Question for Kory

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Dr. Medulla
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Question for Kory

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I'm still poking away, compiling my material for a grunge/Seattle lecture, working on the theme of how punk was broken (a play on punk breaking into the mainstream). I'm curious, sort of as an epilogue, as to how the early 90s are regarded some thirty years later by the Seattle music scene. With nostalgia? Bitterness? Contempt? Something else? It's kind of a neat question, about how those who show up well after the party is over but still work in that space treat the history they've inherited. You're more in the contemptuous camp (I think), but how do others in bands in Seattle regard what came before?
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Re: Question for Kory

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:26pm
I'm still poking away, compiling my material for a grunge/Seattle lecture, working on the theme of how punk was broken (a play on punk breaking into the mainstream). I'm curious, sort of as an epilogue, as to how the early 90s are regarded some thirty years later by the Seattle music scene. With nostalgia? Bitterness? Contempt? Something else? It's kind of a neat question, about how those who show up well after the party is over but still work in that space treat the history they've inherited. You're more in the contemptuous camp (I think), but how do others in bands in Seattle regard what came before?
My general impression these days is that most people are far more bitter about how much of a music town Seattle now is NOT, despite its marketing by Scamazon recruiters as a "hip town." Between all the noise ordinances, venue closures, and gentrification, I don't think there's a lot of time to think about the past other than "must have been nice;" a bit of negative nostalgia maybe? There's some definite reverence for Pearl Jam (go figure) and we have a Chris Cornell statue in front of what used to be EMP, but it's my experience that people don't really talk about the grunge days hardly at all. I don't think bands care much beyond their own current struggles just to book gigs. When you think about Macklemore being the last person to get out of here and what happened (or didn't) to him, I don't think anyone in music here really has many illusions or ambition. If they do, they're whack-jobs. But I think most of them just do it for the experience of being in a band rather than trying to make it anywhere. This is just one man's experience, of course.
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Re: Question for Kory

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Interesting, that notion of negative nostalgia. That is, it seems like a desire for a history that feels relevant, which seems akin to that of hauntology, with its belief that there is no future and, again, a bitter nostalgia for a time before it all went to fuck. But what's kind of funny about your description is that there were people who felt the original scene went to fuck when it was discovered by the rest of the US. They thought it was best as this regional scene without a future, that success killed it. So their perspective (seemingly) is that you all should treasure the futility. Which, well, is only something thaat can be encouraged by the bitterness of success.

(But thanks for the quick reply. I'm rolling so much of this stuff in my head right now, but it's helpful to consider that the early 90s is regarded with equal measure of envy for the past and bitterness as to what's come after.)
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Re: Question for Kory

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:49pm
But what's kind of funny about your description is that there were people who felt the original scene went to fuck when it was discovered by the rest of the US. They thought it was best as this regional scene without a future, that success killed it. So their perspective (seemingly) is that you all should treasure the futility.Which, well, is only something thaat can be encouraged by the bitterness of success.
Yeah, I expect any current bitterness based on the struggle is felt as a result of the fact that "selling out" doesn't really exist anymore, especially not the way it did back then, when resisting it was a big part of band's identities. Due to record labels' panic (largely) and piracy (less so, but still goes a long way to devaluing art), bands are basically puppets these days, doing literally whatever it takes to get heard. It's a very strange and drastic paradigm shift.
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Re: Question for Kory

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Kory wrote:
07 May 2020, 7:19pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:49pm
But what's kind of funny about your description is that there were people who felt the original scene went to fuck when it was discovered by the rest of the US. They thought it was best as this regional scene without a future, that success killed it. So their perspective (seemingly) is that you all should treasure the futility.Which, well, is only something thaat can be encouraged by the bitterness of success.
Yeah, I expect any current bitterness based on the struggle is felt as a result of the fact that "selling out" doesn't really exist anymore, especially not the way it did back then, when resisting it was a big part of band's identities. Due to record labels' panic (largely) and piracy (less so, but still goes a long way to devaluing art), bands are basically puppets these days, doing literally whatever it takes to get heard. It's a very strange and drastic paradigm shift.
Ironic, too, given that the internet has broken the gatekeeping power of the record industry, supposedly freeing bands from their oppression. Yet bands are now engaged in an even greater struggle for recognition. It's workable for bands who established reputations under the old system and can build their current model off that (e.g., Radiohead), but starting from scratch isn't that dissimilar from a lottery ticket.
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by JennyB »

