NFC News 02/2003
- - - February 24, 2003 - - -

Yesterday, Globo TV in Brazil had a Nirvana feature in their show "Fantástico". They showed a clip of Breed from the rare and unsurfaced recording of Nirvana in São Paulo on January 16, 1993. Also included was an interview with a sound engineer who worked with Nirvana in Rio, and an interview with Joao Gordo who introduced the band at the show in question. Finally, a clip of Kurt demolishing his fender guitar on stage, giving pieces to the audience, was shown. Thanks to Fernando and others for info. You may be able to find more at the Globo website.

The Midwestern piano jazz trio The Bad Plus released their major-label debut album These Are The Vistas on February 11, featuring a cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. "... with wit, virtuosity, and respect to the originals -- these interpretations never sound in the least bit clichéd or overwrought. But even the new material on These Are The Vistas is loaded with infectious hooks." Their Nirvana cover is in fact fairly interesting, albeit at times it sounds like the drummer is playing a different song than the rest of the band! Download it here. You can purchase the album, released by Sony, at Amazon. Tim reported that this jazz version of Nirvana's classic had been played recently on Detroit's WDET FM and was being requested a lot. DJ Martin Bandyke sometimes plays it on his afternoon show. Thanks to Tim and amazon.com for info.

A whole different album featuring Nirvana covers - again in a more unusual context - is the String Quartet Tribute to Nirvana released on February 4. The album features covers of classics such as Come As You Are, Smells Like Teen Spirit, All Apologies, Heart-Shaped Box and Something in the Way. It is out on Vitamin Records and can be purchased online here.


- - - February 20, 2003 - - -

Today would have been Kurt Cobain's 36th birthday. Happy birthday, Kurt!


- - - February 15, 2003 - - -

NME in the UK recently published the sixth installment of their "NME Originals" series - this one focusing on Nirvana. The 146-page magazine is an amazing collection of virtually every article that Melody Maker and NME have written about Nirvana since 1989. What you'll find includes comprehensive reviews of every Nirvana album and single released, many interviews with band members and other pertinent people (i.e. Courtney Love), reviews of several Nirvana shows, and some journalistic articles about the band and their impact. This is coupled with a ton of great Nirvana-related photographs - many of which are fairly rare and uncommon.

"Few artists can lay claim to inventing a new type of music, but Nirvana did. In combining a puritanical punk ethos with a vicious metal fecority and chart pop's ear for a catchy tune, Kurt Cobain created grunge."

It is a great collection of articles documenting Nirvana's legacy: from the humble beginning in the late 80's, to the stardom with Nevermind, culminating with Kurt's death in 1994. I would strongly recommend picking up a copy of this mag as it offers more information, pictures and interesting goodies than most books on the subject. Priced at a mere £4.99 ($9.95 USD), it is quite the bargain. It should be available at news agents in the UK and will soon be offered online. Thanks to Simon, Jordana and others.

After 10,225 votes I decided to conclude the latest NFC Poll: "How do you think the Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book turned out?" Surprisingly, no less than 89.2% of the voters thought it was "pretty good". Only some 1,000 people (10.8%) were unhappy with the way it ended up. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. A new poll question is now up: "How do you think the You Know You're Right music video turned out?"


- - - February 9, 2003 - - -

"Zagats (the popular restaurant guide) is now making a book for the 1000 best CDs. Anyone can sign up (for free) to vote and rate their favorite CDs. For Nirvana, you are able to vote for In Utero and Nevermind. You can also put your favorite song and additional comments in your review -- they could possibly end up in the book. It ends on April 13, so go to Zagats.com to sign up and vote!" Thanks to Jordana! She also provided some nice photos from a visit to EMI's offices in New York. Turns out they had some interesting things on display, including a guitar signed by Kurt and the rest of the band - a copy of Bleach (also signed) and some Foo Fighters stuff as well. View photos: #1, #2, #3 and #4.

In the March issue of Q Magazine (the one with Courtney Love naked on the cover), there's also a Q&A session with Krist Novoselic. Fans worldwide could send their questions for Krist through the Q website and then they'd present some of them for him. Here are a handful of the most interesting questions along with his answers (all courtesy of Q Magazine):

Q: If you could see Kurt Cobain one more time, what would you say to him?
A: I love you.

Q: Do you feel that publishing Kurt's diaries is an invasion of privacy and goes against Nirvana's punk rock principles?
A: It wouldn't be fair for me to say that. It's none of my business, to tell you the truth, and that's how I feel about it. I stay out of it and I've never seen the diaries.

