 28 min)

ASSISTA O FILME COMPLETO:

“Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, 

but a hammer with which to shape it.”

BERTOLT BRECHT

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Provocativo, excitante, instigante, indignante, hilário… esses são alguns dos adjetivos que acodem à mente para descrever este documentário sobre o Pussy Riot. Veja cenas explícitas e sem-censura das performances do grupo – incluindo “Orgia No Museu” e “Occupy Praça Vermelha”. E saiba mais sobre o contexto do aprisionamento das garotas, que foram condenadas a 2 anos de prisão por terem entrado em uma catedral de Moscow e berrado um punk-rock desafinado contra o “ditador Vladimir Putin”.

As garotas do Pussy Riot transformaram a performance artística, o teatro improvisado e a provocação punk em um espetáculo-freak que sacudiu a Rússia inteira e inflamou o debate sobre liberdade de expressão, fanatismo religioso, perseguição política contra dissidentes. O caso ecoou mundo afora, e até figuras como Yoko Ono e Madonna saíram em defesa do “Levante da Buceta”.

Segundo o diretor Maxim Pozdorovkin, todo o bafafá e polêmica causados pelas riot grrrrls do Pussy Riot equivale ao fuzuê que ocorreu na Inglaterra, circa-1977, com a explosão dos Sex Pistols, cuspindo na cara da Rainha, da EMI e do caralho-a-quatro. As cenas do julgamento do Pussy Riot indicam claramente que o processo criminal contra as garotas tem a ver com outra causa além da liberdade de expressão e o direito do artista de se manifestar sua discórdia com o status quo: o que está em questão também é o Estado Laico, ou melhor, sua ausência na Rússia de Putin, onde o Estado e a Igreja Ortodoxa agem em estreitas e íntimas ligações.

O Pussy Riot só foi em cana por causa da “blasfêmia” que foi entrar numa Catedral e botar a boca no trombone contra o governo Putinesco e suas frequentes violações da laicidade do estado (que era um dos ideais da Revolução bolchevique de outubro de 1917). Enfim… vale a pena embarcar neste filmaço que relata como o punk rock feminista e a arte de protesto sacudiram a Rússia e desnudaram a faceta autoritária e repressiva da era Putinesca (com suas leis homofóbicas e suas gulags na Sibéria para artistas blasfemos…).

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Pussy Riot 5

* * * * *

NOW magazine (Toronto):

“Note to authoritarian regimes: don’t think you can mount a show trial if the defendants are more media-savvy than you are. This and about a dozen other ideas – including the value of performance art and the power of Putin – are behind this kick-ass doc about Russian punk art collective Pussy Riot and the trial that ensued after the group put on a guerrilla performance – playing an anti-Putin anthem – in Moscow’s central cathedral. Charismatic arrestees Masha (Maria Alyokhina), Katia (Yekaterina Samutsevich) and especially Nadia (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova) and coverage of the trial and demonstrations both for and against Pussy Riot give this pic electrifying energy. See it.”

* * * * *

Maxim Pozdorovkin, director of

Maxim Pozdorovkin, director of “A Punk Prayer”

Hail Pussy Riot. But, says doc director, learn some basic history first. By SUSAN G. COLE
* * * * *

Ah, Pussy Riot! Instinctively, we love them – especially given their home country’s human rights record – but many of our assumptions about the brazen Russian art activists are false.

The case of the female threesome who became a worldwide cause célèbre when they were charged with hooliganism and jailed after their anti-Putin performance in a church is badly misunderstood.

So claims Maxim Pozdorovkin, co-director of Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.

For starters, Pussy Riot isn’t a punk band. The arrested women are members – though their standing among their comrades is in question now that they’ve blown up worldwide – of a loose collective of artists, filmmakers and journalists working to create a different iconography for protest.

“They see themselves as contemporary artists determined to bring theatre into life,” says the hyper-articulate director on the phone from New York City. He’s there on the eve of an Amnesty International benefit, where recently released activists Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are set to appear – introduced by Madonna. He’s hanging out with them and planning to make a short film of the event.

“I always said that the story was misrepresented in Russia and in the West – I’m not sure where it was worse,” Pozdorovkin declares.

In Russia, they’re wrongly accused of being anti-religion, he claims.

“And in the West, it’s assumed that because they were a punk band singing an anti-Putin song, they went to jail. That’s nonsense. If they’d sung the song outside of the church, or anywhere else, no one would have cared.

