Tag Archives | Kurt Cobain

Beat Punks: A Brief History of the Counterculture from William S. Burroughs to Kurt Cobain

PIC: Beat Punks (Da Capo Press)

PIC: Beat Punks (Da Capo Press)

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks

by Phil Weaver

I’m a huge fan of Victor Bockris’ book Beat Punks, a collection of interviews and photographs documenting the relationship between the Beat generation and the punk movement in the 1970s downtown New York scene. The book does a great job of illustrating the cross-pollination of two generations (’50s Beats and ’70s punks) that resulted in one of the most extraordinary cultural flowerings of the 20th century. I recently talked to Bockris about some of the ideas behind the book, and I was pleased to hear he’s about to begin work on a follow up with interlinking prose. He didn’t want to give away too much about the forthcoming book, so I proposed a general interview on the history of the counterculture’s clashes with the establishment in the mid-to-late 20th century. Burroughs was the through-line in a cultural revolution that began in the ’50s with the Beats, blossomed in the psychedelic explosion of the late ’60s, peaked in the ’70s with the Beat-Punk fusion, burned out in the neoconservative revolution of the ’80s and was briefly revived by Kurt Cobain and the alternative wave of the early ’90s.… Read the rest

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KIRO On Cobain Death Investigation Story: Police Dept. Flacks Arguing ‘Semantics’

Cobain2-1024x722

PIC: Seattle Police Department (PD)

The internet was abuzz Thursday when Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO reported that the Seattle Police Department was reopening their investigation into Kurt Cobain’s apparent suicide. You may recall my skepticism about the report, commenting “Something about this story seems sketchy to me (…)” in a Disinfo post linking to KIRO’s original announcement. It looks like that skepticism was well-founded. Well, maybe.

In a statement posted to their website the SPD confirmed reports that  veteran cold case department detective Mike Ciesynski was reviewing the Cobain file, but the case remained closed. April 5th marks the 20th anniversary of the musician’s death, and the department stated that the review was conducted in anticipation of any questions that might arise from the public. The statement also mentioned that the detective had found four undeveloped rolls of film during his review.

KIRO didn’t issue a retraction. In a follow-up report to the initial story, the station argued that whether the case had been reopened or not was a matter of “semantics”:

“After KIRO 7 first reported the re-investigation Thursday morning, the Seattle police public affairs unit took issue with semantics, saying the case was not technically “reopened” — despite the new interviews and processing of film that had not previously been developed.”

Ciesynski’s own comments might have added to the confusion.… Read the rest

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Seattle Police Reopening Kurt Cobain Death Investigation

PIC: Flominator (CC)

PIC: Flominator (CC)

Something about this story seems sketchy to me, but Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO TV says that they’ve learned that the Seattle Police Department is reopening its investigation into the apparent suicide of Kurt Cobain. They’ll be airing an exclusive interview with the detective responsible for the case and share a photo from the crime scene that has never been seen before. They’ll also discuss “alternative theories” about the singer’s death.

Via KIRO TV:

Nearly 20 years after Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home near Lake Washington, Seattle police have reopened the case.

Last month, police developed four rolls of film that had been sitting for years in a Seattle police evidence vault. The 35 mm film was processed by the King County Sheriff’s Office photo lab under high security.

Though the pictures have a slight green tint because of deterioration, police say they more clearly show the scene than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.

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The Psychedelic 90’s—Modern Myth Making and the Music Press

As an obsessive music weirdo, you start to notice some odd patterns as you get older and contemplate the way that most people contextualize music in their lives. I’m not sure how much research has been done on this, but as far as I can tell, in most cases, whatever stuff someone happened to get down to during their formative developmental ages of say, 14-24, apparently permanently burns itself into their psyche and leaves an indelible mark on their opinion as to what constitutes “good shit” for the rest of their lives. This is the sort of secret psychology you’ll never read about in text books but I’m sure sketchy uptight rich dudes talk about behind closed doors 24/7. The one thing I can say about pursuing psychology in college was that I quite quickly picked up on the fact that the real people who understand how to bend the human psyche work at PR firms and press agencies, not universities.… Read the rest

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