Q: Were you pleased to avoid your day in court over the release of the Nirvana "Best Of" album? And how are relations with Courtney?
A: Everything's great. I'm happy it's all behind us. At the end of everything I just want to thank Kurt Cobain for his artistic vision and for sharing it with so many people. That's why we settled: just to get it over with. Now the music's out I don't have any hard feelings against anybody, it's about liberation and going forward. If I have any regrets it's that it went as far as the lawsuit. The justice system is a pretty arduous process, but as this confilct between the parties happened eight years after Kurt died, I know it's not going to impact on his musical legacy.

Q: What do you really think of Foo Fighters?
A: The Foo Fighters are my favourite band. They're all great musicians and I think Dave [Grohl] is amazing. If I was to write a book about Dave it would be called 'There Goes My Hero' [laughs]. When we did MTV Unplugged and I played the accordian, Dave played bass and drums at the same time. The guy's a natural talent and the Foo Fighters are probably the best band in the world.

Q: Krist, you're back playing bass again--how come? And is it good to be touring again?
A: The reason I'm playing bass is I've always played bass. I think as far as music goes it's the best thing I can do. It's great to be on the road playing music and meeting people. I haven't done it for a long time, so it brings back a lot of good memories. People walk up to me and tell me how much the music changed their lives and I tell them how much they changed my life by just being fans and caring.

Q: Does it feel weird to turn on a radio and hear yourself, Kurt and Dave playing eight years after Kurt's death?
A: I don't know why it would feel weird because it's always good to hear Nirvana on the radio. It's good music and I'm really proud of it. Was it strange hearing the new song? No, I had that song for a long time, although I remember the first time I heard it on the radio because I turned it up and said, This sounds real good! But that's what it is--good music. Of course the bass, wow! If I'm partial to anything on Nirvana records it's the bass part, not that there's any conflict of interest or prejudice. There, that shows you the power of a perspective: it's poison, man!

Q: How many times a night do you get asked to play Nirvana songs when you tour with Eyes Adrift?
A: Every once in a while some people shout out for Nirvana covers, but I think there's an unspoken rule that people bring into the show which is that this sort of behaviour is pretty stupid. We're not caberet. I don't think it's going to be a long-term project. We're all really excited about the band, but we're just going to see what happens.

Q: I was very disappointed the only way to get You Know You're Right was by purchasing the so-called greatest hits album which smacks of corporate greed. Wil there ever be an album that truly documents Nirvana's legacy?
A: [laughs] Whatever. He could have downloaded it, so what's he bitching about? He didn't have to buy it--he should get with the times.

Krist's response to the latter question and his tip on how to obtain You Know You're Right is quite interesting! I have chosen not to pass on selected irrelevant bullshit questions, regarding Krist's trousers, whether Kurt picked his nose, whether Krist got foot splinters when playing barefoot, how much he weighs and his ability to pick band names. Apparently Q thought these were important enough to present to Mr. Novoselic, let alone bring in the magazine, along with his reluctant answers. Thanks to Randall for the transcript.

On February 24th, 2003 Much Music Canada will be airing Nirvana on their spolight (Bio) show. Also, on it's other station in Canada - MuchMoreMusic - they will be airing a different Nirvana bio as well. Here is the info they posted on it: "Friday, February 28 9pm & 12am ET, 6pm & 9pm PT Saturday, March 1, 2pm ET, 11am PT. MMMBio: The Story Of Nirvana. Nirvana's legacy stands as one of the most influential in rock & roll history. They brought alt-rock to the masses, altering an entire industry. Even with the death of Kurt Cobain almost 9 years ago, their influence and mystique has never waned. Bill Welychka traveled to Seattle and caught up with some Nirvana insiders, and utilize the Much/MuchMore video library for some classic moments - all to tell The Story of Nirvana." Thanks to Chris!


- - - February 7, 2003 - - -

The brilliant Seattle band East of the Equator will soon be releasing their debut album, The Painted Road, on DinnerTime Records. As previously reported by this news section, the band features Travis Robertson on lead vocals, Ric Autumn on lead guitar, Erik East on rhythm guitar, Mike West on bass and finally former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing on drums and background vocals.

The band was formed in late 2001 and recorded their first album in 2002.

To celebrate the forthcoming release of their album - I will be running a competition offering exclusive East of the Equator goodies. One lucky winner will be getting a white East of the Equator t-shirt (size XL). No less than 10 winners will be getting a 8x10 photo of the band, autographed by all five members AND a copy of the limited edition No One's Around single. To view a scan of the photo just click here (large version). A scan of the cover artwork for the single No One's Around is presented above.

To enter this competition - simply enter your e-mail below. The winners will be randomly picked on March 1, 2003.

Visit the official East of the Equator website
The contest has ended. Thanks!

As reported on Feb. 4, Courtney Love was recently arrested following disruptive behavior on a flight en route between Los Angeles and London. After spending some 11 hours in detention - miss Love was released and all charges were dropped:

"Courtney Love, the American rock singer cautioned by British police this week for throwing a tantrum on a transatlantic flight, is welcome to fly back to Los Angeles with the same airline after saying 'sorry.'