“They had done so many things before that you’d think would’ve landed them in jail. In the U.S., for example, you couldn’t do the orgy in the National History Museum [explicitly shown in the film] and not go to jail.”

Pozdorovkin, who grew up in Moscow, played in punk bands and has a PhD from Harvard in found-footage filmmaking, is almost apoplectic at the idea that Putin’s regime can be compared to even the lighter anti-gay side of Stalinism. He sees more chaos than control in the new Russia.

“One of the biggest mistakes Westerners make is seeing the oppressive aspects of the arrest and trial as somehow organized and coming from the top down. That’s simply not the case.”

It was the women themselves – not the Russian authorities – who requested in a motion that the trial be filmed. The motion was granted, resulting in some of the doc’s most mesmerizing footage. A Russian news agency did the shooting, and Pozdorovkin, blown away by the quality of the initial rushes, then set the project in motion.

Though he allows that Pussy Riot are incredibly media-savvy, he says they weren’t totally aware of what they were getting into by making their statement inside a church.

“They didn’t mean to offend people. They felt they had the right to do what they did, and that maybe they’d be fined for, say, trespassing, but not be criminally charged. There’s something about the story that’s anachronistic, beautiful, idealistic.”

But the radical troupe is changing the way people look at performance and politics, which was precisely Pussy Riot’s intention. Soviet culture had never before been confronted by punk ideals and conceptual art on a mass level.

“The public awareness that you got with [the Sex Pistols’] God Save The Queen, that never happened in Russia until Pussy Riot.”

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“It’s better to burn out than to fade away” – 20 Anos Sem Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)

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It seems to me quite ironic and ambiguous that a band named Nirvana was actually the living and struggling embodiment of what Buddhists call Samsara. As if he was bound to the wheel of craving and suffering, Kurt Cobain screamed his guts out just like I imagine Prometheus (so beautifully depicted in Rubens’ painting) screamed day after day as the eagle devoured his liver. Nirvana is perhaps the most tragic rock and roll band there was, seen from the perspective of Cobain’s death, but it ‘s also one of the most exciting pages of rock history in the 1990s. It inspired us, with its punkish courage, to take mainstream culture by assault. Off with commercial shitty kitsch! He wanted art to be undiluted expression of raw and true emotion, communicated through the means of songs bursting with juvenile energy, suicidal tendencies, drug experiences, Beatlemania, and an up-bringing in what he called “a punk rock world”.

 He violently departed from us, 20 years ago, in April 1994, by blowing his brains out with a shotgun on his 1-million-dollar mansion, chez lui on Trigger-Happy America. When he chose suicide as a way-out-of-the-Samsarian-mess, his daughter Frances was 20 months old and couldn’t possibly understand anything about the struggles of a heroin addict with his condition as an international pop-superstar. Singing as if he was a tree rooted in dark angry soil, his voice seemed to arise from an abyss of suffering, especially located in an intense point of pain inside his belly. That invisible wound made tremendously audible by his music rang so true and filled with authenticity, in an era of poseurs and fakers and hair-metal yuppie cowshit. Lester Bangs once wrote that “expression of passion was why music was invented in the first place”, and Cobain also seemed to believe in this – and he wasn’t ashamed to put his “dark” emotional side, from depression and paranoia to sociophobia and alienation, to craft the punk-rock hymns that turned him unwillingly into The Spokesman Of A Generation. Extraordinarily capable of expressing his feelings, Cobain’s heart poured out of himself like lava from a volcano, letting us peek through a sonic keyhole into the labyrinths of an anguished life seeking release and craving for pain to end.

Cobain’s musicianship was spectacularly exciting and innovative – even though he borrowed a lot from a similar heavy, distorted and fast guitar-sound, similar to the one invented and mastered in previous decades by Johnny Ramones and Mick Joneses – he created out of that something that was distinguishable his own. Cherishing intensity rather than complexity, and emotional catharsis more than rational self-controlness, Nirvana’s music carried within it some much power that the whole thing mushroomed into one of those rares episode in music history when a band becomes History, defines an Era, before burning-out instead of fading-away. I call them “The Exploding Stars”. I would argue, If you permit me to trip a little bit on some stoned hypotheses, that Cobain’s voice spoke to millions, and his music stirred up such an intense commotion, because of the authentic and desperate artistical expression that he was able to create out of his Samsarian suffering. In 1991, the kitsch of American pop culture – from Michael Jackson to Guns’N’Roses – was suddenly kicked in the butt by the 1990s equivalent to MC5’s Kick Out The Jams to the 1960s and Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’ The Sex Pistols to the 1970s.  

