Tag Archives: Nirvana

Race, Riot Grrl, the Black Rock Movement, and Nirvana: The Teen Espirit Revisited Overflow

Teen Espirit Revisited

This all started with J*Davey.

The first sunny morning I experienced in San Francisco, right before I went to hang with the Wikipedians, I checked my email and was treated to a free download of Jack and Brook’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit“.

Little did I know that later in the year I would get a chance to try to contextualize the impact of Nevermind, and Nirvana, and I would do it in the pages of Spin thanks to my awesome editor Charles Aaron. (The magazine is on newsstands now, page 45, and in digital form.)

My pitch for a piece exploring the 90s, and cultural angst was accepted, and the opening paragraph of my pitch was so well received it ended up as the opening for the article. But when I sat down to research, I realized I was making some assumptions about writing on culture that weren’t going to bear out. And after interviewing J*Davey, Jeff Chang, Laina Dawes, Allison Wolfe, Simon Tam, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Frannie Kelley, and Felix Contreras, I realized I had an 8,000 word draft that had to fit into a 2,000 word space. So a lot of really amazing thoughts – especially thoughts that veered a bit too far from the angst theme we eventually settled on – ended up on the cutting room floor. What’s the deal with Generation X? What did NWA and Nirvana have in common? How did corporatization impact the grunge movement? Did the grunge movement push out black rockers? I could have written a dozen other articles based on the stories people told me, but alas, print has space limits.

Still, I wanted to share with you all a bit of the overflow. Fun quotes and discussions after the jump. Continue reading

Ignite Talk: Hacking Diversity, Part 1 – How Do We Define Culture?

Back in June, I participated in an experimental journalism unconference called Spark Camp. The conversations were great and the other attendees were amazing, but one of the highlights of the conference were our ignite sessions. An ignite talk is when presenters agree to create a five minute talk on any subject, accompanied by twenty slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds. This was a bit nerve-wracking for me, since I’m an extemporaneous speaker by nature, and it takes me about five minutes to get warmed up enough to relax (and to slow down my naturally quick speech pattern.) But it turned out fairly well. Took me a while to get into the rhythm though. I decided to do my first ignite talk on Nirvana and how we define culture, since I spent most of June working on the Spin article out in this month’s issue (More on that later). So here’s the video – transcript after the jump:

Continue reading