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The Grunge Movement
Transcript of The Grunge Movement
Before Starbucks, Microsoft and Boeing went big
It was a very isolated city both physically and culturally
Major bands often didn't bother touring to Seattle, Grunge is a spinoff of the alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s.
It's inspired by hardcore punk and heavy metal
Generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song dynamics, and angst-filled lyrics.
These bands featured a heavy, sludgy sound with slower tempos
Also called the
Some of the big names of this genre included:
Mudhoney By Alex Taylor
Skone p.2 and Northwest Culture "Seattle Sound" "In Seattle it’s almost always grey out, and when the weather's crappy you don't really feel like going outside, you just go into a basement and make a lot of noise to take out your frustration" - Mark Yarm Primary Sources http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/09/16/us/JP-GRUNGE-1/JP-GRUNGE-1-articleLarge.jpg Nirvana at Beehive Records in Seattle on Sept. 16, 1991, for the release of “Nevermind.” Being so separated, the youth of Seattle often felt a sense of anarchy, rebellion and of being anonymous.
Needed ways to entertain themselves - why not start a garage band that captured these feelings?
The Seattle Sound Grunge Music SubPop MTV, Media &
The Seattle Rep Fashion (Mid 1980's- Mid 1990's) Record label from Seattle
First signed Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney
Credited with introducing Grunge
Made the label very successful
Now they work with bands such as:
Fleet Foxes, The Shins, The Postal Service, Beach House, and Flight of the Conchords. Seattle was not a very fashionable place
Filled with lumberjacks and fishermen
The style was warm, layered and inexpensive- very thrift-shop
In 1992, Marc Jacobs came out with a Grunge collection (guru of grunge)
All of a sudden, became really popular!
A Grunge outfit consisted of:
A plaid flannel/thermals/old tee'
Ripped, baggy jeans
Dr. Martens/ Converse "A typical outfit looked as if it were put together with eyes closed in a very dark room"
- Mark Yarm Why So Popular? The lyrics were relevant to the youth
Consisted of issues that every teenager faces: acceptance, self-worth, identity, etc.
Different than any type of music prior to it
The Economic Recession left many feeling angry and hopeless
Mirrored in the music
"Challenge the system" mentality
Taking a stand against conformity
Many people involved with the Grunge label wanted to be established as different
Most modern music lacked authenticity Work Cited LeBlanc, Jeany. "The Influence of an Era | Grunge Music." Jeanette LeBlanc. WordPress, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 June 2013. <http://jeanyleblanc.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/the-influence-of-an-era-grunge-music/>.
Basye, Ali. "The Day That Grunge Became Glam." On This Day In Fashion. 3 Nov. 2010. Web. 04 June 2013.
"`Seattle Scene' And Heroin Use: How Bad Is It?" The Seattle Times [Seattle] . 20 Apr. 1994. Web. 04 June 2013. <http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19940420>.
Batchelor, Bob. "Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge." PopMatters. N.p., 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 04 June 2013. <http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/148553-smells-like-mtv-music-video-and-the-rise-of-grunge/http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/148553-smells-like-mtv-music-video-and-the-rise-of-grunge/>.
Davidson, Helen. "Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit: How an Era-defining Moment Was Sold Short." NewsComAu. N.p., 26 Aug. 2011. Web. 04 June 2013. <http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/nirvanas-smells-like-teen-spirit-four-chords-three-verses-a-lasting-legacy/story-e6frfn09-1226122341753>.
Strong, Catherine. "The Memory of Kurt Cobain." Grunge: Music and Memory. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011. 88-91. Print.
Yarm, Mark. "The Emperor's New Flannel." Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. New York: Crown Archetype, 2011. 352. Print. Mainstream media caught on to Grunge phenomenon, looked for ways to sell it
This is exactly what people involved with Grunge DIDN'T want!!
The biggest “kind of exploitation of a subculture since the media discovered hippies in the ’60s.” (Entertainment Weekly)
All the attention drew many bands to Seattle.
Drove top acts like Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey out of their positions in the charts. "Everybody who went to Seattle seemed to become successful." [MTV] MTV was the epicenter of the music industry
They blurred the line between what was authentic, and what was made just to sell
Changed the whole vibe of Grunge to consumer-focused
MTV was responsible for Nirvana's overwhelming fame
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is what they could sell to people
This type of stuff outlined what MTV was after: Selling you the next big act
Still see this today with the Jersey Shore, etc. “Everyone has focused on that song so much. The reason it gets a big reaction is people have seen it on MTV a million times. It’s been pounded into their brains. But there are so many other songs that I’ve written that are as good, if not better.”
- Kurt Cobain Defining point in Seattle history, it put us on the grid
One of the first types of music to really speak out about real issues in society: self-expression
One of the most defined examples of the commercialization of a trend (MTV, labels, etc)
There could easily be another movement like what we saw with Grunge...
We're in a similar economic state
A lot of people are unsatisfied with many of the social issues in society
Music today is overly edited
Grunge style is making a comeback (One of Nirvana's final performances) (7,000+ people showed up at Kurt Cobain's memorial service at the Seattle Center) The Downfall Commercialization = no bueno
Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home on April 8, 1994
Everyone lost interest in Grunge because there was no more Nirvana
No more media attention
Many bands were dropped by record companies
Media blamed the increase in suicides on Cobain
Media also spotlighted Seattle's rise in heroin use
Seattle became known for having lots of drugs "In reality the rise in heroin use was nationwide but the media only wanted to focus on the current news hotbed" "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana "The fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who has never even been to Seattle, was hailed as "the guru of grunge." - NY Times 11/15/1992 "Guru of Grunge" Quote: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/15/style/grunge-a-success-story.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm Interview with author Mark Yarm Sources: Images: http://www.90s411.com/grunge-fashion.html