Saturday, October 20, 2018

Certain Songs #1348: Nirvana – “On a Plain” | Medialoper

Album: Nevermind
Year: 1991

While the back half of Nevermind didn’t have any commercially released singles, it still had a plethora of amazing songs, the amazingest being the penultimate track, “On a Plain,” which on a lesser album would have been the lead single, instead of stuck all in the back near the end.

And of course, as part of the juggernaut that Nevermind ended up becoming, “On a Plain” was released to radio stations as a promotional single, and getting a pretty decent amount of airplay in the process, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s right up there with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” or “Come as You Are” in terms of their greatest songs.

After a drip of noise & feedback, Kurt crashes directly into perhaps his best set of lyrics on the album.

I’ll start this off without any words
I got so high, I scratched ’till I bled
Love myself better than you
I know it’s wrong so what should I do?

One of the cool tricks of “On a Plain” is how Kurt sings the same couplet at the end of each verse, with Dave Grohl doing high harmonies on “Love myself better than you” while Kurt is pretty much all by himself for “I know it’s wrong, so what should I do?” Listen closer, and while Kurt’s in crooner voice for most of those verses, he does get rougher when Grohl is doing the harmonies, with the result being that “Love myself better than you” jumps out at you every single time.

The finest day that I’ve ever had
Was when I learned to cry on command
Love myself better than you
I know it’s wrong so what should I do?

A lot of times, that would have been enough, just that repetition, and they could easily gotten away without a chorus, but “On a Plain” instantly tops that with a crazily-hook-filled chorus, filled with fantastic backing “oooooooohs”

I’m on a plain (oooh-ooooooh)
I can’t complain (oooh-ooooooh)
I’m on a plain(oooh-ooooooh)

There isn’t a guitar solo in “On a Plain,” but there is a bridge, featuring massive harmonies, crunchy guitar, and a cool little bass lick from Kris Novoselic to kick the song back into the final verse

Somewhere I have heard this before
In a dream my memory has stored
As a defense I’m neutered and spayed
What the hell am I trying to say?

In the end, “On a Plain” just repeats the chorus over and over, Grohl crashing and building over and over, and everything fades out except for the “ooooh-oooohs.”

I’m not kidding when I say that I’d been waiting for Nevermind my entire life: shit-hot guitars, wildly inventive but song-oriented drumming, surprising lyrics, massive pop hooks, and a singer who could scream his surprisingly massive pop hooks without sacrificing either power or beauty. Everything I loved about rock ‘n’ roll wrapped together into one obsessive-making record.

“On a Plain”

“On A Plain” live in Seattle, 1991

“On a Plain” live at Reading, 1992

“On a Plain” live on MTV Unplugged, 1993

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

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Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

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Certain Songs #1347: Nirvana – “Drain You” | Medialoper

Album: Nevermind
Year: 1991

I got lucky: even though I didn’t buy Nevermind, until mid-December, 1991 I was early enough to not get a version with the “bonus” hidden track “Endless Nameless.”

On the balance, I always kinda hated the hidden tracks on CDs, often squirreled away several minutes after the album proper ended, meaning that if you wanted to listen to a CD over and over again, or had a multi-disc changer, there would be several minutes of silence between songs. And so while I appreciated the willingness to experiment with the format — Dramarama’s Hi-Fi Sci-Fi used the magic of the digital format to seamlessly spread a single song over several tracks — the reality is that the vast majority of these songs sucked.

Which makes sense: if they were good, they’d be part of the album proper, instead of an auditory irritant stuck on the end. And so, going back to Nevermind, it turned out to be an album that I would often put on repeat when I stumbled back to my Tower District apartment to try and get a few hours of sleep between the bars and work, and the silence followed by “Endless Nameless” crashing would have no doubt fucked with what little sleep I did get in 1992.

One baby to another says, “I’m lucky to have met you”
I don’t care what you think unless it is about me
It is now my duty to completely drain you
I travel through a tube and end up in your infection

“Drain You” just starts, Kurt Cobain singing the opening line over a single guitar, Kris Novoselic and Dave Grohl crashing in before the second line over a riff that feels like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in reverse. Meanwhile Kurt is singing his version of a love song, commenting on intimacy while Grohl just pummels the living fuck out of his snare drum.

Chew your meat for you
Pass it back and forth
In a passionate kiss
From my mouth to yours
I like you

“Drain You” is one of the more playful songs on Nevermind, with a second verse that is full of puns, love and bodily functions.

