Gobblin' Cobain - Page 2

Focus on his words in Kurt Cobain about a Son and on his face in Unplugged in New York
|
()

When the band seems to dither over the last song, one female audience member yells, "<0x2009>'Rape Me'!" "Is that Kennedy?" someone asks, referring to the noxious alterna-VJ of the day. "I don't think MTV will let us play that," Cobain replies with an insouciant, knowing air. If you're still looking for that classic Gen X cynicism, look no further than MTV, which seems to have ditched music programming in general.

So why did Cobain sing for his TV dinner in the first place? Was it simply because In Utero (DGC, 1993) wasn't selling well? Just months before his passing, Cobain already looked like another pop idol prepping to die young and leave a gorgeous corpse. Or not. Nonetheless, here, bird-boned with downcast eyes, he edges closer to that beautiful boy outlined in Elizabeth Peyton's paintings, ready to assume his place in a pantheon of perpetually doodled, iconographic heartthrobs, right after Jim Morrison and James Dean. Nirvana was a great band — but as so many know who were there, cognizant, and occasionally coherent when Nevermind (Geffen, 1991) hit, there were lots of great bands. Ever the authentic article, Cobain knew this as much as any other, which is why he always gave a hand to forebears, bringing on the Meat Puppets (much to the disappointment of MTV, according to an accompanying DVD short) and sporting a T-shirt of the SF all-female art-punk combo Frightwig for this performance. Did it simply take Cobain's dramatic death to, as an MTV executive dork opines in the short, turn an "interesting, eclectic performance" into "a masterpiece"? Neither of these spooked offerings really fits that descriptor, but for the faithful they might do till another comes along. *

KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON

Opens Nov. 30

See film listings

www.landmarktheatres.com

For live music picks, see www.sfbg.com/blogs/music.

Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within

  • Also in this section

  • Peace-out

    After seven rockin' years, Sonic Reducer bids adieu with a look back at some choice musical moments

  • Feel the 'Love

    Rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink gets it, Carly Simon and all

  • Sly 'n' sincere

    Don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Plus: Midlake and Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs