Nirvana’s Tense, Brilliant Unplugged in New York, 20 Years Later

by Rachel Baker on December 13, 2013

Airing four months before Cobain’s death, Nirvana’s MTV performance because mythology. Here’s a look at the performance as an analysis of the show, not the mythology of what “we” should have seen coming.

Nirvana’s legendary Unplugged in New York has never really had the chance to be evaluated outside of the canonization of Kurt Cobain that followed his entry into the “27 Club.” It’s admittedly hard to hear him sing lines like “I swear I don’t have a gun.” and “Don’t expect me to die,” without thinking about what would tragically follow, only four months after the performance.

But on the 20th anniversary of the song set’s airing, it’s worth considering the performance as a work of music, not mythology. Because as music, it’s incredible. The band run through a tense and brilliant 14-song set in one scintillating take, something unusual at the time for the popular MTV series, and the result is one of the greatest live albums ever—an unforgettable document of raw tension and artistic genius.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/12/nirvanas-tense-brilliant-em-unplugged-in-new-york-em-20-years-later/282040/

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