July 25, 2005
The movie Last Days had a limited release in US movie theatres
on July 22. Loosely based on the final days of Nirvana frontman Kurt
Cobain, LAST DAYS is filmmaker Gus Van Sant's meditation on the inner
turmoil that engulfs a brilliant, but troubled, musician in the final
hours of his life. Michael Pitt (THE DREAMERS) stars as Blake, an
introspective artist whose success has left him in a lonely place,
where livelihoods rest on his shoulders and old friends regularly tap
him for money and favors. LAST DAYS follows Blake through a handful
of hours he spends in and near his wooded home, a fugitive from his own life.
Expanding on the elliptical style forged in his previous two films,
GERRY and the Palme d’Or-winning ELEPHANT, Van Sant layers images and
sounds to articulate an emotional landscape, creating a dynamic work
about a soul in transition.
To watch a clip from the movie, or the official theatrical trailer,
You can also find stills from the movie and additional information.
The official website for the movie is available here.
For a comprehensive document with production notes and more, click here.
Apparently Kurt's own idols, Sonic Youth, contributed heavily to
the film: " 'It was kind of weird at first,'
[Sonic Youth frontman, Thurston] Moore said. 'Everything that
seems to have been written about [Kurt] was about the mythology
and exploiting the subject for the sake of ego. But we trusted Gus
[Van Sant - director of the movie]; we thought he would deal with
it more like a filmmaker and make it more of an artistic and poetic thing.'
Originally, Moore's position on the film was 'music curator', but with
his expansive knowledge of and friendship with Cobain, his role soon
grew to adviser and mentor to actor Michael Pitt, who plays Cobain
doppelganger Blake in the film. The resemblance is eerie and uncanny.
'I spent time with [Pitt] to hip him to the fact that the character
he's referencing wasn't just a lost junkie rock star cliché, even
though [Cobain] was conflicted about becoming such a thing,' Moore
said. '[Cobain] was serious, an intellectual to some degree creatively,
and had a very sharp wit. While Michael doesn't necessarily outwardly
display all of that onscreen, it was certainly part of his creative thought process.' "
Read the full story here,
courtesy of MTV. The same link provides an exclusive 5-minute clip from the film.
Gus Van Sant has written an article about meeting Kurt Cobain back in 1991.
You can read that here.
Finally, a bunch of reviews of the movie are collected here.
View some production stills from the movie below (courtesy of Special Ops Media):
Dave Grohl and Courtney Love are still not on particularly friendly terms it appears.
" 'Dave gets to walk away unscathed and be the happy guy in rock,
when he's one of the biggest jerks', Love says in the August issue of Spin, on newsstands
Friday. 'He's been taking money from my child for years.' " Read the full story
courtesy of Yahoo! and AP. Courtney was recently admitted to a hospital following an
undisclosed medical condition. Read more here.
Another story on Courtney here.
A new book by Chuck Klosterman called "Killing Yourself to Live : 85% of a True Story"
includes a number of references to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. "Klosterman
follows up on 2003's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by expanding on an article he wrote for
Spin about driving cross-country to visit several of America's most famous rock and roll
death sites, from the Rhode Island club where more than 90 Great White fans died in a fire,
to the Iowa field where Buddy Holly's plane crashed. Along the way, Klosterman opines on
rock music, never afraid to offend—as when he interprets a Radiohead album as a 9/11 prophecy
or reminds readers that before Kurt Cobain's suicide, many preferred Pearl Jam to Nirvana."
You can find a transcript of the Nirvana/Cobain mentions in the book here.
Special thanks to Kelly for this one. You can order the book here.
July 16, 2005
Rolling Stone recently did a lengthy interview with Dave Grohl where
he talks openly about his Nirvana years for a change. As for whether
Grohl remembers the first time Kurt Cobain dived into his drum kit,
he replies: "It was on the first tour I did with
him in England. Before I joined the band, I'd only seen Nirvana play
once, and I didn't even watch them. I saw the first few songs and
wound up outside talking to an old friend. Danny Peters from Mudhoney
was playing drums -- this is the day after I flew up to join the band --
and I was told not to tell anyone why I was there, because they didn't
want to freak out Danny. He's amazing, but I think they wanted a different
kind of drummer. So the first time I really watched Nirvana was when I
was auditioning for the band in a gnarly rehearsal space we shared with
Tad -- I didn't know Kurt had a habit of diving into drummers. So in
England, he jumped into my drum kit like some sort of Evel Knievel shit.
It looked so painful. I mean, it's like diving into a pile of sheet metal.
Kurt said once that he aspired to be a stuntman, so whether it was putting
firecrackers underneath his shirt to look like he was being shot or jumping
off the roof of his house with a cape, he had no fear and a high tolerance
for pain. Launching yourself into a set of drums fucking leaves marks. It's crazy."
In the rest of the interview he talks about his time in Nirvana, Krist,
Kurt and Pat, the last year of the band and the MTV Unplugged show.
Read the interview here.
Pat Smear, former member of Nirvana, is currently producing a movie about
The Germs - the legendary punk band of which he was a founding member. You
can follow how the movie is coming along here.
July 3, 2005
A new tribute album to Nirvana has been released: The Piano
Tribute to Nirvana which is out on Vitamin Records. The album
interprets some of Nirvana's legendary songs in classical piano
arrangements. More info here.
"The Piano Tribute to Nirvana interprets [Nirvana's]
songs with the fitting sounds of florid keys, flourishing and focusing
on those Nirvana tunes that really made you FEEL. 'Lithium', 'All Apologies',
as well as many other unforgettable gems are delivered in classical piano
arrangements, providing a warm musical utopia, lifting the listener to a state of nirvana."
Also released recently by Vitamin Records is a tribute to the
Foo Fighters: The Shape and Colour of my Heart.
"The catchy hooks of Foo Fighters songs are well
suited to string arrangements. A collective of talented musicians utilize
cello, viola and violins to take Dave Grohl's music to majestic new
heights; 'Everlong' and 'Learn to Fly' take on anthemic qualities that
are surprising and beautiful. This re-issue of 'The String Quartet Tribute
to Foo Fighters' also includes two brand new interpretations of classic
tracks 'Monkey Wrench' and 'My Hero'." More info.
If you would like to buy a copy of either of these albums, NFC
has worked out an exclusive deal with the label. Simply enter
a coupon code when you order one of the albums, and you will
get the other one absolutely free! To use this offer, you need
as a member on the Vitamin records website first. Then, when you
are at the checkout page of the online ordering process, enter
this code: QNGTNHQXL. To order, go here and click 'add to cart'.
Important: You must add both CDs to your shopping cart
to use this offer.
NFC'er Justin Williams recently visited Seattle and shot some photos
of the park close to Kurt's home, the actual house he lived in and some
other nearby scenery. You can find a big zip file with all the photos
here. These photos are only for use on this website.
A soundtrack for the movie Last Days was recently released. The CD
plays for 65 minutes and features previously unreleased music by
Michael Pitt (who is Blake in the film) and a classic song by Velvet
Underground. Other artists on the CD include The Hermitt, Lukas Haas
and Tenlons Fort. You can order the CD from the online MK2 store.