i miss the comfort in being sad

Kurt Cobain and I were both born just outside of Seattle in January of early 1967. I worked on an entry early this morning that began with, “I want to tell you to just say no to the Cobain hagiography (Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Associated Press, Seattle Times, Launch Yahoo, New Musical Express).”

I wrote more, but I couldn’t figure out how to end it, so instead, I’m going to just tell you to go read this article on the reunion and current tour of the Pixies.

Okay, I’ll also include this part of what I was writing earlier: “In his WaPo piece, David Segal writes, ‘Kurt Cobain would detest all the re-eulogizing prompted by the 10th anniversary of his suicide.’ No he wouldn’t. Here, Segal participates in one of the shadiest elements of tending to the rock star ethos, something no respectable music journalist should do, in my opinion. Cobain was a rock star, and part of being a rock star is to express disdain for being a rock star. It’s cool not to want to be seen as cool. It should be the music journalist’s job to call rock stars out on this duplicity. Cobain was as involved in the fashioning of his own indie image as anyone. In Heavier than Heaven, Charles Cross explains that although Cobain told interviewers that the first concert he attended was Black Flag, he had actually seen Sammy Hagar previously.”

In his suicide note, Cobain quoted Neil Young, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” I wonder if his daughter would agree. I also wonder if Cobain knew this song by Young:


I am a child

I am a child, I'll last a while.
You can't conceive
of the pleasure in my smile.
You hold my hand,
rough up my hair,
It's lots of fun
to have you there.
God gave to you,
now, you give to me,
I'd like to know
what you learned.
The sky is blue
and so is the sea.
What is the color,
when black is burned?
What is the color?
You are a man, you understand.
You pick me up
and you lay me down again.
You make the rules,
you say what's fair,
It's lots of fun
to have you there.
God gave to you,
now, you give to me,
I'd like to know
what you learned.
The sky is blue
and so is the sea.
What is the color,
when black is burned?
What is the color?
I am a child, I'll last a while.
You can't conceive
of the pleasure in my smile.
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3 thoughts on “i miss the comfort in being sad

  1. Matt points to this thoughtful NY Times piece by Sonic Youth’s Thurson Moore on Cobain.
    As I read over what I wrote in the entry above, it comes across to me as peevish and inarticulate.
    I’ve been trying to come to terms with this moment in music history for the ten years since it happened (well, it’s not been a full-time job), and I still can’t come up with anything good to say.

  2. I was just about to link to the Thurston Moore article. I think he’s right about Cobain’s less macho, more experimental style.

  3. I was just about to link to the Thurston Moore article. I think he’s right about Cobain’s less macho, more experimental style.

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