Kurt Cobain: About A Son: Music From The Motion Picture 

The first time I listened to this CD, I almost turned it off halfway through. It contains some annoying experimental music from the mid-80s era of post-punk, pre-grunge. Songs from Bad Brains ("Banned in D.C."), Melvins ("Eye Flys") and Butthole Surfers ("Graveyard") left me grateful that my days of pissing off my parents are far behind me.

However, if you listen carefully, you can hear embryonic bits of what was to become Nirvana's distinctive sound. This disc is a compilation of songs from several of the bands that influenced the grunge trio's suicidal songwriter and lead singer, and is also the soundtrack to a new indie motion picture Kurt Cobain: About a Son. The directors of the film created an intimate and moving portrait of the late musician by allowing Cobain to tell his story in his own voice using material from 25-plus hours of audiotaped interviews with Michael Azerrad, who wrote Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana in 1993. On one CD snippet, Cobain talks about his admiration of an underground band called Scratch Acid, describing their music as having "a real simple pop structure that you could follow easily ... almost like an Aerosmith song but really f***ed up and that's what I was doing and what I wanted to do." Smells like teen spirit was brewing.

There aren't any Nirvana songs on this CD. Instead you get a diverse playlist that includes Arlo Guthrie ("The Motorcycle Song"), Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Up Around The Bend") and Iggy Pop ("The Passenger"), as well as the noisemakers mentioned above. This soundtrack isn't for everyone, but it contains a few sonic goodies and reveals the influences of a young man who reluctantly influenced a generation.

—Jennifer Hernandez

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