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And here we are, 20 years after he took a shortcut into that land which no voyager ever comes back from (like Shakespeare’s Hamlet said), discussing his legacy and trying to understand his life and his death. Violent deaths occur every day and all the time, of course, and why should the death of a rock star be made so much fuzz about? The thing is: American Culture is deeply influenced by the realm of Pop, which is a money-making-machine mainly, of course, but sometimes explodes out of control and becomes a cultural force that manages to transcend the markets. It becomes something to be dealt with by Art History, by Sociology, by Philosophy, by Anthropology, by Existential Psychology etc. Or do you perhaps think that the more than 60 people who committed copycat suicides after Cobain’s demise in 1994 related to Cobain only as consumers do with manufacturers of products? Could we possibly say that the more than 5.000 people who went to his funeral, and joined in a candlelight vigil, were merely mourning because they had lost one of their hired entertainers? What about more than 50 million records sold (how many billions of downloads, I wonder?): did all these listeners heard Cobain just as a manufactured commodity? No! Cobain had an authenticity arising from the trueness of feeling underlying his music, and this set him apart from everything that was going on in “Mainstream American Culture” in that era.

Nirvana kicked the door to the ground for Underground America to step into the spotlight in 1991, “The Year that Punk Broke” (when Sonic Youth signed to a major; when Pearl Jam and Soundgarden skyrocketed to the top of charts; when Seattle’s scene became “The Big Thing” in a process juicily conveyed by Hype! , the documentary). Violent and untimely deaths happened all around Cobain while he experienced and interacted with people from the music scenes of Aberdeen, Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle. Prior to Cobain’s suicide, there had been other tragedies in Seattle Rock City: for example, Mia Zapata‘s cold-blooded murder in July 1993, when the singer-songwriter of The Gits (one of the awesomest “grunge” bands that never made it to the Mass Media…) was raped and killed after leaving a bar in Seattle. Or the fatal-OD that took to an early grave Andrew Wood, singer in Mother Love Bone (whose remaining members went on to build Temple of The Dog and then Pearl Jam).

* * * * *

TWO GRUNGY TRAGEDIES BEFORE COBAIN:  MIA ZAPATA’s murder (watch below the full The Gits doc) and ANDREW WOOD’s fatal OD (listen below to the tribute album by Temple Of The Dog, wich contains the grungy-hymn in which Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell share vocal duties, “Hunger Strike”).

* * * * *

Suicide is common currency in rock’n’roll mythology. The Who had screamed in the 1960s, for a whole generation to hear: “I hope I die before I get old”. Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” stated that “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” – a phrase later to become one of the most quoted from Cobain’ suicide letter. The Dead-at-27 Club had already a plentiful of members – Hendrix, Morrison, Janis… – when Nirvana’s lead singer joined them on this fraternity of bones. His originality was in his means-of-death: he was the first of them to have commited suicide. But did he really choose to leave life in order to become myth? Or such ambitions were not the case for someone craving to escape a labyrinth of angst, rage, stomach-aches, annoying fame, never-ending tours and chronical dissatisfaction? To get back to my point in the beggining of this trip: isn’t suicide, in Cobain’s case, an succesfull attempt simply to blow to smithereens the whole damned Samsara? After all, this man was an extremist not only in art but also in life, and it’s quite possible he entertained extreme notions about what Nirvana was all about.

 Nirvana’s music was not Zen at all – it was the sound of fury delivered in packages of Beatlesque melody and punkish attitude. When, 20 years ago today, he chose utter self-destruction, this was hardly a surprising ending for someone who had talked openly about suicide for years and years, and who had previously attempted it some times before, and who almost named the follow-up to Nevermind with the phrase I Hate Mysef And I Want To Die… Not surprising, but still mysterious and fascinating and hard to fully understand. Some writers and interpreters see Cobain’s suicide as something despicable, and criticize him for being a sell-out who couldn’t enjoy his success, or a kid who couldn’t stand his “tummy-ache” and chose some dumb radical medicine. In his article “An Icon of Alienation”, Jonathan Freedland writes, for example, about Cobain’s Last Days (also portrayed in cinema by Gus Van Sant):

