Tuesday, May 29, 2012

She's been right there, and I never listened

I just discovered that Patti Smith did a very blues-grassy version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." You can almost imagine, in another world, a mid-40's Kurt Cobain nodding to this, with a sense of appreciation born out of a sense of humor about his own product. Its a version that has the same kind of nihilistic overtone, but not as youthful. An anthem for the underemployed post-graduate with two kids.

It has a perfect placement on the compilation album, Outside Society. You feel like you'v followed Patti through her artistic life. After listening through the whole album, you can believe that the same girl singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the same one who, years before, sang, "Gloria." You believe her when she groans out, "Jesus does for somebody's sins, but not mine." You can hear what she's seen.

Maybe every artist, once they hit a certain point in their careers, in their lives, should do a cover of that track. Where are you as an artist? Lets hear your "...Teen Spirit."

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