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Archive for the ‘Vaselines’ Category

Molly’s Lips

Molly’s lips – The Vaselines

Something else. Learning guitar after Nirvana meant learning guitar through Nirvana – through tabs, through power chords, through the guitar being held as the hallowed instrument. I remember the shock felt by myself and others upon finding that this song had only two chords. Two chords?! That’s not a song. That is not what i expect from legitimate, professional music; from a band who grace the cover of every guitar magazine, considered the paramount practitioners of the instrument.

This was the world Nirvana found themselves in: A world of expected talent, proficiency, legitimacy; their presence and power acknowledged, in the same magazine next to Steve Vai or someone, to their derision or favour. You can’t let just any band be as big as Nirvana with only two chords. You cannot allow simple music such profile.

Yet as a Vaselines song, with all that expectation and desire nonexistent, it makes perfect sense. I regret so much my younger self’s affront of it. There’s no need for analysis, no questioning of it resting on two lone chords, no second thought. What else could this be? How else should this be? In no way else. It is a song. It is. It is a perfect song.

closely watched trains

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Molly’s Lips

Molly’s lips – The Vaselines

The greatest thing about Nirvana was that they were an underground band and brought that being wholly – conduct, outlook, attitude, craft, and (point!) influence – with them when they surfaced. It’s probable that they struggled to keep it there more visibly so as they found themselves forever stranded in the mainstream, not as any credibility exercise but as a kind of yearning. Things are better there. I’m not sure how i or the world would view the Vaselines, if we’d even view them at all, if it were not for Nirvana championing them to a world kept blind to anything not on a major record label, radio, in major music press. Vicarious hype.

As much as i appreciate Nirvana first showing the Vaselines to me, the original is clearly the better song. It’s not only that i find the Vaselines better and that little bit more appealing. The Nirvana cover rests a little too much in guitar, guitar, GUITAR formula. And it doesn’t have a bicycle horn.

ontempt

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