When Nirvana’s music was new in the early 1990s, I was in a “I will only listen to classic rock and Prince” phase, so I missed out on being present for arguably the last band that really changed the world. About 10 years after Kurt Cobain committed suicide, I was ready to hear Nirvana’s music with an open-minded ear, and I had a way after the fact epiphany on their greatness. For those who gave Kurt that crown in his life time, they are about to see a whole different side of Kurt Cobain that until now has only existed in myths and legends.
Courtney Love and Brett Morgen
At the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2015, I went to the premiere of Brett Morgen’s documentary “Montage of Heck,” and if you are even remotely interested in Nirvana or Kurt Cobain, I cannot recommend this movie enough to you. The film has everything you could ask for – from lots of home movies of a young Kurt Cobain to interviews with mother, father, sister, generous helpings of entries from his journals that come to life (you’ll see!), performance footage and home movies that show him as a loving, but drug addicted father (and apparently 80% of the footage in the film has never been seen before by the public). You will see that from an early age, Kurt was tremendously talented, yet also very troubled. From bad family relations to chronic stomach problems, to drug use, Kurt Cobain had the odds stacked against him from the very beginning, but he did not let any of these things deter his love of music and he made his vision of becoming a rock star a reality. What he didn’t expect (and memo to everyone post 1900 that becomes famous – everyone wants a piece of you all the time! If you don’t want that, look for a different path in life), was that you can’t just be famous and have people leave you alone. At the height of Nirvana’s fame in 1991, Kurt canceled a tour to instead do drugs and hang out in his apartment. Every time Kurt would get his shit together, the moment was fleeting and he would relapse into drug use, even after he and his wife, Courtney Love, had a child. He was haunted by magazine articles that openly called out their drug use, as Courtney owns up to being on heroin while pregnant. Coupled with the paranoia that she was cheating, Kurt Cobain overdosed on pills while on tour in Italy and committed suicide a month later at the age of 27. You’ll probably never hear “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” from their legendary MTV Unplugged appearance the same way again.
Courtney Love and Brett Morgen
“Montage of Heck,” will make you will feel like you are eavesdropping in intimate moments, when you see footage of Kurt and Courtney in the bathroom getting ready (the footage was shot by a member of Courtney’s band Hole) and you might even feel disgusted when you see the shambolic state of their living quarters, riddled with trash, but most of all, when you see Kurt nodding out from heroin use while he and Courtney are cutting their daughter’s hair, you will feel sad for a man who may have had fortune and fame, but had a pretty shitty life in most respects. After the film, director Brett Morgen and Courtney Love discussed the film and Courtney alluded to the fact that a sex tape exists (it’s thankfully not in “Montage of Heck”). Much of what they discussed is readily available in articles you’ll see about the film, but I thought the most poignant moment was Courtney Love discussing what it was like to see the film. Get the tissues ready and check out this clip.
“Montage of Heck” will be shown on HBO on May 4, 2015 and you should not miss it! Hopefully a DVD release date will be announced soon, because this is possibly the most important document that Nirvana fans could ever own (and if Brett Morgen is reading, please fill it with bonus features!!!!). Coincidentally, I recently read the book “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross and I also recommend it as it will fill in some of the gaps that this amazing 2 hour and 12 minute movie didn’t have time to get to.
On March 23, 2015, Sweden’s Erik Hassle played a sold-out show at Pianos in New York. The show was announced at the last minute, making it even more impressive that fans packed the house for the criminally underrated pop/soul singer. Erik Hassle is currently supporting New Zealand’s Broods (see video I shot at one of their first ever US shows here) and decided to book a solo gig where he showcased several new songs in front of an adoring crowd, which also included his parents and many of his friends from Sweden. Erik Hassle has a hell of a voice, very soulful and his dance moves on stage will make you fall in love with him.
I would normally be posting a video I took at the show, but sadly the Youtube police are after me at the moment for copyright infringement – despite the fact that I don’t make a penny from my Youtube account AND I post concert videos with the intention of turning my readers onto music they probably would not be exposed to without my site. Thanks for sticking up for me (and all the others that are in a similar position) bands, managers, etc – NOT! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!
