write either about the end of Paradise or about the early 90s Seattle music.
Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!
Being born in the early 90’s, I didn’t hear about any of these bands until I was in middle school because my older brother was starting to discover them. Together we became fans of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, etc. Smells Like Teen Spirit is a song that perfectly depicts the grunge era it created and was apart of. The words and instrumentals of the song get it’s point across perfectly, but being able to watch a music video, makes it even more clear. It was and still is a song that helped the youth of America stand out, the unpopular kids, the kids detached from society, and the rebellious kids finally had a way of making a statement and showing who they are. The best way this was shown was through the cheerleaders – the common cheerleader, or so we think, is always a pretty blonde girl with a good body, she’s popular, and sweet and sometimes snobby, but when it came to Smells Like Teen Spirit, cheerleaders were the complete opposite; they were unpopular girls with dark hair, tattoos, and anarchy symbols on their uniforms.
Bikini Kill was an all girls rock band, which wasn’t very popular at the time. Girls were viewed by society to only make pop songs. The girls of Bikini Kill were out to prove everyone wrong, and they did. They proved to society that girls can too do what guys do; girls could rock out. They helped further show the equality women have to men.
The rise of punk rock in Seattle in the early 1990’s gave those previously ostracized by mainstream society a voice. Rebelling against their parents and social norms was deeply rooted in this movement and clearly evident in these four songs. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a rebuke of popular rock bands at the time like poison and guns and roses because the words seem almost superfluous. Cobain is difficult to understand and when I looked up the lyrics, they did not really make too much sense or at the very least undeveloped. One interesting line from the song is “Here we are now, entertainers, I feel stupid and contagious,” which demonstrates Cobain and Nirvana were content with playing music to express their perspective but once they became popular they began to loathe the fame because their music was no longer for a small audience aligned with them socially and politically but it was now being played for the masses. In the video, a group of cheerleaders have tattoos and are wearing uniforms embroidered with the Anarchy symbol and a group of kids seem transfixed on rioting in unison, further reinforcing their non-conformist attitude, because as we all know, non-conformity is a group effort. “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill and “Hand Grenade” by Team Dresch explore lesbianism, a rather taboo subject in the decade of Dont Ask, Dont Tell. Bikini Kill continued to push the limits by having a female lead singer; a rare phenomenon in rock. Many believe it adds a quality of pop music to the song which I agree with and one of the major reasons why they had short lived success. I do not enjoy listening to this style of music and so I am very happy we are moving on to hip-hop.
The photographs and YouTube videos that we were to analyze for class were definitely not my cup of tea, but it was interesting to open up to a different type of musical genre. The photos that we looked at were very intense- you could tell that the artists were dedicated to their fans and the the songs they were singing. The music videos also exuded a certain intensity and I could tell that the artists were attempting to get their message across to the viewers and the fans. The songs without official music videos did not necessarily need music videos to get their messages across. The songs themselves were powerful enough to convey certain new ideas, such as the new riot gurrrl movement.
I think that these videos and photographs are meant to introduce us to a new type of musical and artistic portrayal in the early 90’s. A new “feminist rocker” movement seems to be heralded in via these videos and songs. In addition, a “f*** you, we don’t give a s***” type of culture seems to on the rise. Definitely not on Z100’s top music countdown. Can’t believe I was born when this all began!
I had no idea what to expect when first listening to the early 90’s Seattle music. I have never heard of any of these bands except for Nirvana. This type of music is not really the type of music I like to listen to. I enjoy listening to pop and dance music, so to listen to these bands where you can barely understand the lyrics it was a very hard for me to listen to. I was surprised while listening to this type of music to like some of these songs. Even though I did not really have any idea of what Nirvana’s song “Smells like Teen Spirit’ was saying the beat was catchy and I actually enjoyed listening to it. Even though you can not really understand the lyrics, the video helped to understand what the song was saying. The video went against social norms and took place in a school were the cheerleaders were considered to be ugly because they had brown hair and were wearing anarchy symbols on their clothing. The Bikini Kill song i liked the best out of both the girl band groups. The girl groups were a start of the Riot Girl movement. All of these bands were rebelling against social norms going on in society during this time. Many teenagers could relate to these rebellious songs. Even though women were creating bands and performing in a rock type of scene, the women were did not have any music videos. This seems so weird to me because I would not think that having a music video for a song is a bad thing for women to take place in and do not understand why they did not have any videos.
