This past Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Not exactly the most pleasant subject to talk about, but it’s just hard for me to think that it’s been so long since the Nirvana frontman took his own life. There’s plenty of people who will tell you stories about where they were and what they were doing when they found out the news, in part because it was such a shocking thing. I’d share my story, but unfortunately there isn’t one. Not quite old enough to know who Nirvana or Kurt was, I’d only discover the music they made a couple years later when learning of his death wasn’t so much this massive and sudden tragedy as it was a sad fact. What would hit me much harder on the exact same day eight years later would be the death of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley of a drug overdose, though that was more the result of a slow decline than anything else. Alice in Chains had broken up and Staley’s drug habit had become all-consuming many years earlier. It’s easy to imagine Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis falling victim to that same fate had he not gotten sober and cleaned up, which is ultimately what I had hoped Staley would do for the sake of his own life and career. Sadly, drugs will take everything from you if you let them, and we continue to lose some of the greats as a result, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman most prevalent in my mind at the moment. To wrap this whole sad, death-filled discussion up, you could say that April 5th is the day that grunge music died, initially in 1994 and then with a true death rattle in 2002. There have been plenty of tributes to Cobain this year, including an official day in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, but perhaps most fitting will be Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in just a couple of days. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Dave Grohl, Courtney Love and Krist Novoselic will highlight the legacy of a man who changed so many lives for the better by turning the angst-riddled feelings of a generation into songs we could all identify with. Twenty years later, he’s still doing it. We should be grateful to have gotten him for as long as we did. Following that upbeat introduction, there are some tracks to look forward to in today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss music from Bedouin, Beecher’s Fault, Bonsai, Dead Stars, Eli Escobar, FIM and The Singles. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new stuff by Brian Eno & Karl Hyde, Childhood, Chrome Sparks, Helms Alee, The Neighbourhood and TOBACCO.
Stage Hands – The Populating of Empty Space
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde – Daddy’s Car
Childhood – Falls Away
Chrome Sparks – Goddess
Helms Alee – Punchy Stabby
The Neighbourhood – Honest
TOBACCO – Streaker (ft. Notrabel)