“Generation X-ers are meant to be the slacker generation, yet here was the slacker-in-chief living the yuppie dream: married, padding around a $1.1 million luxury mansion with a garden for his baby daughter to play in, and Microsoft and Boeing executives for neighbours. It proved to be no refuge for Kurt Cobain, the boy who had come from blue-collar nowhere and made himself an international star and millionaire. Holed up inside the house overlooking the perfume-scented lake, he pumped his veins full of heroin, wrote his rambling suicide note, and did so much damage to his head that police could only identify his body through fingerprints. Dental records were no use, because nothing was left of his mouth.” – JONATHAN FREEDLAND, An Icon Of Alienation.

Some say some sort of suicide gene or tragic curse ran in the Cobain family: three of Kurt’s uncles had killed themselves. But the picture, of course, is much more complex than the “family tree” explanations wants to admit. It’s well known that Kurt Cobain was deeply pained both by stomach-aches and by childhood traumas (he was, every journalist repeated to exhaustion, the “son of a broken home”). His heroin-addiction, which he justified as a means of self-medication, it seems to relate also to some frantic need to numb his existential discomfort and disgust, to reach periodically some “artificial paradises” similar to the ones experienced by Baudelaire, De Quincey, Burroughs, Ken Kesey and tons of other artists and mystics. But no explanation of his bloody choice of escape from life can be convincing without a discussion about Celebrity, Fame, Success. As Will Hermes wrote in Rolling Stone magazine: “The singer-songwriter, who wrestled with medical problems and the drugs he took to keep them at bay,  was also deeply conflicted about his fame, craving and rejecting it.”

That’s what makes Nirvana so interesting: a punk band kicking out the jams in Sub Pop records turns into the highest-selling band in the world and becomes rich on the payroll of a major record company – Geffen. I would like to attempt to reflect briefly upon some of the reasons that explain Cobain’s suicide, but without venturing to give a comprehensive biography of the man or his band – a job already done brilliantly by Charles Cross’s Louder Than Heaven, by the Nirvana bio written by Everett True, or by the documentary About a Son by A. J. Schnack.

Let’s head back to 1991, when Nevermind exploded into the mainstream pop arena and became a cultural phenomenon of huge proportions. This landmark album wasn’t only a big commercial hit, destined to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. It wasn’t only one of the greatest rock’n’roll albums ever made, with songs so powerful that Simon Williams describes them as “savage indictments of the rock ethos, eye-bulging, larynx-blistering screamalongs”. It wasn’t only a passing fancy of youngsters who would completely forget about the band when the next wave of pop novelties came along. Nevermind was an era-defining masterpiece of epic proportions, the most important album of the whole grunge era, the record that stands out in the 1990s as something unique and unsurpassed. It kicked out the jams with its raw power and heartfelt catharsis, and finally punk rock aesthetics and ethics became common currency and were delivered to the astonished masses. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, a song named jokingly after a deodorant, and in which Cobain said he was merely ripping off The Pixies, took MTV by storm in 1991 and buried for awhile the Disco-Yuppie-Crap and the Hair-Metal-Bullshit. It kick-started the Grunge Era and opened the gates wide open for the Seattle scene to become immensely influential through Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, The Screaming Trees, and many others. For the first time ever in the U.S., it seemed like Punk Rock was gonna win its battle and inject rebelliousness and dissent into the veins of American suffering from a hangover after the Reagan-years in Shopping Centerish Yuppie America.

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 “Nirvana have also been seen in sociological terms: as defining a new generation, the twentysomething ‘slackers’ who have retreated from life; as telling unattractive home truths about a country losing its empire and hit by recession; as representing the final, delayed impact of British punk on America. They have also shocked people by trashing male gender codes: kissing each other on the national network show Saturday Night Live, appearing in dresses in the video for their single ‘In Bloom’, doing pro-gay benefits. We may be more used to this in Britain, but America is a country with much more machismo in its popular culture. A sensational appearance on last year’s globally broadcast MTV Awards, where they smashed their equipment and mocked rock competitors Guns N’Roses, sealed their status as America’s bad boys…” JON SAVAGE, Sounds Dirty – The Truth About Nirvana

 Nirvana wasn’t political like The Clash, but yet they certainly did a political statement with their career. Kurt Cobain shoots himself in the head and his brains get splattered all over the American Dream – that thing that, George Carlin said, “you have to be asleep to believe in”. Nirvana was much more about a provocation, à la William Burroughs (Cobain’s favorite writer), on the despised Square Society of White America. It’s punkish agression against Yuppie bullshit. It states that music shouldn’t be seen only as product or merchandise, and that it can convey emotions that can “infect” large portions of society with its groove, its stamina, its mind-expansion and energy-raising powers.

