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[2016-07-30] Guide to Nirvana sights in Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle
[2015-03-22] Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways DVD/Blu-ray up for pre-order
[2013-09-24] In Utero 20th anniversary release - OUT NOW!
[2011-04-02] Follow NFC on Twitter - @nirvclub - for latest news
|NFC News First his PJs .. now Kurt Cobain's chair is up for grabs|
"This rare and unusual piece of history is one of Kurt Kobain's [sic] overstuffed armchairs. This beat-up, deco armchair was left behind by Cobain in his Seattle home that was sold after his death. "
According to the seller, it has been 'referenced by writers in a variety of contexts' (I'm pretty sure I haven't heard about Kurt Cobain's overstuffed armchair before), and that it belongs in a museum. Considering how ugly it is, I'm not sure it would fit in, but who cares about museums when it can be yours for (at least) $10,000. Yup, the starting bid is the same as for the pajamas auction (which ended up with zero bidders), although this one has an unknown reserve set. You can find the auction here. Happy bidding! Unfortunately, the seller doesn't ship to Europe so I'm out of the race. Dang it!
|Posted or updated: 02-28-2006 @ 8:28 PM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Exclusive interview with director of new documentary|
I recently concluded an interview with director AJ Schnack to get more details on the film.
The idea of a documentary started when AJ found out that Michael Azerrad had tapes of his interviews with Kurt and wanted to do something special with them. AJ explains:
"At about the same time [of learning about the tapes] my nephew Justin was really getting into Nirvana, but there was so much mythology built around Kurt, particularly around the last months of Kurt's life, and Kurt himself was such an iconic figure. I really wanted to try to break some of that away, get back to something more simple."
Or, as he told the Aberdeen Daily World in November: "Kurt has become this huge, larger-than-life figure. You're completely unable to relate to him because he is such an icon. That's not how I felt about him when he was alive, and I feel like that's been lost. Especially because of the circumstances of his later life, and his death, I think now it's not really about the music or the fact that he really was just a human being. So I really wanted to deconstruct that a little bit, and what better way than to just let him talk?"
Consequently, the documentary will try to show the more 'real' side of Kurt - the human being - as opposed to the iconic figure that many people regard him as. That will be achieved by letting himself speak. Enter Azerrad's interview tapes.
"These tapes are so personal and intimate, it's just two guys talking in a kitchen at 2 in the morning. Over the course of the 25 hours, he's a fully-rounded man - funny, angry, bored, excited, amused - someone that I think has not been seen widely at all. Listening to it, I think you forget that he's (at the time of the interviews) the biggest rock star in the world, and you forget that he's gone, too."
AJ worked closely together with Michael Azerrad to determine what to use from the many hours of available interview footage on the tapes, and how to boil it down to some 95 minutes. "It was a really great process. First, I went through all the tapes and highlighted stuff that I liked. Then I began to build these interview bites and create a narrative that was a little less then two hours. Michael came to Los Angeles and worked with me for a week, honing that down to around 95 minutes. It was great working with Michael because he could say to me - 'that's a key story, that says a lot about Kurt' or 'you really need to make sure to include'. It was a wonderful creative partnership." AJ also notes that he was struck by how Kurt reveals so many different aspects of himself and his personality on the tapes.
Two crew members inside the last house where Kurt lived in Aberdeen
To accompany the interview footage, the crew has been shooting in three key locations: Olympia, Seattle and Aberdeen (all in Washington State). They would shoot visuals to reflect the tone of the themes that Kurt is talking about on the tapes. Other times they would shoot images that "are very specific to places or things Kurt was interested in (or obsessed with) even though he may not speak about these things in the audio." But the main goal is to convey a sense of place for the three cities. To that end, they want to show the current state of those cities, instead of how they were at the time that Kurt lived there. AJ explains more specifically how this was achieved:
"Sometimes we shot in places that were specific to Kurt - places he lived or worked - and sometimes we shot in places that didn't exist until a year or so ago. We didn't want to create something that was completely stuck in the early 90s, not just a nostalgia piece.
Sometimes, we chose a specific place because Kurt is talking about it (a hotel he worked at for example or the Aberdeen library) but other times we just chose a place that represents the tone of what he is saying. Hopefully, seeing these three cities will help to illuminate who Kurt was, the places he came from and his environment."
As for shooting in Kurt's native Aberdeen, for example: "We've attempted to show the places that had some influence on Kurt Cobain's life, while at the same time trying to show the place that Aberdeen is right now, all facets, and what it is to live and grow up there." (quote from AJ's blog and not my interview with him)
Sunrise over the mills and river in Aberdeen
The three cities are characters on their own in the film: "The sense of these three places as characters in their own right is a big part of this film, and I feel like we were able to capture a true sense of that in our work and travels." (this quote was also from the blog)
AJ continues: "At various places in our film, we're mirroring events or moments in Kurt's life by finding real people who are doing the same thing in 2005."
