Before our show at Red Devil Lounge last night, I had been watching music performance videos to sort of get me into “the mood,” which is, I think, the equivalent of watching porn before having sex. Though who does that, I don’t know. Anyway, I ran into a Rolling Stone article on Kurt Cobain, discussing the sixteenth anniversary of when the rock icon committed suicide. The article commemorates his life with an amazing photo collection and some updates on his legacy, including his inclusion in Rock Band and the planned biopic on his life, Heavier Than Heaven. Here was a guy, loved and hated musically, that stood for something beyond music, injecting something more meaningful than sex and booze into rock culture. And as destructive as he was, he was/is pretty damn inspirational.
As a musician, I think it helps to constantly reevaluate why you create music. I think great music comes through if it stands for something, if you’re motivated by something more than simply creating melodies for the sake of creating melodies. That’s what separates an artist from a hobbyist, I guess. Artists create largely because they have to. Like the need to drink water or breathe air, their medium is an ingrained form of expression that, whether they want it to or not, needs to come out. Not allowing it to would be akin to never speaking for a kid that can’t shut up.
Nirvana’s performance at Reading, regarded as their greatest, is available on an NME award-nominated DVD. I’m seriously considering finally picking this up.