Only a few days ago it was 44 years since The Kinks published in 1968 The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. The album, believe it or not, was not a succesful record as it did not even get to appear in the UK charts and only sold around 100,000 copies. However, there is a time and a place for everything and the audience consider now this album one of the best (if not the best) the band has ever made and have tried to “understand” its commercial failure stating that the record was out of its time.
Kurt Cobain is probably one of the most charismatic singers ever. His alienation and sorrow turned his songs into anthems of the apathetic society he lived in; and those anthems made him an icon that is still remembered. In the ephemeral world of fame, few artists reach the glory, and Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana achieved it after having released only three studio albums. What makes Kurt Cobain a timeless icon that still attracts thousands of people?
Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Seattle, in 1967. Aberdeen was a small town in the state of Washington, a boring and grey town where children grew up with no dreams or big hopes. Kurt had a happy childhood, at least until his parents decided to divorce. When Kurt saw how the safety of a solid family faded away, he felt lost and guilty. That was the beginning of his road to the icon he would become later. After his parents ‘divorce Cobain started to seek safety in other things like religion (Christianity, Jainism or Buddhism), painting (especially human anatomy) or bullied classmates (he became close friends with a gay classmate, which would lead her classmates to think Kurt himself was gay). But his true passion was music.
After some unsuccessful tries in bands –like Fecal Matter- he formed Nirvana (which means “freedom from pain, suffering and the external world”) with bassist and classmate Kris Novoselic. Many drummers would come and go, until 1990 when Dave Grohl joined the band. They eventually managed to sign a contract with SubPop, and release their first studio album Bleach in 1989. SubPop was a very influential record label in Seattle, responsible of the fame of the “grunge” movement in the area. Kurt was never happy with the result, as he felt songs were weak and rushed and the record was constantly changed to fit the record label´s tastes. Still, album managed to receive positive reviews from music critics and sell 1,700,000 copies only in the US.
Disappointed about their own job, they decided to look for a bigger company and signed a contract with DGC records. They began to record a new album, which would eventually become a timeless masterpiece: Nevermind. The band was already popular in the Seattle music scenes, and the record label was expecting to sell at least 200,000 copies. But the lead single, Smells Like Teen Spirit, changed everything. It was released just as a promotional cut from the album, but it soon became the band´s signature tune. Suddenly a grunge song, expected to achieve moderate success in alternative radios, was being played by every TV channel and radio station all over the world. Its lyrics, which were confusing and often an apparent nonsense, soon became the anthem of the 90s. Kurt has refused to openly talk about the song´s meaning, but it has been iconized as a teen revolution song. With such a huge lead single, the album sold over 30,000,000 copies (way more than expected from the label). Nowadays Nevermind is still regarded as one of the best albums ever released, and the responsible of making alternative music jump into the mainstream.
After such a successful and legendary release, the follow-up album was expected with anxiety by fans and critics. But Kurt didn´t want to rush the release, and the label released Incesticide, b-side compilation to calm down the fans. The third studio album, In Utero, was released in September 1993. The record was a huge departure from Nevermind, and didn’t achieve its commercial success. Kurt hated the life he was living as a celebrity and an icon, and wanted to make listeners feel that despair and sorrow in the album (he even wanted to call the album I Hate Myself and I Want to Die). Critically the album achieved acclaim all over the world, with critics praising how different from Nevermind it sounded. In Utero has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and provided singles as popular as Rape Me or Heart-shaped Box.
Nirvana´s is still one of the most celebrated bands ever. Popular magazine Rolling Stone published a list of the 500 Greatest Songs Ever. Four Nirvana songs entered the ranking: All Apologies (#462), Come As You Are (#452), In Bloom (#415) and Smells Like Teen Spirit (#9). In the list of the 500 Greatest Albums Ever three Nirvana albums appear: In Utero (#435) , MTV Unplugged in New York (#313) and Nevermind(#17). In addition to that, Kurt Cobain ranks #73 in the 100 Greatest Guitarists Ever list and #45 in the Greatest Singers Ever list.
Unfortunately music wasn’t the only thing that made Kurt Cobain an icon. His charismatic personality and tortured artistry fascinated thousands of people around the world. His life also became a hot topic in journals and TV shows. Kurt married singer Courtney Love in 1992, and they both had their only children next year. Their relationship was always controversial, and many thought that they weren’t able to have a baby. Kurt was also known for his multiple addictions. He consumed drugs like marijuana and LSD during her teenage years, but heroine was his real addiction. He suffered an unknown stomach illness, and found in heroine the only effective solution to it. There were times when he tried to rehabilitate, but always went back to heroine. He committed suicide in April 1994, after escaping from a rehabilitation hospital. His death is full of mysteries and has led to numerous rumours and speculations.