Erik Hassle – Pianos
So in the absence of a live version of “Innocence Lost,” which I would have loved to have posted, you should definitely check out that song. It’s amazing! If you want to see the video, you can come over to my place. Ha! As an alternate plan, for my international readers, you can see a little clip of “Fuck The Pain Away” on my Instagram account. In addition, you can hear samples of many Erik Hassle tracks on his official website (link will open in a new window). Before his final song of the night “No Words,” Erik mentioned that the song will be available as a single in the next few weeks, so be on the look out for that song. It was great! Follow him on his Soundcloud page for updates.
Erik Hassle is supporting Broods on the following dates, so make sure you don’t miss his set (because it will likely be as good if not better than the main act).
03/25 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY
03/26 – Trocadero Theater – Philadelphia, PA
03/27 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
03/28 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
03/29 – Masquerade (Hell Stage) – Atlanta, GA
03/31 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
04/01 – Trees – Dallas, TX
04/02 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
Erik Hassle Pianos Setlist
Thanks for a great show Erik. Can’t wait to see you again!
Great news music fans! Penguin Prison is back! After touring the world as a DJ and producing remixes for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Imagine Dragons (just to name a few), Chris Glover and his band Penguin Prison have announced their second album “Lost In New York,” which drops on May 5, 2015. Penguin Prison debuted a handful of new tracks at a sold out show, their first full band show in 2 years, at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 12, 2015. If you liked the funky and extremely catchy dance/ pop songs on their debut, you will not be disappointed with the material on “Lost in New York.” Pre-order the new album at this link (which will open in a new window).
You can stream the new track “Try To Lose” below.
After the show, Chris revealed that Penguin Prison will be playing Music Hall of Williamsburg some time during the release week for “Lost In New York,” so be sure you don’t miss it. Welcome back Penguin Prison! We’ve missed you!!!
Penguin Prison – Rough Trade Setlist
The setlist was:
Calling Out (new song) / Golden Train / The Worse It Gets / Try To Lose (new song) / Multi-Millionaire / Caught In A Daze (new song) / Never Gets Old (new song) / Don’t Tell Me (new song) / Show Me The Way (new song) / Don’t Fuck With My Money.
Photo by G. “I Won The Internet!” art by Troy Gua.
Rebel Heart vs I Won The Internet!
Hello! Remember me? Since we last spoke, I released my third book, “I Won The Internet!” which is available now on sites like Amazon.com. I took a break after the release of the book to do some promotion and also to get my nervous system back. For 5 years, I’ve been going out pretty much 7 nights a week in search of letting you all know the best art and music you should focus your energies on. To this day, there is not another website on the internet that has ever done the things I have done – experiencing, photographing and writing about all the content that appears on their site. It’s really sad to me that the world isn’t any the wiser as they continue to read sites written by people who rip off and re purpose content off the web and try pass it off as their own, but that is not my problem – it’s yours for supporting it! Readers have kindly been nudging me to return to this site for a few months and the love has been overwhelming. I thank you kindly for your love and support. You shouldn’t consider this my full return to According2g.com, but I will try pop in from time to time and let you know what’s up. You can also follow me on Instagram or Twitter @according2g for updates.
What better way to kick things off than with one of my favorite love-to-hate subjects – Madonna. I’ve been a fan of her since the beginning of her career and to her death, I will probably always be interested in what she’s up to. What I despise about her is that she has never lived a “practice what you preach existence,” and pretty much anyone that has been around her that has not signed a non-disclosure agreement rarely has a nice thing to say about her. It’s a shame since she is always singing about love and peace, but it fascinates me that people (myself included) continue to be captivated by someone whose only care for you is how she can carefully take your money. If you think that sentence is egregious in any way, you are in serious denial and you need help.