Kory wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:38pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:26pm
I'm still poking away, compiling my material for a grunge/Seattle lecture, working on the theme of how punk was broken (a play on punk breaking into the mainstream). I'm curious, sort of as an epilogue, as to how the early 90s are regarded some thirty years later by the Seattle music scene. With nostalgia? Bitterness? Contempt? Something else? It's kind of a neat question, about how those who show up well after the party is over but still work in that space treat the history they've inherited. You're more in the contemptuous camp (I think), but how do others in bands in Seattle regard what came before?
My general impression these days is that most people are far more bitter about how much of a music town Seattle now is NOT, despite its marketing by Scamazon recruiters as a "hip town." Between all the noise ordinances, venue closures, and gentrification, I don't think there's a lot of time to think about the past other than "must have been nice;" a bit of negative nostalgia maybe? There's some definite reverence for Pearl Jam (go figure) and we have a Chris Cornell statue in front of what used to be EMP, but it's my experience that people don't really talk about the grunge days hardly at all. I don't think bands care much beyond their own current struggles just to book gigs. When you think about Macklemore being the last person to get out of here and what happened (or didn't) to him, I don't think anyone in music here really has many illusions or ambition. If they do, they're whack-jobs. But I think most of them just do it for the experience of being in a band rather than trying to make it anywhere. This is just one man's experience, of course.
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
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Re: Question for Kory

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JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
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Kory
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Kory »

JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Kory wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:38pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:26pm
I'm still poking away, compiling my material for a grunge/Seattle lecture, working on the theme of how punk was broken (a play on punk breaking into the mainstream). I'm curious, sort of as an epilogue, as to how the early 90s are regarded some thirty years later by the Seattle music scene. With nostalgia? Bitterness? Contempt? Something else? It's kind of a neat question, about how those who show up well after the party is over but still work in that space treat the history they've inherited. You're more in the contemptuous camp (I think), but how do others in bands in Seattle regard what came before?
My general impression these days is that most people are far more bitter about how much of a music town Seattle now is NOT, despite its marketing by Scamazon recruiters as a "hip town." Between all the noise ordinances, venue closures, and gentrification, I don't think there's a lot of time to think about the past other than "must have been nice;" a bit of negative nostalgia maybe? There's some definite reverence for Pearl Jam (go figure) and we have a Chris Cornell statue in front of what used to be EMP, but it's my experience that people don't really talk about the grunge days hardly at all. I don't think bands care much beyond their own current struggles just to book gigs. When you think about Macklemore being the last person to get out of here and what happened (or didn't) to him, I don't think anyone in music here really has many illusions or ambition. If they do, they're whack-jobs. But I think most of them just do it for the experience of being in a band rather than trying to make it anywhere. This is just one man's experience, of course.
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
Could be, but I really think most of it has to do with gentrification. She's definitely an icon among musicians here, but literally nobody else in the city knows who she is.
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by JennyB »

Kory wrote:
08 May 2020, 1:46pm
JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Kory wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:38pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
07 May 2020, 6:26pm
I'm still poking away, compiling my material for a grunge/Seattle lecture, working on the theme of how punk was broken (a play on punk breaking into the mainstream). I'm curious, sort of as an epilogue, as to how the early 90s are regarded some thirty years later by the Seattle music scene. With nostalgia? Bitterness? Contempt? Something else? It's kind of a neat question, about how those who show up well after the party is over but still work in that space treat the history they've inherited. You're more in the contemptuous camp (I think), but how do others in bands in Seattle regard what came before?
My general impression these days is that most people are far more bitter about how much of a music town Seattle now is NOT, despite its marketing by Scamazon recruiters as a "hip town." Between all the noise ordinances, venue closures, and gentrification, I don't think there's a lot of time to think about the past other than "must have been nice;" a bit of negative nostalgia maybe? There's some definite reverence for Pearl Jam (go figure) and we have a Chris Cornell statue in front of what used to be EMP, but it's my experience that people don't really talk about the grunge days hardly at all. I don't think bands care much beyond their own current struggles just to book gigs. When you think about Macklemore being the last person to get out of here and what happened (or didn't) to him, I don't think anyone in music here really has many illusions or ambition. If they do, they're whack-jobs. But I think most of them just do it for the experience of being in a band rather than trying to make it anywhere. This is just one man's experience, of course.
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
Could be, but I really think most of it has to do with gentrification. She's definitely an icon among musicians here, but literally nobody else in the city knows who she is.
Gotcha.
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Wolter »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:44am
JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
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Re: Question for Kory