The whole rock and pop music isn’t my style of music so it was very hard for me to understand and even get through a song. I tried listening to Nirvana and Mudhoney but after 1 minute I had to turn it off. Since, I couldn’t understand the songs I used the images to interpret the words and meanings behind the songs. But by analyzing the pictures I just got a sense like everyone was carefree and everyone just forgot about the world and all the problems. Despite not being able to understand I felt it was just one big rebellion and that was portrayed through the images and the music. The only thing I got from the video was a lot of anger and everything was ironic like with the cheerleaders. I definitely could understand and see the movement that took place in the early 90’s would be life changing and totally unexpected.
The music that came out of Seattle in the early 90’s was, to be honest, the music I wish that I had grown up with. Instead, I listened to the love happy songs of boy bands and pop stars.
Pop music is just all too happy for me, and I know that others have felt, and still feel this way. I will admit some songs are catchy, and some I love, but all the time is just too much. The lyrics in these songs, for the most part, tell a story of the life that everyone fantasies, not actuality. Life is not always puppy dogs and rainbows. Yes, it can be happy, but it is also shit, which is how the youth of America felt at the start of the 90’s. These people had no outlet to express themselves, and nothing that seemed to really express them as an individual. Bands like nirvana and bikini kill expressed the truth of life, to people who really wanted to hear them. Now I do realize that life can be happy, but sometimes, happy pop songs are not what people want to hear. Many individuals would rather listen to music that is so loud that you cannot think of anything other than what the singer is yelling into your ears. Sometimes as a youth, you want to just be angry, or at least have someone express that anger for you.
Therefore, I realize that that probably was a bit of a rant, but there is a point. These bands helped to bring about a new genre of music. Both grunge and riot grrrl could bring together the people who felt that they did not belong anywhere in the social order of life. They expressed the feelings and emotions of these people, and made something that they enjoyed listening to. On top of bringing together the angst ridden youth of America, these bands also made really good music. I have listened to nirvana since I was about 10(thanks to my dad) and I absolutely love them. I also find that I really like bikini kill and team dresch as well.
The main point of this is that this new genre of music was not only successful in creating the subculture it had aimed for. In addition, these bands from Seattle brought a new type of music into the mainstream because of these people; it is okay to make angry music, which is also catchy.
As a child of the 90s I’m often asked if I listened to bands like The Backstreet Boys and N’sync which is true, however, I am never asked if I listened to Nirvana or any other influential music group. I mainly listened to the music my parents put on in the car (which was usually Sting, U2, Bruce Springsteen etc.) and they were sometimes forced to listen to my boy band idols. However, as soon as I reached my senior year of high school I began exploring styles of music that were not new to the world, but new to me such as techno and classical. Once I started college my best friend and I started exchanging music videos with each other through YouTube originally as a way to keep in touch, but it slowly became a musical phenomenon in our own lives. He has exposed me to rap and rock and I have exposed him to Indie and certain versions of pop. So, when our class was given the task of listening to bands I had never heard of (except Nirvana) I clicked each link with an open mind.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” I have heard before and I found myself trying to remember where I had, but then I remembered how insanely popular it was and still is. I’d be surprised if anyone hasn’t heard it. Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” video was very similar to Nirvana’s video in the sense that the entire audience, as well as the band, seemed to be under some drug spell that led them into a cult following for misfit rock lovers. It definitely isn’t my taste in music, but they reminded me of the band AFI and their song “Miss Murder.” I’m surprised I even like that song so I recommend checking it out. Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMxU2ToSunY&ob=av2e
Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” really gave me a sense of what feminism means. I honestly liked the fact that a) they’re all women, b) they’re singing their hearts out to make a statement that many people overlook (girls aren’t always who they appear to be) and c) they don’t have a music video. I actually have never understood the constant need to make music videos especially when certain songs have videos that don’t even go along with the song. I also never liked when there are videos with commentary in between the song, but when the music video is about the band actually performing I tend to like it more. Overall I really like Bikini Kill and they’re definitely a band I plan on putting onto my iPod.
Team Dresch’s “Hand Grenade” is the one song out of all four that I liked the most mainly because it definitely has that Indie/rock vibe that I like. They reminded me of one of my favorite Indie type groups Tegan and Sara. Their song “Northshore” is somewhat similar and gives off that same emotion that Team Dresch was trying to get across (Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE-4ekeMv0Q )
Honestly, if I had known about these bands when I was a kid I don’t think I would have had the capability and mentality to respect them the way I do now.