I decided to write a post about Kurt Cobain because I genuinely believe that there isn´t, there wasn’t and there won’t be any other artist like him. His creativity-depressive and even perverse- and his abilities as a musician haven’t still met a rival.
My web communication plan is focused on Joaquin Achucarro, a basque pianist. I decide to speak about him and one of the concerts that he will give the next week at the Philharmonic Society of Bilbao because my hobby is the piano and I will go to Joaquin’s concert the next Tuesday.
“I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein” — Zubin Mehta
“There is something special with Achucarro. Very few musicians can extract this kind of sound from the piano” — Sir Simon Rattle
“Volupté sonore” “Magnifique!”
“It was a delight to hear piano sonority for once with such a warm and clear and intimate bloom”
“Achúcarro used his fine strength and technical sovereignty to achieve perfect unity with the orchestra”
“The purity of his sound […] Strength, modesty and responsibility of a great artist”
“Joaquín Achúcarro: One of the Greats”
“Achúcarro’s superb performance closes in Beauty the concert series at La Fenice”
“He drew from the piano all the singing quality of the instrument”
“With a dazzling technique and an exquisite poetical sensitivity Achúcarro mesmerized the public”
“Achúcarro is the consummate artist”
“Pianist Achúcarro plays pure magic”
Piperrak is a a rock-punk music band created in “La Rivera” (Spain). We have little information about this group even if it is well-known. They first started playing music in the decade of the 90s in the sorroundings of the Basque area. The band was composed by Josetxu (from Lodosa), Txitxarro (from Alcanadre), Rufo (from Pradejón) and Fermin at the beginning of their career. At the moment Fermin has been substituded to Jabitxu. The name “Piperrak” means peppers in Basque, a very well-kwnown vegetable here.
Now I shall talk about the rough cut. The first one they brought out was in 1990 with the name of “Ahorkate”. Two years later “La Ribera Rock&Roll” had a good success in all Basque country. We can mention some names of the songs like “We don’t care”, “La hora 0”, “Deskontrol” of the first rough cut and of the second one we can find “Potrotaino”, “Okupados”. This last succeded.
In 1994, in hands of Suicide records, would appeared their first official disc whose name was “Arde Ribera”. It contains some songs like “Cualquier día” and “Mi primer amor” which are well-known not just in the Basque Country also in Spain.
In 1996, appeared their followed work which was called “Los muertos de siempre”. We can see that the name is rather frightening but it is just the way the play their songs, which are too hard.
“Los muertos de siempre” was also in hands of the suicide records. However,it was produced by Fernando Madina the singer of Reincidentes another rock-punk basque band.
In 1997, one of the members of the group decided giving up the band and was substituted by Jabitxu who already sings at the moment. He plays the guitar.
After the concert they gave on the 19th January of 1998 in Durango which was a live concert gain in supporters.
Therefore in 2007, they came up with the idea of recording in video a live concert. Durango was the elected place for it. The managed to have around 8000 people, just a huge amount of fans, we can see.
By then, they did not know whether they will continue playing music. Although after seeing how much followers they had, they decided to continue.
In 2009, was shot up “ La kemos liau”. We can see songs like “Demokrazia”, “Ke lo voy hacer” and “Akatu” between others.
To finish with we must know that the band is growing in its followers in all the state and all over the world. Actually, they are pretty known in Catalonia.
- Piperrak. Google search.Fecha de consulta: 17:08, 21 de noviembre del 2011 desde http://www.piperrak.org/
- Piperrak. Wikipedia, La enciclopedia libre. Fecha de consulta: 17: 15, 21 de noviembre del 2011 desde http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piperrak
- Foto. Google search. Fecha de consulta 17:20, 21 de noviembre del 2011 desde
- Myspace. Google search. Fecha de consulta: 17:20, 21 de noviembre del 2011 desde http://www.myspace.com/piperrakband
Looking back to the 50’s or 60’s, when californian beaches were full of surfers lying on the shores and listening to the Beach Boys, nobody would imagine that a man named Jack Johnson, aged 36, and with acoustic genres would revolutionize the concept of Surf music. Therefore, we will take a trip trough the last decades, in order to explain the main changes on the evolution of the surf & music culture, and we will end at Jack Johnson’s works, which nowadays have undoubtedly become very popular and listened. Read more…