Court of the Ginger King: Grunge – Guilty of Fraud

Welcome back, CoS readers! We’re here with another pending argument from the Ginger King himself. If you recall last week, there was quite the debate between our readers and writer Russell Michniak over the validity of Southern rock. Things got a lil’ crazy, but no worries, we actually want that to happen! So, here we are with another round of screaming and hollering. As a fan of grunge music myself, let him have it, folks!

-Michael Roffman, Editor in Chief

Originally, I was going to say Grunge killed music, but I think that might be giving too much credit to a small blip on the musical landscape. So, let’s go about it another way. How about this? Grunge was a complete waste of time on multiple levels. That sounds better and like last time, we’ll keep it to the lists…

1. The reason for its popularity was an overreaction to a fucking fad.

Just like people who get tired of eating the same food every day, listeners can get tired of the same music (unless they are coked up and having sex with Tawny Kitaen on the Sunset strip).

That’s right, the main reason people grabbed onto Grunge and those bands were able to put down the drugs long enough to make demos was 80’s hair metal. Pretty pathetic. I enjoy some Winger just as much as the average Joe, but few music fans or critics will truly defend hair metal to their deathbed. At least punk had progressive rock and concept albums!

So yes, Grunge tried to do the whole “simple music with meaningful lyrics geared to end the music industry and fuck shit up with the establishment”, but being the cyclical reaction to hair metal wasn’t exactly a good start.

2. The poster boy of the genre and movement was a pussy.

Many people love Kurt Cobain. His music speaks to them. They loved him when they were younger, and he inspired people to play power chords for the rest of their lives.

Too bad he was a colossal pussy.

I’m not condemning suicide as a way to go out, but let’s be serious here. Ian Curtis killed himself, but it was before their popularity. His wife and kid left him, he knew what he would become (an American rock star), and these are understandable things to end yourself over.

Cobain was already an MTV darling, a platinum record selling artist, and his wife was going to suck off his teat as long as she could. Either Cobain orchestrated the whole timing of his death to hopefully be remembered forever or he thought he was a sellout and couldn’t handle it. (No matter how many drugs you take, after the fifth or sixth music video, you are technically a sell out)

Speaking of Courtney “Jizzjar” Love, she is the main reason he was a pussy. He let her live and to a greater extent, he let her win. Cobain was smart enough to know she was going to capitalize on everything Nirvana related, that she was going to fuck up their kids, and she was going to ruin whatever else she got her grubby hooves onto. Knowing all that, he owed it to the world to not let that shit happen.

Roll call of music geniuses taken before they could become really old and forgotten:

  • Hendrix – Drugs, black and left-handed.
  • Lennon – Assassinated for still unknown reasons, which is kind of badass.
  • Ian Curtis – See Above.
  • Bob Marley – Obscure disease, made anti-white people music popular to whites
  • Elvis – Completely stopped giving a fuck, and that is kind of cool.
  • Old Dirty Bastard – Drugs, and he broke down the society-imposed barriers between pretty girls and ugly girls and why both are pretty to him anyway.
  • Cobain – Courtney Love’s vagina combined with worries about being a sell out made him kill himself.

3. Flannel was used as a trendy ironic clothing choice.

I am usually all for music movements providing hilarious fashion senses, but there was a time when kids in urban cities were walking around in tattered jeans and flannel shirts because they were sooooo grunge. Fuck that shit. If you wear flannel, you listen to music you can chop wood too, not the music your rebellious kid (who happens to hate that you chop wood) listens to.

4. The 90’s sucked musically and Grunge is the most critically accepted genre of anything that came out of that decade.

Feminist rock (Lilith Fair), alternative pop (Weezer), the first wave of boy bands and packaged pop stars (not going to name them), mainstream rap and hip hop (I’m personally more East coast), and one hit wonders a plenty. These all are okay links in the musical chain, but grunge is somehow regarded as this diamond of achievement.

Next time you listen to your iPod, how much of what you are listening to is from the 90’s? Almost nothing if you are still progressing as a music listener. Let’s say you are super cool and listen to vinyl because they sound so organic. Do you own any vinyls from 90’s bands? I doubt it.

Stop fooling yourself and just admit the 90’s were a weak musical decade and grunge was just a “little” different. This is not a reason to hold something up above everything else.

5. Sorry, but grunge did not change shit on the musical landscape.

The late 80’s and early 90’s were a magical time in music. There were bands of men who roamed concert halls across middle America, wearing makeup like women and bringing this crazy, new music known as “metal” to suburbia. One such band was called Ratt. Also, music critics and college students celebrated this new thing called “indie music” and they created zines to publicize their love of bands like REM and the Talking Heads. Why? Because they weren’t covered by the mainstream press. Because of their weird lyrics and discordant sounds. Even more peculiar was this idea of groups of men, who didn’t play any instruments, coming together and dancing in unison. They called themselves things like The New Kids on the Block. In clubs, hard beats and dance sounds known as “House” music appealed to all different kids across the country.

But present day is also an interesting time in music. Bands of young men roam concert halls across middle America wearing mascara and pastels and bring this new music called “punk” to suburbia. They have crazy names like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. Music critics and college students celebrate “indie rock” on blogs to publicize their love of bands like Vampire Weekend and TV on the Radio, also because these bands bring new things such as odd lyrics and discordant sounds. Furthermore, today we have men like Justin Timberlake who choose to forego instruments for dancing in unison. And in clubs today, hard beats and dance sounds known as “Electronica” appeal to different kids across the country.

The fact of the matter is that Grunge didn’t change the musical landscape. It was simple chords combined with very emotive singing and all the other shit it just imagined. All Grunge did was inspire people to delve further into music and eventually lose interest in grunge. As a whole, it was just a small little trend in a long history far more interesting.

And for you kids out there still clinging onto grunge as the music of your youth or the music that inspired you to pick up a guitar, I hope you enjoy all the post-grunge bands out there like Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd.

The main thing grunge does is let asshole music critics throw yet another genre term into reviews and articles. So, if I could say a word to the genre, thanks for making my job easier and for wasting my time by purporting to be more important than you actually are.

Court adjourned.

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