With eyes so dilated, I’ve become your pupil
You taught me everything without a poison apple
The water is so yellow, I’m a healthy student
Indebted and so grateful, vacuum out the fluids

After the second chorus, Grohl drops everything but his kick drum, and accompanied by Novoselic and various whooshing and beeping sound effects, Cobain creates tornadoes with his guitar until with a scream, they all crash together on the riff. It was striking even for an album where the the closest thing to a conventional guitar solo was playing the melody line of the song, and was one of the things that set “Drain You” off from the rest of the songs.

“Drain You”

“Drain You” live in Seattle, 1991

“Drain You” live at Reading, 1992

“Drain You” live in France, 1994

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page


Certain Songs #1346: Nirvana – “Breed” | Medialoper

Album: Nevermind
Year: 1991

It’s hard to explain just how thoroughly Nevermind took over the world — or at least my little slice of it — in 1992, but let me give a few examples.

I remember calling a friend and his answering machine message went “Nobody can come to the phone right now because we’re all too busy listening to our Nevermind CDs.”

There was also a point when the Wild Blue started doing their DJ dance music nights, and in the middle of all of the techno, electronica and flat-out funk, the DJ would put on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the place would go crazy.

I also remember traveling to northern Scotland in late June with a girl that I was seeing at the time — she’d been lucky enough to see Nirvana at their New Year’s Eve show in San Francisco — and there was a teenage kid riding a bike wearing the same smiley-face Nirvana shirt that I’d gone out and purchased at some point. “Flower Sniffin, Kitty Pettin, Baby Kissin, Corporate Rock Whores.” When we broke up a couple of months later, I’d left that shirt in her apartment, and never asked for it back.

None of which has anything to do specifically with today’s song, “Breed,” which eschews the quietLOUDquiet format of the singles for a pure blast of punk rock energy. “Breed” also encapsulates the thing that detractors of Nevermind always pointed to as Exhibit A: the artificiality of the whole thing. With producer Bruce Vig bringing in Slayer producer Andy Wallace to do the final mixes, Nevermind was definitely and defiantly polished to shine brighter than most punk records: it was closer to Give ‘Em Enough Rope or Warehouse: Songs and Stories than it was to The Clash or New Day Rising.

Me, I love all four of the aforementioned records to within an inch of my life, and what I heard on Nevermind was as immediate, powerful and catchy as anything I’d ever heard in my life. And no amount of polish was ever going to remove the beautiful grit spackled all over Kurt Cobain’s vocal cords.

I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care, care if it’s old
I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t mind
I don’t mind, mind, don’t have a mind
Get away, get away, get away
Get away, away, away from your home
I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid
I’m afraid, afraid, ghooooooooooosssst!

That first verse — Cobain’s penchant for playful repetition never more out front — comes after an opening where a spate of feedback becomes a circular guitar riff, joined by a long drum roll from Grohl and spizzled out bass from Novoselic, which is so overdriven you initially wonder if there’s an problem with your speakers.

One of the things about “Breed” is that it showed just how in synch Nirvana was, especially Kris Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Grohl’s main drumbeat is locked in with Novelselic’s bass at a molecular level, impossible to pry apart on any circumstances — but also Kurt Cobain, who abandons the riff he started in order to shred on top of his vocals during the verses, and then joins in on the fun during the choruses.

Even if you have, even if you need
I don’t mean to stare, we don’t have to breed
We could plant a house, we could build a tree
I don’t even care, we could have all three
She said, she said
She said, she said
She said, she said
She said, she said

One of the cool things about “Breed” is that Kurt’s guitar is in one speaker and Kris’s bass is in the other, which I’m going to take as a homage to the first Ramones album, a production choice that is only broken by some panning during the guitar break, which is mostly Kurt flogging his guitar into making tornado noises.

In the end, with “she said” echoing off the walls the floors and the ceiling, “Breed” comes crashing to an end with Kurt almost disgustedly exclaiming “duh!”

Nevermind is too famous and too great to claim that any song on it is a deep cut, but on a regular album, “Breed” might have been a single instead of the least famous song on the first side, though Kurt might have had to write a second verse in order for that to happen.


“Breed” live in Seattle, 1991

“Breed” live at Reading, 1992

“Breed” live in Seattle, 1993

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page


Rapidvideo Responds to MPAA’s Piracy Claims: “We’re Totally Legal” | TorrentFreak

A few weeks ago the MPAA, together with several other trade groups, submitted its annual list of ‘notorious markets’ to the US Trade Representative (USTR).

These submissions help to guide the U.S. Government’s position toward foreign countries when it comes to copyright enforcement, putting significant pressure on the mentioned sites.