Towards the end of the 1980’s, there were really only two music genres that dominated in the United States. We had the pop music of artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, and then we had music called heavy metal like Poison and Def Leopard. However, there was a large population of Americans who were not into either of these. Leaving an opening for another type of music to come sweeping in in the early 1990s. This type of music would be known as grunge music. It combined aspects of metal with emotional lyrics and loud guitars. The pioneers of this genre of music mainly came out of Seattle, Washington such as Nirvana and Mudhoney. These two bands broke out and began to attract a national following, especially by the confused youth. However, it would take Nirvana’s 1991 album ‘Nevermind’ to breakthrough to the mainstream. This shot bandleader, Kurt Cobain, into worldwide fame and focused a huge media spotlight on Seattle. Although there was an enormous range of grunge music, to mainstream radio and MTV it did not matter, because if it could be labeled as grunge it could be sold to millions of angst-ridden teens all over the world. The grunge movement did not last as long as many expected it would, however. After Nirvana’s release of their album, ‘In Utero,’ which was not as played on the radio as much as their previous album, ‘Nevermind,’ other bands like Stone Temple Pilots took their music in a more radio-friendly direction. And after Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, the popularity of grunge would decrease. Grunge music truly did change the sound of music forever and musicians today are heavily influenced by the “Seattle sound.”
I suppose the style of female punk-rock has become iconic for the age of the nineties, however I would like to touch on the video “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. I’ve never been a Nirvana fan and seldom listen to them, but I did always know of the story of Kurt Cobain and his marriage with Courtney Love and their wonderfully named daughter. While watching “Smells Like Teen Spirit” I realized I was concentrating on Cobain’s performance and the moshing and grunge that was going on around the band. Looking at the other music videos by Bikini Kill and Mudhoney I realized that they all have similar stage presence and evoke the same type of behavior from the crowd. In retrospect and in my experiences at punk-rock concerts, I can’t say I’ve ever seen shit that wild, nor have I ever expressed myself that “freely.” I wonder if it’s because of the times, for example, if you’re actually living through the movement versus experiencing it years after all the initial energy and excitement for it has been expressed. As a child of the nineties I would expect my knowledge of such bands to be pronounced, but I was never raised on that type of music, interestingly enough, I was more immersed in the music of my parent’s time, such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. However, I can’t help but feel robbed of this female riot rebel type punk music and I’m especially surprised that I didn’t make a greater effort listening to Nirvana because as it turns out I really like the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” song. I suppose this may have to do with the fact that (one) I was too young to appreciate or even listen to that type of music and (two) my parents clearly thought this musical “movement” was the impression they wanted on their children. Regardless of their desires, their music was also rebellious for its time, yet they found it suitable for us kids to listen to in the nineties. This is my first exposure to the feminist punk-rock as an actual movement- I always thought punk rock music was always performed in such a manner all the time by any band- no clue it was a movement. Now with an open mind, rebellious heart and the internet, I can fully experience this movement as it was meant to be experienced-judgmentally free!
Even though I was just born in the early 90’s when this type of music was becoming popular, from watching these videos and seeing images, I can get a great feel of what it was like. Bands like Nirvana, Bikini Kill, and Team Dresch created a type of movement with the teens at this time. I looked into this ‘music movement’ more and learned that they called it Grunge, or sometimes called the Seattle sound. It was the grunge or alternative rock movement . It was the hardcore punk and heavy metal bands jamming out with their electric guitars. These bands made music that attracted many during this time and they became very popular. Not only with their music, they populated a style and a way to be that many followed. Their videos portrayed a certain dresscode and way to be that became very popular as well. The music created a way to be, act, and dress. It was a sensation at the time that eventually died down when Pop and Hip Hop took its place. This time period was not just about popular music but it was a whole style trend as well that is still alive today, 22 years later.
The end of Paradise is quite surprising. After the men came into the convent and shot all the women there, we would expect that they are dead, or should we expect they are injured; however, we have been told that there are no bodies, and it makes us think that either the bodies were hidden or they are alive and run away.
On the one hand there is a reason to believe that someone hide the bodies. The people in Rubi didn’t want the police to find out about the dead people in the car and maybe they hide the bodies to get some quiet after the massacre. They didn’t want that the police will snoop around to find more skeletons in the closet. On the other hand there is a reason to believe that they simply run away. The Cadillac wasn’t there and of course no bodies were found. If they run away that was a great opportunity for them to start fresh life.
If we focus at the end of the book we see some unrealistic events such as Gigi’s father, who is a prisoner, sees her and tried to get close to her, while there are guards around him, why didn’t they stop him? Another example is when Seneca treats cuts and her hands and afterword she doesn’t see any mark of it, is it possible? I believe that it’s an opportunity for them to see the one they loved and got heart by again, just to close one chapter in their life while they open a new one. Maybe they really found, at last, their paradise.
