Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grunge: The Unclassifiable Seattle Sound

The Operative Note embraces all genres of creative musical expression.  In this post, guest blogger Sandeep of Crack The Sky takes a look at the phenomenon of grunge, that brief period when it looked like the counter culture movement might evolve into something more meaningful. Over to the expert.

*****

"Here we are now, entertain us!!!" -Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist of the band Nirvana.



The Early Rumblings
For all its intents and purpose, the American underground musical movement of late 80s and early 90s known as grunge was never meant to see the light of the day. Grunge as a musical movement was never aiming to be accepted by mainstream culture, but all that changed thanks to a handful of Seattle rock bands who mixed the distorted apocalyptic chords of heavy metal with subject matter such as alienation, apathy and angst. The grunge bands of those period were fiercely independent and idealistic and they despised mainstream success. So what exactly happened that dragged the grunge movement from its underground roots to the blinding lights of mainstream music.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Bob Dylan: The Tambourine Man

Bob Dylan's 71st birthday came and went. My friends and I celebrated by watching Scorcese's documentary on Dylan's life, No Direction Home. Lou Majaw did his thing at Shillong and then some more at Mumbai. Lou has kept the annual Bob Dylan tribute concert going in Shillong for four decades now. Barrack Obama, the US President who as a young person felt the world open up when he heard Dylan sing, conferred the Freedom Medal on him around the same time, a sight as bizarre as the artiste lineup on Amnesty International's tribute album featuring nearly 80 of Dylan's best songs sung by artists from all genres.


Why am I writing this on the day that he first recorded Mr. Tambourine Man (surely one of the finest set of lyrics ever) nearly half a century ago in 1964? I write this because I feel a great sense of loss when I see how this man allowed his personal choices to stand in the way of making a real difference to the world. Of course, no one can deny that the hurricane he created with his songs has changed the world for ever and for good. However, as a lover of Dylan's work, it would be wrong of me to discount what could have been.
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