The MPAA’s submission included many of the usual targets including The Pirate Bay and Fmovies, but also several hosting sites or cyberlockers.

The latter category is interesting. While there are unmistakenly several “rogue” hosting platforms that don’t care about copyright holders, not all fit the billing. One of the bad actors according to the Hollywood group, however, is Rapidvideo.

“ is a streaming/download cyberlocker with a global Alexa ranking of 999. had 21.66 million worldwide unique visitors in August 2018 according to SimilarWeb data,” the MPAA wrote.

“The site incentivizes users to upload content with an affiliate program. The site pays from $7.50 to $60 USD per 10,000 views depending on the country in which the viewer is located,” the Hollywood group added.

As is usual in these reports, there is virtually no detail about any alleged copyright-infringing activity. While we’re pretty certain that Rapidvideo stores some pirated videos, this is no different from Google Drive or Dropbox, for example.

The MPAA’s report does mention that some hosting sites don’t remove infringing files, but only the reported links to these files. On top of that, many sites don’t respond well to takedown notices at all.

So that must be the case with Rapidvideo then? Well, the site’s owner wholeheartedly disagrees.

“We have a DMCA agent guy working with us, who also works with the MPAA and other rightsholders. He was happy with our anti-piracy methods, but the MPAA reported our site to the government nonetheless,” Rapidvideo’s Alex informs TorrentFreak.

As it turns out, Rapidvideo doesn’t fit the MPAA’s description at all.

The site processes takedown requests, has a designated DMCA agent, a repeat infringer policy, and it even implemented an MD5 hash filter system to ensure that flagged files are not re-uploaded.

While the company is incorporated in Belize, it believes that it’s fully compliant with US, Canadian and EU law. It even complies with the proposed ‘upload filter’ the EU may implement in the near future.

In recent months Rapidvideo was approached several times by a representative of an anime video distributor. Many of the recent enforcement changes were implemented as a result between the distributor and Rapidvideo’s copyright agent.

This was also communicated to other rightsholders, including MPAA members, the site’s owner says. However, that didn’t prevent the listing on the MPAA’s most recent overview of rogue sites.

“After the whole procedure, we learned that we would appear on the list submitted by the MPAA to the U.S. Government. This, despite that everything was correctly implemented in compliance with the regulations and rules, including the DMCA,” Alex says.

Rapidvideo was told that they didn’t process all notices correctly. While the site admits that some reports were set aside, those were all inaccurate takedown notices. For example, they lacked details that are actually legal requirements.

“They said that we did not correctly handle all DMCA notices, but those were not fully correct, as required by the DMCA law. Many parts were missing, such as a signature of the rightsholder representative or the names of the infringing works.”

The video hosting site feels that if the copyright holders push them to comply with the law, those companies should be held to the same standards. Also, none of the rightsholders complained about the rejections directly.

Rapidvideo hasn’t sent an official rebuttal to the USTR, so it could very well be listed in the official overview of Notorious Markets early next year.

The video hosting site is fully confident that its policies and procedures are compliant with copyright law. They are not intimidated by the MPAA’s report, and with their upload filter, they have nothing to fear from the EU either, according to the owner.

“We have everything fully ready for the EU upload filter. We are also a legal company that pays taxes and complies with all rules and regulations, so we are not afraid of any possible outcomes,” Alex concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.


Getting It Done: The Week In D.I.Y. and Indie Music | hypebot

6a00d83451b36c69e201b7c907b657970b-150wiThis week we have advice and strategies for the independent artist on how they can execute and effective email marketing campaign, why Instagram Stories are perfect for concert marketing, what to consider when building your band's website, plus much more!


Rihanna Turns Down The Super Bowl | Lefsetz Letter

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Maybe music is driving the culture again.

I’ve been addicted to the Saudi story.

It’s still not at the top of the Fox News website, nowhere near. Instead you’ve got gossip and anti-Democrat memes. How’s a poor boy to find out what’s going on in the world?

By listening to pop stars.

And ironically they’re all women.

First Taylor Swift, whose previous idea of weighing in was criticizing boys who could not bite back publicly. Suddenly she does a 180 and takes a stand.

Now we’ve got Rihanna. Now that the right wing press is saying the controversy is over, that NFL ratings have recovered, one of our biggest pop stars is adding gas to the Kaepernick fire, keeping it alive. Way to have a backbone, way to stand up for what you believe in, way to impact the narrative, the aforementioned culture.

