Secondly, I never really thought that Nirvana were the greatest gift to mankind. I'm not going to lie, though. I didn't mind them, and I still own copies of their albums. But it never struck me that they were doing anything that bands like Sonic Youth and Husker Du hadn't already achieved in years prior. Yes, they appropriated a riff from my beloved Killing Joke, but that's all ancient history by this point, now falling squarely into "who cares?" territory. Lord knows Killing Joke certainly swiped their own fair share of riffs.
I have no idea what a sit-com called "Smells Like Teen Spirit" would be about, but I can only assume it'll be a "wacky" depiction of the flannel-swaddled early 90s, rife with thinly sketched stereotypes slinging around the appropriate lingo and sporting era-specific Melvins t-shirts and the like. If I'm right about that assumption, it certainly doesn't bode well for the series.
In any case, the news did indeed jump-start some of my own memories of the era, and those are all inexorably woven with associations with specific music. While, yes, I did own a copy of Nevermind and discs by other Seattle bands like Soundgarden (way better than Nirvana, btw), Pearl Jam, Mudhoney et al., I was largely more into several East Coast outfits like my beloved COP SHOOT COP, Helmet, Surgery, Barkmarket and their high-decibel ilk. By no means did the Pacific Northwest hold the copyright on noise rock.
In the fall of 1992, I actually took a trip to Seattle to visit my friend Sam, who'd moved out there after we'd interned at SPIN together (how very "alt.rock" of us). That visit was heavily scored by Lunapark, the debut album by the new band of Dean Wareham (ex-Galaxie 500) called Luna. Where Galaxie 500 was languid and minimalist, Luna was more of a straightforward ensemble, crafting perfect pop songs, but couching them with rockier guitars and Warheham's inimitably sleepy vocal delivery. And as I was on the shakey rebound of a botched office romance at the time, Luna's songs about relationship dysfunction could not have been more appropriate. I lived inside this record for a while.
What I didn't realize is that Luna actually made a (comparatively big budget) video for the album's "big single," "Slash Your Tires," which I didn't see until this morning. While it's far from the greatest video (depicting a "Sid & Nancy"-style couple in the throes of tumult), it features some provocative scenes of the Lower East Side (and maybe a little bit of Brooklyn) circa 1992, which prompted me to post it here. See below.
Years later, Luna is no more, Sam left Seattle and moved to Portland, Oregon (also very hip, I'm told) and "alt.rock" is now a punch line. The end.