Kurt Cobain could be described by psychopathologists as clinically depressed or bi-polar – it’s known he had familiarity with Ritalins and Lithiums and other creations of the Pharmacological Industries in Capitalist America. But Nirvana’s music is not only a downer – on the contrary, Nevermind cointained so much power that it seemed like it was capable of awakening a whole generation out of its lethargy and inaction. But Cobain couldn’t and wouldn’t be the “leader of a generation”, the preacher telling in the microfone for the converted masses which way to follow. He wouldn’t become a parody of himself (“I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend”, he said), he wouldn’t be a happy millionaire smiling for the papparazzis, he simply wouldn’t conform to letting Nirvana become a sell-out act of merely market-wise relevance. With his death, he turned Nirvana into a symbol for decades to come, a band never to be forgotten.

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 “The sleeve of Nevermind shows a baby swimming underwater towards a dollar bill on a fish hook. The intended meaning is clear: the loss of innocence, the Faustian contract that usually comes with money. Take it, but if you do, you’re hooked for life. It’s a parable of Nirvana’s current dilemma: they’ve taken the bait, but the contradictions of their success are threatening to tear them apart. How can the members of Nirvana retain their integrity, which is very important to them, in a situation which demands constant compromise? How can they sing from the point of view of an outsider now that they’re in a privileged position? How can they suffer relentless worldwide media exposure and still retain, in Grohl’s words, ‘the spontaneity and the energy of something fresh and new’ that has marked their career?” – JON SAVAGE

“Teenage angst paid off well, now I’m bored all old”: that was the statement that began In Utero’s sonic ride. In it, Cobain wants to take us with him on his downward spiral, never afraid to let the songs show his inner confusion and Samsarian suffering. He didn’t believe in a loving God acting as a Daddy up above on the clouds, looking out for their pet-children, but rather was seduced by Buddhist notions, for example that of Karma. Nirvana’s music seems like some sort of ritual of Karmic cleansing, in which Cobain attempts, through a visceral outpouring of emotions, especially the ones that are burdensome, to attain some release.

But he didn’t arrive at no Enlightnenment – not even plain and simple piece of mind. In Rome, March 1994, he attempts suicide with more than 50 pills of Roipnol. He couldn’t stand the never-ending tours, the stupid interviews, the persecution by papparazis, the fans acting like Neanderthals, the need to repeat for the thousandth time “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – even in those nights when we didn’t felt like doing it. He simply wasn’t able to “enjoy” the ride of popstardom inside the Commercial Machinery of Profit Seeking Corporate America. When Rolling Stone did a cover issue with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain wore a t-shirt that read: ‘CORPORATE MAGAZINES STILL SUCK’. Even tough he hated Corporate America, he was immersed in it, and it had the means for him to take his message to larger audiences instead of limiting himself to the narrow world of punk-rock and indie concerts where you only preach to the converted. Nirvana never did corporate rock, but instead they did dangerous music that the industry soon discovered that resounded with millions of people worldwide. To call them “sell-outs” is narrow-mindedness. They tried instead to deeply transform Mainstream culture by taking it by storm. This is one of the most influential bands in the history of rock because it inspired us to reclaim the airwaves out of the hands of those fuckers Terence McKenna talks about in “Reclaim Your Mind”:

He never felt at ease or at home under the spotlight of mass media, gossip magazines, commercial TV shows. Always a punkish outsider and underdog that never quite fitted into the mainstream’s machinery of popstardom, he identified himself with feminists, oddballs, weirdos and other non-conformist and eccentric individuals and urban tribes. He despised pop icons like M. Jackson or Axl Rose, and loved The Pixies, The Raincoats, Young Marble Giants, all sorts of lo-fi and low-budget underground “indie” stuff. Even tough proto-grungers such as Husker Du’s Bob Mould, Black Flag’s Henry Rollins or The Replacements’ Paul Weterberg done something similar to Cobain both musically and lyrically, neither exploded internationally like Nirvana to wide-spread impact on thousands of lives.

