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Endless Apprentice


Nirvana. “Scentless Apprentice.” Why in the world does this song end? No more blaming CD time constraints and commercial considerations — nothing feels phonier than when they stop rocking at the 3:35 mark.

Had there been streaming audio back then, they could have just kept going and going. Forget an album of songs: All we need is Nirvana spending every waking hour, playing this one song live, broadcast directly from the studio with no time delay. Backup guitarists and Kurt vocal clones would be on 24-7 call to provide ample time for bathroom breaks and sleeping. Pat Smear would still get two weeks off a year (as stipulated in the contract), but he would hardly be missed. In fact, a single guitar would sound best anyway. Just fire Pat Smear.

Had they been lucky enough to pull this version of “Scentless Apprentice” off, day after day, year after year, Kurt Cobain would still be alive, and Nirvana would have become the world’s most legendary band. One song for four years!? With no breaks? Even in the Greater Western Seaboard Power Outage of 1996? (They had backup generators.) After a while, we all would get sick of that enormous drum beat, but you’d start to wear the whole thing like a blanket. “What’s going on with the boys today” ~ (mumbled predictable “bad boy” lyrics, screaming) ~ “Okay, I’ll finish this crossword puzzle, then hit the sheets.” This was Nirvana’s chance to one-up the entire concept of civilization, but they yanked the plug at 3:47. And for all those people who think Kurt shouldn’t have wasted his creative talents on one song for half a decade (at least) — do you really think the guy had that many ideas left in him?

Everything’s just been downhill ever since “Heart Shaped Box” came on.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
October 6, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

2 Responses

  1. r. Says:

    i often think the same thing about anton webern…if he only had had an ipod, his opus might have been longer than three hours.

  2. kurisu Says:

    Wow… I supposed that I was the only Japan’s researcher that likes Nirvana’s music… :P