Podcasts Political Beats

Episode 92: Mark Hemingway / Nirvana


Scot and Jeff discuss Nirvana with Mark Hemingway.

Introducing the Band:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) with guest Mark Hemingway. Mark is is a writer at RealClearInvestigations and RealClearPolitics. Find him on Twitter at @heminator.

Mark’s Music Pick: Nirvana
Perhaps you’ve heard of these guys. With a single song, Nirvana knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the charts, essentially killed the hair-metal genre, and laid a blueprint that would launch “grunge” nationwide and influence an entire second wave of knock-off bands.

Nirvana was, of course, more than just one song or one album. The three-piece from Aberdeen, Wash., first made noise with Bleach, released in 1989. Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic were present, but the band was still churning through a series of drummers, a merry-go-round that would end in late-1990 with the addition of one Dave Grohl, who has been featured previously on the show via his work with Foo Fighters. That’s the lineup which would create the iconic Nevermind, an album that some on the show argue owes as much to The Beatles’ brand of pop/rock than any burgeoning Seattle scene. “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “In Bloom,” “Come As You Are,” and “Lithium” are still played on rock radio stations everywhere. Heck, Sirius/XM directly named their 90s rock channel after the latter song.

Amid spiraling drug problems for their leader, Nirvana pressed on, releasing the caustic, abrasive In Utero and recording an iconic live performance for MTV’s Unplugged. That album would be released following Cobain’s suicide, which occurred on April 8, 1994. The argument is made on the show that it’s one of the best live albums in history.

It’s a short, yet fulfilling, career and we cover all of it on this episode.