"For me, the audio and the video are in some ways very separate ideas, conveying different thoughts and emotions, but hopefully together they will make something great."
Charles Peterson and AJ Schnack in downtown Aberdeen, WA
The documentary will not use any archival footage and there are no interviews with "talking heads" or "so-called experts", according to the Aberdeen Daily World.
When it comes to a documentary about Kurt or Nirvana, music is of course a key element. As for this project, there will be an original score that runs throughout the entire film. AJ talks about it in his blog:
"The composers have taken the edited audio interviews (along with my shoot notes) and have [created] the musical underscore for the film. Although they had a general sense of what we were shooting, they are not composing to picture, focusing on the interviews themselves. Their score and the resulting audio mix will weave in, around and through the other music in the film."
In addition to the score, nearly 20 songs by artists that were important to Cobain during his life will be used. Although they haven't been named at this point, AJ tries to explain how they were chosen:
"Kurt was influenced by so many different styles of music at various stages of his life, and we really want to represent all of it within the film, a cross-section of some of those bands and artists. It's really amazing the bands that have already agreed to be part of this film, humbling actually."
This will not be a documentary about Nirvana, but rather one about Kurt Cobain as a person, and the environment he lived in. Thus, it doesn't focus on the inner-band dynamics, the albums and so forth.
"Although Kurt does talk about touring and how he feels about the band and about fame in general, it's not a film that focuses on 'and then we played this show in Dallas...' or 'so we called up Butch Vig'."
Essentially, the film can be divided into three segments or 'acts' if you will: Act one and two reflect on his days in Aberdeen and Olympia while act three focuses more on what is happening at the time the interviews took place (late 1992 to early 1993) and the turmoil in his life at that point.
The filmmakers hope to premiere it at a major film festival in the fall. After that, they hope to screen it in threatres around the world and eventually release it on DVD.
"I just want to reflect him fully, good and bad. You know, a few people who were close to Kurt have heard the edited audio, and each of them told me, 'yeah, that's him.' That's all I really want."
AJ Schnack has previously done a documentary, "Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)", on the New York band They Might Be Giants. It played in 65 cities in the US and Canada, as well as other places around the world. AJ's also been involved in music videos. His company did about 100 videos between 1995 and 2001. His biggest inspirations include D.A. Pennebaker (who has made many films about music, including Bob Dylan's 'Don't Look Back'), the Maysles Brothers (documentary legends who made the Rolling Stones at Altamont film 'Gimme Shelter') and Jonathan Demme. He is also inspired by photographers, artists and other musicians. You can find AJ Schnack's blog here.
|Posted or updated: 02-27-2006 @ 7:36 AM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News A Mecca for Nirvana fans?|
"The impromptu memorial to him under the Young Street Bridge, where he often spent time before becoming a rock icon, was showing its age.
While hundreds of the scribbled and painted testimonials from around the world remain on the concrete underpinnings, a lot has been covered over with run-of-the-mill graffiti and gang signs. The bridge continues to be a draw for Nirvana fans from around the world but yellow, blue and green paint covers much of the remembrances now." Full story here.
|Posted or updated: 02-25-2006 @ 5:26 PM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Alice in Chains to re-unite for 2006 tour|
This has lead to the three remaining AIC members -- guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Starr and drummer Sean Kinney -- to realize they not only enjoyed playing the band's songs, but enjoyed jamming together.
This week, MTV broke news that the once-again reunited members of Alice In Chains are planning to take a greatest hits show on the road this summer. Other than a listed date at Austria's Nova Rock festival in June, there are no other confirmed tour dates."
At is unknown at this time who will assume vocal duties, alongside Jerry Cantrell. Thanks to BellaOnline and MTV for the story. Check the official AIC website here.
Also hitting the road this summer are rock giants Guns N' Roses and Metallica:
"Some authentic-sounding leaked tracks, a couple of surprise public appearances from Axl, an impromptu album listening party in New York and several 'confirmed' summer festival dates — including one accompanied by an official statement from the band's management — have set the rumor mill into overdrive yet again.
