Tuesday, December 28, 2004


As I mentioned, I got With The Lights Out, the new box set, for Christmas, and it is awesome!

First of all, if you're a fan who only knows the four original albums, as well as probably MTV Unplugged and possibly From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, this is simply a must have. Well bootlegged songs like "Pen Cap Chew", "Token Eastern Song" and "Blandest" as well as rarities like "Oh, The Guilt", their covers of The Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now" and The Wipers "D-7" are all among the best stuff in the catalog... and these are just the examples of my favorites today, another day my selection of six would be almost completely different.

For the rest of us, for whom their are fewer surprises offered here, there is still much. A full DVD of rare live performance footage, mostly from before the release of Nevermind, as well as the original video for "In Bloom" and footage of them in the studio playing "Seasons In The Sun", Kurt on drums, Krist on guitar, Dave on bass.

Not to mention all of the songs simply sound absurdly better than any of the bootlegs or older disks have represented. The mastering here is astounding.

Interestingly, it's also a great demonstration of what Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Chad Channing brought to the mix. There was a lot of discussion of this when Courtney Love was suing for full control of the band's material.

It's easy to dismiss the work of others, when Kurt wrote the lion's share of the songs, as well as playing guitar and singing. But hearing how the acoustic demos of just Kurt compare to the full band versions. Obviously there's a dimension that adding any competent bass and drums will add, but there's a clear synergy here with Krist's incredibly upfront and dynamic bass playing and Dave's full-on drum playing that simply couldn't have been done with just anyone. This was a fucking band.

This was a fucking great band!

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