The shift in music in the early 90s was reflecting a change in the attitude of the youth in America. Almost a mirror of the change in music in the 1960s, the attitude of what is now called “grunge”, “alternative rock” and “riot grrrl” relected how the youth of America was feeling. America was coming out of a war and there was a change in politics from Bush Sr. to Clinton. The glamor rock of the 80s was beginning to phase out and the youth in America was feeling lost between the glamor rock and the sugar pop that was flooding the mainstream music scene. Both genres of music were almost unrelatable to the youth of the time, especially since many artists associated with the glam rock genre and mainstream pop genre were almost larger than life, how is the average youth in America going to relate to that? The answer was acts like Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. These bands almost embodied what the youth in America was feeling and going through at the time, which is why these acts instantly became the voice of the generation. The “riot grrrl” rock movement, although sounds much like the punk movement from the late 70s, was important in that it gave women a voice in a male dominated industry. Until this movement, women in rock were few and far between, women were mainly found within the mainstream pop genre. “Riot grrrl” gave women the ability to gain a stronghold and relate to the rock movement in a different way then they had previously been able to. The importance of these two movements, “grunge” and “riot grrrl” is that it opened the door to new kinds of music, a new way for the youth to relate to an industry driven by the glamorous rock life, as well as fame. These two movements made it easier for the youth, who could not relate to pop and glam rock, it gave the youth a voice that was silenced.
From the pictures and video conversation we had in class. I just want to talk about the diversity we have as a nation. I believe that no matter what kind of music we listen to or what kind of style we have, I believe people are entitled to be themselves and should not have to worry about what others may think. Secondly, in the world of “rock” or heavy metal music, there is a double standard. Men look “cool” yelling, screaming jumping around on stage compared to women who look foolish doing so because that’s just how our minds work. Everyone can’t always do what others can the exact same way. Everyone is different and how we function individually lies within ourselves. I believe in the music industry, it’s just a matter of “time” and “luck” to perform in front of the right crowd and have them on your side as a performer if you want to make it in the music industry. No matter what the case is, the music industry is tough. I feel that anyone who wants to make out big out there has to believe in luck. Today, music is now shaping the minds of the younger generation and it is also a reflection of it. Love, sex, money, drugs, “I don’t care,” style of music is what seems to be the main topics of our modern world. It is what it is and we’ll have to have accept the fact that we must accept others as they are. So what if they’re different. It’s not like their hurting anyone. My attitude is, “let people be themselves.”
The end of paradise is definitely a brain twister. As the book finishes we get to reread the shootings that happened in the convent by te men. In the first chapter we are introduced to the book by this same scene. Unlike the first chapter we see that shooting the women wasn’t an easy task, unlike it seemed I the first chapter when the men said they had lots of time and that the women would probably try to hide. Instead the women fought a battle to try to stay alive, and injured some men in the process. In the end we are left with a mystery where we aren’t sure if the women from the convent are either alive or dead. We get this feeling when we read about the women’s interactions with people from their past. As I was thinking about it, I first thought they were all live, now I think that the women interacted with people from their past to get some final closure.
The new bands that were up and coming in Seattle during the early 90s depicted a new form of teen angst, where being a rebel was the popular thing to do. This sparked a teen movement throughout the country, as teenagers were quick to relate to the feelings that these bands showed. In the pictures by Charles Peterson, the bands were depicted as out of control, and quite hazardous to themselves and the people around them. They showed an “i don’t care” type of attitude and was also easy to relate to by teenagers of that time. The girl bands Bikini Kill and Team Dresch formed a movement to push women up into the music industry. They gave power to women, and had a lot of support to back them up. This also caused a movement, where women can be just as good as men. The music video of Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana showed signs of being a rebel, and acting outside your stereotype. The cheerleaders in the music video all had tattoos, black hair and looked angry. This was contrary to the usual stereotype of cheerleaders that have blonde hair, cheerful and have no tattoos.
The early 90s introduced a brand new stream of grunge and alternative rock music with bands like Nirvana and Bikini Kills. Each band during the early 90s both tried to establish a sort of movement in America specifically with the youth population. The songs that each group came out with had the bands share their own views on any sort of social issues that existed in society at the time. In nirvana’s music video for smells like teen spirit, a lot of their values and characteristics are shown. The band makes some references to some social satire like for example cheerleaders. Cheerleaders always seem to be given the look that they are always all peppy and in the video they are shown as very depressed and almost zombie like. Even the way that they dressed was also a sign of detachment of society as they would always wear baggy clothes and make it like every concert would have a riot feeling to it. In their music video, the audience in the bleachers gradually gets rowdier and rowdier until the end of the video where they go completely nuts. Their fans also saw the band’s music as a sense of being able to reach out. Bikini Kills had a very similar characteristic to nirvana. Each band wanted to create their own movement. For them, the group wanted to show that guys were not the only ones who could rock. They wanted to make a statement that girls can rock hard and deserve to be in the spotlight too.
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