Virgin Atlantic said Thursday that Love, the 38-year-old widow of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, had apologized to the airline's boss Sir Richard Branson at a glitzy charity concert. Over cocktails and canapes Wednesday night, Love told Branson -- who made his fortune by creating Virgin Records -- that she was sorry for misbehaving. Branson said he appreciated the apology and that she was welcome to fly with his airline again. 'Virgin Atlantic was built thanks to the rock industry and I like to think we are a bit more understanding than most airlines,' he said in a statement. 'Courtney was a little out of order on the flight over and apologized to me. We are looking forward to flying her back to LA.' "
Story courtesy of Reuters and Yahoo! Inc.

Following this incident, Love performed at a charity event with Elton John. Apparently Courtney appeared half-naked at the show and was supposedly seen throwing herself over Elton John's piano during their duet of The Bitch Is Back. The night following the show was spent partying with celebrities, including Craig David, Sting and even Chelsea Clinton - daughter of former US president Bill Clinton. The fun continues in the March 2003 issue of UK's Q Magazine (issue #200), in which she can be seen completely naked. The photos, depicting a seemingly drunk and disorderly Love, have since been denounced by the former Hole frontwoman: "How desperate is Q magazine with its declining sales? Desperate enough to steal XEROX copies of contact sheets and throw them on their 'prestigious' 200th anniversary cover." The photos were shot on December 24-25 last year: "... she poured champagne over her head, stripped naked and spent the early hours of Christmas Eve streaking around the upmarket Park Lane area."

- - - February 4, 2003 - - -

Courtney Love got herself arrested today: "Rock star Courtney Love was arrested Tuesday as she arrived at Heathrow airport [in London] on a trans-Atlantic flight, an airline said. Love had been 'verbally abusive' to cabin crew during a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles, a spokesman for the airline said. TV channel Sky News showed pictures of Love being escorted by two officers from the plane to a police van parked on the runway. She smiled sheepishly at the camera and covered her face with her hand before getting into the back of the van. 'She was verbally abusive toward our cabin crew and disruptive,' Virgin Atlantic's director of corporate affairs Paul Moore said. The flight from Los Angeles landed at around 11 a.m. local time. London's Metropolitan Police said a 38-year-old woman had been arrested for disruptive behavior and endangering an aircraft. She was being questioned by officers at Heathrow after reports of a passenger 'being generally disruptive, using abusive language and refusing to sit down and put her belt on,' a spokesman said. Love had been due to attend a fund-raising event at London's Old Vic theater on Wednesday along with Elton John and Kevin Spacey." Story courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo! Inc.

Billy Corgan's new band ZWAN have recently released their debut album. A ZWAN media player has been developed that plays songs from their album and clips from the DVD that comes with it. You can check it out here. Only some copies of the album contain the limited-edition DVD which includes interviews with the band, footage of them recording in the studio, and studio versions of songs that didn't make it to the album. The band consists of: Billy Corgan (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Jimmy Chamberlin (Drums), Paz Lenchantin (Bass, from A Perfect Circle), Dave Pajo (Guitar, from Papa-M, Slint, and Tortoise), and Matt Sweeney (Guitar). They are currently on tour in Japan. They'll be playing in Paris on February 9, London on February 12, Hamburg on February 17, Berlin the day after, Milan on the 20th and Madrid on the 23rd. The first single "Honestly" includes a cover of the Iron Maiden classic Number of the Beast as well as the track Freedom Ain't What It Used To Be. Thanks to Nico for info.


- - - February 3, 2003 - - -

MTV Europe had a Kurt and Courtney day today. I didn't post the air schedule here because I know from experience that their website's TV listings are about as accurate as a release date for the Nirvana box set. Anyhow, what they did air was a "Top 10 @ 10: Kurt and Courtney" special at 10 AM. At 6 PM followed "Courtney Love: The Hole Story" (an MTV show produced some 8 years ago!). It aired again at 10 PM. In between 10.30 and 11 PM they decided to air an obscure selection of music videos, with the only highlight being "Come As You Are" by Nirvana. The only good part of this "Kurt and Courtney" day was a rare MTV Europe airing of the US-produced show "All Apologies: MTV's Nirvana History" which is pretty good. It features clips of the interviews the band did for MTV as well as Unplugged, a live performance from 1992 and of course the "Live and Loud" special. There was also most of the performance of "Lithium" from the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, including the intro to "Rape Me". The day was concluded with Hole's Unplugged show at 11.30 PM. However, about half-way into the show, the screen went black and stayed that way for quite some time. I don't know if my cable went out or if MTV just decided to call it a day :)




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