Would Kurt Cobain’s Super Weird Mixtape Give Me the Urge to Make Out With Him? — LISTEN
Nirvana fans rejoiced when a 33 minute long musical montage from Kurt Cobain recorded in 1988 was released on Monday morning, and I have to admit that no one was more excited than me. See, it's a well known fact that I have an obsession with 90s goddess Courtney Love. But what most people don't know is that a 7th grade crush on her husband was my gateway drug into grunge. Yeah, that's right, I had a major crush on Cobain, one that encompassed the majority of my preteen life.
This crush, however, felt wrong after the sad news was delivered that he was, you know, dead. In fact, considering I was 12 in 2003, he was more than a little bit dead. He was, like, tremendously dead. So by virtue of being dead, we never really ended up together. It is a damn shame.
Anyway, this extensive remix, Montage of Heck, presses further intrigue, because I've recently taken to making mixes for people I love. Not necessarily romantically, but you know. Mixes at one point in time used to be a choice move for showing someone how you feel. In this case, it's like my dead boyfriend is sending me a gift from beyond the grave. ~Romantic.~
I know what you're thinking. "Maybe this wasn't a gift to a paramour, Mary Grace, maybe this was simply the fun creative project of someone whose natural musical inclinations would inspire him to create a wacky, cacophonous concoction." Maybe shut up. A girl can dream, can't she? So I listened to it, start to finish, trying to determine if this early Cobain endeavor would've worked on me like a grungy aphrodisiac. Well...
I was feeling dreamy when it began, starting out with a vintage croon. Very quickly, though, it glitches out to a variety of bathroom noises, birds, vomiting flies, chats about Satan. Around five minutes in, you flat-out feel like you're in a horror film. Meep.
But Cobain didn't stray from the classics, and those are maybe the best parts, if only because they lull you into a false sense of comfort. Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" at about eight minutes is a smooth, eerily calming addition. I also really love "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family, which pops up briefly a little bit before the 20 minute mark, and Led Zepplin's "A Whole Lot of Love," which appears in a sizable chunk beginning around 26 minutes. Then there's a whole conversation from The Flintstones about Fred's bowling in there, and a Toucan Sam commercial. So cool, but so weird, and so utterly unprovoked.
God knows it's no In Utero, but it deserves so much respect for the sheer amount of effort put into it. This isn't something casually mixed up on GarageBand; it probably took hours of compiling, organizing and distorting the expansive amount of media. And let's talk about that, too; Cobain subverts mainstream music and television to show that, while he's an aware consumer of modern media, he embraces said influences to a degree as evident by their inclusion. However, he twists them into something jumbled and dark that's, like, 113 percent punk rock.
That's not to say that after listening to it I would ever want to listen to it again. Nor would my appraisal imply that I would not be above making out with him so I didn't have to focus on it. But would this horrifying musical montage make me want to kiss a 21-year-old Kurt Cobain? Well... yeah. Yes, it would. For sheer concept and technical execution alone, it warrants at least second base. What can I say? Creative and deranged are my type. As in, I've made out with people who have done worse. Rest assured.
Would Montage of Heck light your metaphorical fire? Or are young Cobain's efforts too avant-garde for you? Listen below and see how you feel!
Images: Getty Images, Giphy.com