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Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:45am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:44am
JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
Pretty amazing, albeit in a literally morbid way. How much does fame and success play into it all? Or were so many of these people drawn to each other by their self-destructive tendencies?
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Wolter »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:50am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:45am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:44am
JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
Pretty amazing, albeit in a literally morbid way. How much does fame and success play into it all? Or were so many of these people drawn to each other by their self-destructive tendencies?
I mean, that scene was drenched in addiction before it even made it to the Buzz Bin.
”INDER LOCK THE THE KISS THREAD IVE REALISED IM A PRZE IDOOT” - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 11:07am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:50am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:45am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:44am
JennyB wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:32am
Do you think the murder of Mia Zapata has an impact on any of this?
It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
Pretty amazing, albeit in a literally morbid way. How much does fame and success play into it all? Or were so many of these people drawn to each other by their self-destructive tendencies?
I mean, that scene was drenched in addiction before it even made it to the Buzz Bin.
Sure, but it's hard not to think that a bunch of people used to living day by day suddenly becoming absurdly wealthy and no longer private, that that turned a drug culture lethal. If Seattle doesn't become a national thing, how many of these guys don't completely burn out? I know that's unanswerable, but I can't help but think that these people were fundamentally killed by the music industry.
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Kory
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Kory »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 11:26am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 11:07am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:50am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:45am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 May 2020, 10:44am


It's amazing the amount of death and violence in that scene. As much as I roll my eyes at the angsty darkness of the music, collectively they lived it.
Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
Pretty amazing, albeit in a literally morbid way. How much does fame and success play into it all? Or were so many of these people drawn to each other by their self-destructive tendencies?
I mean, that scene was drenched in addiction before it even made it to the Buzz Bin.
Sure, but it's hard not to think that a bunch of people used to living day by day suddenly becoming absurdly wealthy and no longer private, that that turned a drug culture lethal. If Seattle doesn't become a national thing, how many of these guys don't completely burn out? I know that's unanswerable, but I can't help but think that these people were fundamentally killed by the music industry.
I don't know if you've been here, but Seattle is a depressed town. I'm constantly depressed, I'm sure those guys were too. Drugs help you forget.
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Re: Question for Kory

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Kory wrote:
09 May 2020, 3:52pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 11:26am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 11:07am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:50am
Wolter wrote:
09 May 2020, 10:45am


Out of all the ones from that scene to really hit it big on MTV, Vedder is the only frontman left. And that’s not taking less famous people like Zapata, the guy from Mother Love Bone whose name I forget, and the bass player from Alice In Chains whose name I also forget into account. I don’t know any localized rock sub genre with a body count nearly as high.
Pretty amazing, albeit in a literally morbid way. How much does fame and success play into it all? Or were so many of these people drawn to each other by their self-destructive tendencies?
I mean, that scene was drenched in addiction before it even made it to the Buzz Bin.
Sure, but it's hard not to think that a bunch of people used to living day by day suddenly becoming absurdly wealthy and no longer private, that that turned a drug culture lethal. If Seattle doesn't become a national thing, how many of these guys don't completely burn out? I know that's unanswerable, but I can't help but think that these people were fundamentally killed by the music industry.
I don't know if you've been here, but Seattle is a depressed town. I'm constantly depressed, I'm sure those guys were too. Drugs help you forget.
Sure there's a high-paying and -rewarding job at Microsoft or Amazon or Starbucks! Is there a more corporate liberal city in America than Seattle?
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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