I remember him as punk rock kid from a fucked-up town filled with macho-men rednecks, and who expressed his rage against mainstream American culture with extraordinary talent. I remember him as an aesthetic extremist who loved William Burroughs stoned literature, and who entertained himself in his Aberdeen years with peculiar fun such as watching Faces of Death after eating hallucinogenic mushrooms. I remember him also as a sometimes sensitive and tender guy who had pet-turtles in his bathtub and hated in his guts all sorts of homophobia, misoginy and Neanderthal stupidity. I remember him as a music geek that loved underground music and did everything in his power to invite his audience to listen to his favorite “indie” artists (like Pixies, Breeders, Meat Puppets, Vaselines, Daniel Johnston, Beat Happening, Flipper, Bikini Kill, Half Japanese, Billy Childish, Butthole Surfers…).

David Stubbs, in his article “I Hate Myself And I Want to Die”, writes:

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“Rock’n’roll mythology is fed and defined by its occasional deaths. Usually, these are due to some excess or other – driving too fast, getting too high, taking too much, going too far, the romantic pushing back of life’s envelope, testing the limits, wanting too much, wanting it now, forfeiting tomorrow in the bargain. Rock’n’roll mythology dictates that its heroes die because they wanted to live too much. Kurt Cobain, however, didn’t want to live. He wanted to die.”

It can be said that he’s the most perfect embodiment in rock music of  Nihilism, that cultural phenomenon which Nietzsche predicted, in the 19th century, that would become wide-spread. Cobain radically acted upon his nihilism, towards his self-destruction, what sets him apart from other famous nihilists, like Emil Cioran or Arthur Schopenhauer, who died of old age and so-called “natural causes”.

The man died, but his deeds are still with us, haunting us like Prometheu’s scream as he’s being eaten by an eagle, inspiring us like a Punk Monument to raw power in an age of slumber, provoking us like a tragic character which awakens us to a life that ain’t no picnic. There’s reason to mourn and get the paralysing blues when we considerer Cobain’s suicide, but there’s also reason to cherish and celebrate a life that has left a legacy that millions of us feel that have enriched our lives. Cobain struggled in Samsara and that makes him a member of a brotherhood called Humanity. Nirvana always sounded to me like the music of a brother, expressing what we, his brothers in suffering, also experienced but were unable to express so powerfully and unforgettably as he did.

[By Awestruck Wanderer]

“I’m worse at what I do best…” – 20 years without Kurt Cobain (1967-1994), PART II – Quotes from his interviews; “About a Son” (full doc); Nirvana’s Discography (stream or download)…

MTV Unplugged: Nirvana

“I’m a spokesman for myself. It just so happens that there’s a bunch of people that are concerned with what I have to say. I find that frightening at times because I’m just as confused as most people. I don’t have the answers for anything. I don’t want to be a fucking spokesperson.”

* * * * *

“I definitely have a problem with the average macho man – the strong-oxen, working-class type – because they have always been a threat to me. I’ve had to deal with them most of my life – being taunted and beaten up by them in school, just having to be around them and be expected to be that kind of person when you grow up. I definitely feel closer to the feminine side of the human being than I do the male – or the American idea of what a male is supposed to be. Just watch a beer commercial and you’ll see what I mean.”

* * * * *

“If you’re a sexist, racist, homophobe, or basically an asshole, don’t buy this CD. I don’t care if you like me, I hate you. “

* * * * *

“I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had voted me Most Likely To Kill Everyone At A High School Dance.”

* * * * *

“I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I know our music is better than a majority of the commercial shit that’s been crammed down people’s throats for a long time.”

* * * * *

“All the albums I ever liked delivered a great song one after another: Aerosmith’s ‘Rocks’, The Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, Led Zeppelin’s ‘II’, AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’. (…) I really liked R.E.M., and I was into all kinds of old ’60s stuff. (…) With ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ I was trying to write the ultimate po song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it.. When I head the Pixies for the first time, I connected with that band so heavily I should have been in that band – or at least in a Pixies cover band. We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard…”

* * * *

“Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

– Kurt Cobain
(1967 – 1994)

You might also like:

About a Son

“Kurt Cobain: About a Son” (A Film By A. J. Schnack)

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NIRVANA’s DISCOGRAPHY:

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LIVE AT READING – 1992