Regardless, I go into all of her albums with an open mind, because I will not lie, when her music ‘does it’ for me, it makes my world a happier place and I will always be grateful for that, and this new album has those moments from time to time, although fleeting. Her 13th studio album “Rebel Heart” has been a disaster since before the album even had a title. In December 2014, before the record even had a release date or a title, 13 songs in perfect quality, but in demo form, leaked to the internet in full. To try and do some damage control, Madonna oh so kindly, finished up 6 tracks and let people who pre-ordered the album have those songs instantly. She called it her Christmas present to fans. Insulting since her real fans (the people still interested in supporting her career) downloaded the songs for free days before (deny it all you want, but you and I both know that is the truth – not just for her but for any veteran act), but I digress…. In the interim, she announced the full album would be 19 songs long (except for a 26 song deluxe edition) and would be released in March of 2015. Before the end of 2014, an additional 19 songs leaked in full, so the grand total of songs that were “out there for free” at this point was 32. Madonna’s PR team went on a manhunt to find the person that hacked into her computer and released these songs into the wild and a person was captured. Leaks over, right? Not! A few days later, the finished version of the deluxe edition (25 songs) leaked onto the internet in perfect quality. And before the official release of the album, an additional few songs leaked, bringing the grand total number of tracks (including multiple different versions of certain tracks) to over 50! Makes you wonder – was the leak a publicity stunt? Is she having trouble with her mega-deal and she wants out? Rarely any information “officially released” these days is the truth, and so many of her fans are sheep that actually believe she’s a kind hearted person, so we may never know the truth.
It’s a good time to be a fan because there is certainly a lot of material to choose from and some of it is her best work in over a decade. Whoever sequenced the album and chose certain producers did a really crappy job as many of the demos were great and subsequently ruined by over (or under) production. Also many great songs were scrapped from the official release in favor of much worse songs. She’s been pulling the ageism card in interviews to try and gain sympathy and attention for the album, and to some extent she is right – the world caters to the youth and that sucks – but awesomeness always rises to the top. Frankly I think, Madonna looks amazing “for her age” (since she went there). Her plastic surgery doesn’t look as scary as it used to and she works out so much, she has a really great body. I am not really sure if I enjoy seeing her put her tits and pussy on display anymore, but sex sells and that’s always been part of the winning formula for Madonna, so why stop now?
After the jump, see my brief track by track review, as I try and make some sense out of this mess.
I am so proud of Sam Smith! In August of 2013, he was playing to 250 people at Mercury Lounge and less than one year later, he headlined the legendary Apollo Theater! The very sold out show took place in Harlem on June 17, 2014. The blue-eyed soul singer is 21 years old and in this important year of his life, he’s traveled around the world and back, had a few club hits by lending his voice to songs by dance duo Disclosure, was outed by the media after he matter-of-factly mentioned that the songs on his album were about a guy that didn’t love him back (how come the media doesn’t make straight people do this?), and of course on June 17, 2014 his debut album “In The Lonely Hour,” was released officially in the USA and will be battling with Lana Del Rey for the #1 spot this week.
During the show, Sam Smith thanked the crowd multiple times and mentioned how mind blowing it was to share the same stage that so many of his heroes (including Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson) have performed on. He told the stories of the songs before they were played with his tight band (that featured 3 backing singers and a string section), and he played nearly every track from “In The Lonely Hour” whilst also throwing in “La La La,” a stripped down version of “Latch,” “Nirvana” from the EP with the same name (and below, you can see a video of it) and for the final song of the night “Stay With Me,” Sam Smith brought out Mary J. Blige to perform the song as a duet, which of course was the perfect cherry on top to a fantastic evening. Apparently the show was being recorded, so let’s hope for a DVD or live album because the show was EXCELLENT!
Mary J Blige and Sam Smith
I wish Sam Smith tremendous success and I have no doubt that he will be a name you won’t be forgetting. And now… let Sam Smith take you to Nirvana!
The setlist was:
Intro / Nirvana / Together / Leave Your Lover / I’m Not the Only One / I Told You Now / Like I Can / Restart / Good Thing – Berlin / La La La / Lay Me Down / Money On My Mind
Latch / Make it To Me / Stay With Me (with Mary J. Blige).