Features | Awards

The Oh Right, Fuck Yeah Award

By Clayton Purdom | 14 December 2009

Nirvana :: Live at Reading
(Geffen; 2009)

A lot of people sorta “tried their hands” at the ol’ “writing about the Beatles definitively” thing this year, and they all sorta “made an ass out of themselves” with “skull-numbing inanity,” and I feel the same writing about Nirvana, who were the reason why I like everyone else here got a guitar, CD player, bong, etc. So let’s just highlight and then delete that paragraph about Steve Albini’s mix of In Utero and head straight to the bit where I express gratitude for the emergence of this live document, historical reasons for its Importance duly noted in other better reviews, and but which makes completely fucking alive these songs (which they fucking were! Good God, what songs!) whose various hooks and lyrics and implications had receded to the portion of my brain where I also store information like the dates of the Crimean War (from memory: 1853-1856) and the layout of my grandparents’ house (from memory: main bathroom cramped off right hall). Because inasmuch as we were all complicit in Cobain’s death I sometimes think our memorization of his work makes us complicit in its, and then I hear something like Live At Reading and I realize the only relationship the two things have is directly counterposed: that memorization makes eternal something that, good God, ought to be.