Every Nirvana Song Ranked

Nirvana.jpeg

“It’s almost impossible to de-program the incestually-established, male oppressor, especially the ones who’ve been weaned on it thru their families…like die-hard NRA freaks and inherited corporate-power mongrels…But there are thousands of green minds, young gullible 15-year-old boys out there just starting to fall into the grain of what they’ve been told of what a man is supposed to be, and there are plenty of tools to use. The most effective tool is entertainment.” 

A deep dive into the discography of the band that meant everything to me back in 1991. Rather than feel nostalgic, I was shocked to discover that in 2019, Nirvana still feels as eerily powerful, cathartic and prescient now as it did then. And I finally put the best Nirvana song at #1.

Every Nirvana Song Ranked, for Vulture.

 

Roky and the Devil

Roky Erickson

“He was possessed, so vivid and mesmerizing. His voice was so sharp and cutting — sometimes he’d get lost in his screams.”

It’s hard to fully explain just how vital a figure Roky Erickson was for all the weirdos growing up deep in the heart of Texas. Not just as an acid casualty, of someone who went out too far and never quite came back, but just as someone who had to cope with the suffocating conservative culture of Texas and America at large by making gloriously weird music. Has anyone but Roky ever written this many insanely catchy, tangy songs about the Devil? Maybe I didn’t quite understand it then, playing endlessly my cassette copy of You’re Gonna Miss Me, which compiled all of his post-Elevators insanity, or the heartbreaking fragility of Never Say Goodbye, which my friend Craig released at the end of the ’90s (great write-up of that set here), but his life and art –in addition to the capturing the darkness that exists alongside such searches for enlightenment– tells us more about America’s brutal repression of its artists and visionaries than almost anything else.

Roky Erickson remembrance, for Vulture.

 

Don Cherry – Brown Rice

Done Cherry

“Relentless and incandescent, Brown Rice rebuffs the notion that spiritual music must be placid. Cherry suggests—as Alice Coltrane did in the same era—that true spiritual awakening stems not always from a state of peace but from tumult and upheaval. In its balance of noise and bliss, beauty and chaos, Brown Rice is true world music.”

Don Cherry’s classic Brown Rice, for Pitchfork.