Last week, three songs said to be from the Chinese Democracy sessions leaked online: 'There Was a Time', 'The Blues' and 'I.R.S.', the latter being the same cut that surfaced more than two years ago on New York radio station Q104.3,
This week, the Web sites of several European festivals announced that GN'R have been added to their lineups: According to the sites, the band will be headlining the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 27; Italy's Gods of Metal festival on June 3 and 4; Rock am Ring in Nurburgring, Germany, June 3 to 6; the NovaRock festival in Austria, June 15 to 17; and both GN'R and Metallica — a lethal combo, in light of their riotous co-headlining North American tour of 1992 — have been announced as headliners of this year's Download Festival in England, June 9 to 11." Read the full story here (from MTV).
|Posted or updated: 02-25-2006 @ 5:17 PM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Picture of Kurt Cobain action figure released|
"If the 'My Chemical Romance' action figures were anything to go by with regards to popularity, old Kurt here shouldn't even touch the warehouse floor! Taken from the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' video, Kurt comes with guitar and the infamous sports hall floor base. Clamshell packaging. Pre-Order now while stocks last!"
Thanks to Kenny and Forbidden Planet International for the image and info. Apparently the image is only a prototype as the action figure still awaits approval from Courtney Love. Thanks to Brent for additional info.
|Posted or updated: 02-25-2006 @ 5:00 PM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Happy birthday, Kurt.|
Today Kurt Cobain would have turned 39. Happy birthday!
|Posted or updated: 02-20-2006 @ 10:26 AM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Courtney Love to publish book detailing her life with Cobain|
According to Britain's Sunday Times, "Dirty Blonde", a book based on her journals of her life with Kurt Cobain, is set to be published this November. Destined to be riddled with controversy, Courtney's father Hank Harrison has already spoken out against allegations made in it: " 'I have been told she was given a $1m (£570,000) advance for her book, and for that it will have to be pretty detailed. I know she has told other people that I gave her drugs when she was three years old, which she cannot possibly remember and is absolutely untrue as I was an anti-drugs counsellor in the 1960s. But I do fear what she might write now to make the book sell.' " Read more here.
|Posted or updated: 02-19-2006 @ 6:03 AM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News Kurt Cobain mosrite guitar up for auction|
“This instrument is unusual in a couple of ways,” Heritage's Music & Entertainment expert, Doug Norwine said. “First, it is the only known example of a Mark V style Mosrite Gospel model. While Kurt owned and smashed many cheaper (usually Univox) copies of Mosrite guitars during his career, this was one of only two actual Mosrites he owned. (The other was damaged and given away.) It was also one of his favorite guitars, which saved it from the usual fate of the instruments he used for live performances.”
Cobain purchased the guitar in San Francisco in 1990 and painted the very small Mosrite dot marks with white-out to make them more visible in a live setting. Although the previous owner removed this simple modification, residue is still visible on the instrument. This is a factory right handed instrument, so it was modified for Kurt with a strap button added to the treble side horn, and the original metal string guide has been flipped to allow it to be strung left handed.
Heritage said the lot also includes a hand-written letter from Chris Cobb, who sold Cobain the guitar in the fall of 1990.
The guitar carries a presale estimate of $75,000-up.
More info here. Thanks to Shanna for the tip. I believe the guitar was also featured in an April 2004 "Icons of the 20th Century" music auction where it sold for $117,500.
|Posted or updated: 02-19-2006 @ 5:54 AM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News How not to spend ten grand|
"Kurt Cobain was photographed wearing these one of a kind pajamas while playing live. The photo can be found in the recently published Journals page 36." The seller further explains that the item was obtained from a "rock n' roll yard sale" courtesy of Kurt's former girlfriend, Tracy Marander. Apparently, she's given the auction a green light and is willing to authenticate the item and the story behind it.
These "magical pajamas" were obtained for one US dollar more than ten years ago. Now, the eBay seller is trying to score a perverse $10,000 from it, which is the starting bid. If anyone is dumb enough to actually bid on the item (with four days left of the auction, no one has yet), the final price might become even higher.
If you'd like to become the lucky owner of these "one of a kind" pajamas, complete with any attached infections it may have obtained from its drug-addicted owner some twenty years ago, check out the auction here. Maybe if you add another $5,000, they'll throw in an authentic Kurt Cobain toothbrush and you can have your very own grunge sleepover.
|Posted or updated: 02-15-2006 @ 2:07 PM (GMT) by RH.|
|NFC News New Kurt Cobain officially licensed gear|
Global Wireless Entertainment is now offering officially licensed Cobain vinyl “skins” for mobile devices that stick on the outside of everything from cell phones, PDAs, iPods, laptops, etc. They range in price from $12.95-$24.95 (which includes shipping) and are sent directly to your door. To see the licensed content, go to www.cellfan.com and look under “music.” Thanks to Lindsey.
|Posted or updated: 02-07-2006 @ 12:32 PM (GMT) by RH.|
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