And what you’re gonna hear is the right wing screaming that she should shut up and go back to where she came from, which in this case is Barbados, but her birthplace does not prevent her from having an educated opinion. And why is it the Republicans keep being anti-immigrant while their children embrace the aliens? This is the same kind of hypocrisy that has these same children embracing African-American culture while their parents are racists and vote against their own interests. Just because parents are dumb, that does not mean children should be too. Hell, these same children are rejecting religion, check the statistics, and in these troubled times I’m willing to give up my faith as long as everybody else does too, what are we living in the Middle Ages, the time of the Crusades? We’re still fighting wars over religion? How antiquarian.

But it gets worse Dick Cheney. This is when the past comes back to haunt you. You endorse torture in Guantanamo and then what are you to say when enemies torture us? You don’t have ground to stand on. Furthermore, America used to be the world’s cop, and the world’s higher power, the arbiter of right and wrong. But now the Supreme Court is biased and far from impartial and our President is so busy alienating others in the name of “America First” when the truth is we live in a global economy and if you think otherwise, be prepared to pay $2500 for a flat screen and two grand for a mobile phone. Then again, the chief economist is a TV star, just like the President.

And it all comes down to money. Yup, we’ve got to stay on the Saudis’ good side when a mere pop star who lives on the whim of the people is willing to take a stand and in the process alienate potential customers. But what a beacon! If you don’t take a stand, no one can bond to you. Rihanna went from cardboard personality to 3-D instantly. She’s thinking about it, she wants to do what’s right, as opposed to all those pop stars who took the cash to play for dictators.

And of course if you comb through Rihanna’s history I’m sure you’ll find flaws, contradictions, but the truth is she is not running for office and she’s not a politician. Real people make mistakes, change their opinions, as opposed to Kavanaugh who could not own up to the fact that he liked to drink in school, sometimes to excess. Lying about it is like Justin Timberlake throwing Janet Jackson under the bus after the exposed titty at the Super Bowl. Timberlake claimed innocence, Les Moonves had a vendetta against Jackson, he truly hurt his career.

But now women are doing it for themselves.

We’re sick of old white men telling us they know better. About women’s bodies. Paying fealty to a racist leader who most people hate.

Meanwhile, Nike takes a risk with Kaepernick and sales go through the roof.

You see people want something to believe in. And they were going along somnambulantly for too long. Then Trump woke them up. And those who triumphed based on sleepiness don’t like this, they don’t like people taking action, so they resort to character assassination as opposed to arguing on the merits.

Come on, without African-Americans, the NFL folds. But the leaders of the league, afraid of the President, unlike Taylor Swift and Rihanna, have the players working on Maggie’s Farm. Sure, it’s good money, but should you be treating people like slaves? How about a little dignity? And football players have a lot more impact on the populace than faceless politicians… They keep on wanting to keep athletes and musicians down, as if their vote wasn’t as important as those of the corporatists.

It’s a new day.

That’s right, we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969, but it’s BACK!

There’s something here, and it’s becoming very clear.

Women have a voice. And they’re sick and tired of being told it’s not truthful, that they run on hormones, that they shouldn’t make as much, that they should stay home and raise babies.

And in an era of whacked economics, where the corporations get richer and the people get poorer, people with some money are standing up for those who don’t have it.

The right wing keeps talking about freedom?

What freedom is that? To kill one of ours on foreign soil and get away with it?

To take away health care from our citizens?

To lower taxes so infrastructure fades? To demonize taxes so our nation goes bankrupt? To let fat cats cheat and pay no taxes at all?

To spread falsehoods so that they can win and we can lose?

No, those days are through. They woke up the sleeping giant.

And you know how this works. The complacent suddenly take action. The misinformed question their preconceptions and change their opinions and…

One individual can change the course of history, never forget it. That’s how we got the Arab Spring, look at the work of Steve Jobs.

America is a tinderbox. We’re sick and tired and we just cannot take it anymore. We’re sick of being oppressed by those with a smaller constituency, who do not have our interests at heart.

They may have the fat cats, but we have the entertainers. And no matter how much they denigrate them, the truth is that’s what Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson are, entertainers, it’s the same damn world, and the truth is ours are more powerful with a much greater reach than theirs. And expect blowback, all the right wing does is work the refs.

But can they win the game?

Maybe not anymore.

We will see.


Music Think Tank Weekly Recap: Professional Local Bands • Uploading Music • Scariest Songs • More | hypebot

MTTRecapNewOn MusicThinkTank this week, contributors shared pieces on how local bands can seem more professional (on a budget), why simply uploading new music isn't going to bring you any fans, and what some of the seasons spookiest songs (surprisingly) are.