Thursday, February 5, 2009

CLASSIC WEIRD NIRVANA JAM #1 – CURMUDGEON (LITHIUM SINGLE B-SIDE)




Yeah yeah, I know nirvana is too rock for many, but I wanted to do some quick pieces high-lighting some of their best weird songs, so people who are more into the spacer jams could dig some Nirvana songs. My first entry is Curmudgeon, a song which was the b-side to the “top 20 smash hit” Lithium single and sadly was later remixed and fucked up by some idiot who does “modern mastering” aka “killing all sound range” mastering for the With The Lights out box-set version. I’m not sure of the exact date, but I think this single came out very late 1991 or early 1992 when Geffen were sweating balls on what could be the next Teen Spirit.


OK, enough of that intro, boring talk, to the song we go! Shortly after Nevermind was getting huge, Kurt was really confused, partying a lot and he starting to write weirder and deeper songs that would appear on In Utero, which is hands down one of the best rock records of the 90’s....way way better than Nevermind. After Nirvana was mixed and mastered to the bands unliking, the band was desperate to make raw and direct music that harkened back to the Bleach/Incesticide era of the band. Thank got they went back to the raw, since I can’t even listen to Nevermind anymore, who thought it was a hot idea in mixing to sample drum beats with samples and put chorus on the guitar all over the album.....some moron, maybe his name is Andy Wallace!! Everyone is better off with the Nevermind demos or even the boombox jams on the box set.


Maybe I’m talking about Nevermind too much, back to the jam...this song, along with the Jesus Lizard split 7” track (Oh The Guilt) were recorded with Barrett Jones at the Laundry Room. Upon further research of this song, I learned Laundry Room was in fact a laundry room in Barrett Jones’ basement and he was just some guy with an 8-track Dave Grohl was friend with. Awesome. For this session, the band decided to improvise and jamout a song and Curmudgeon was written on the spot. Interestingly, this song was never performed live by the band, one of the few to have this honour.


OK, time to talk about the actual music finally. You can probably tell I love Nirvana too much already. So, the song moves along at a semi-fast and perfect pace with a heavy, thumpy drumbeat reminiscent of Floyd The Barber, kicked up a level with Dave Grohl’s supreme drum skills. Krist Novoselic lays down some heavy string bends on a totally fuzzed out bass. Even though people always talk about KC, those other dudes played such a huge part in the flow and timbre of every song, and have been under-rated, kind of like the other dudes from The Jimi Hendrix Experience; everyone knows any Hendrix shit without those 2 dudes is just not the killer Hendrix shit you need to hear and head-bang to.


Now to the star of the show: KC...Kurt lays down some totally phased out, heavy as fuck, sludge guitar, probably the closest he comes to noise-rock jammage on any Nirvana song in their whole catalogue. He kills the mic on this one, does some wicked stretchouts of words that seem to go on forever and some totally throat-shredding screams that sound raw, direct and primal, the way only a basement tape can sound. When you think about the time in their life, being hyped beyond belief and kinda freaking out about it, it was awesome to see that they decided to just get together, jam the fuck outta some killer riffs, and drop it to 8-track. (M. McLean)


MP3 LINX


just go to youtube and look it up....i’m sure some fan has a sick video of them playing along to it on acoustic guitar or something. Actually maybe look up “Curmudgeon Lithium” to get the proper mix first!!!

4 comments:

  1. this and the hormoaning version of Aneurysm were my favorite nirvana songs during my teens. for ages now though nothing can top "milk it"

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  2. thanks for making me rediscover this song!
    fuckiiiiiiiiiiiiiin' grrrrrrrrreat!
    plus i liked the background info you laid down for it
    from one huge nirvana fan to another
    cheers

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  3. Nirvana were super formative in my quest for the weirder stuff. The sonically rowdier songs on In Utero still hold up for me.

    I had to laugh when reading the following from Mark Prindle's review of Soak the Saddle: "The first sound you hear is Nirvana's 'Radio Friendly Unit Shifter.'"

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  4. I just wish more things like Endless, Nameless and Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip were released...

    Also, does or does not Panty Mind remind anyone else of Downer?

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