This is the sixth and penultimate installment of Nevermind Miami, a tribute to the generation-defining album Nirvana released 20 years ago, on September 24, 1991. To commemorate the occasion, we have asked local musicians to cover each of the 13 songs on the original release.
First up is Sam Friend with “On A Plain”. The song opens with a few words from L.A.-based poet Larry Colker (Friend’s uncle) and then bursts open with a crunchy guitar progression that conjures a slow, swaggering tyrant taking giant steps in your direction — a rhythmic departure from the breezy-paced original. The cover features Friend on guitar and vocals, Derek Fairholm on keys, Jorge Balbi on percussion, and producer Luke Moellman on drums. To listen to more of Friend’s music, check out the g’damn good four-track sampler we premiered last week. You can also visit samfriend.com.
Next up we have KDK-12 — Ed Matus (H.A.L.O. Vessel) and Mike Alén (pre-breakup Beings, Foreign Bodies) — covering “Endless, Nameless”, Nevermind‘s unintentionally hidden track. It was supposed to be a coda to “Something In The Way”, the album’s last song, but mastering engineer Howie Weinberg left it off the original release. Needless to say, Kurt Cobain wasn’t pleased and demanded Weinberg include the track on later pressings. Weinberg ended up placing the nearly-seven-minute noise piece 10 minutes after “Something In The Way”.
The hidden track was a precious fad in the ’90s. Here, Matus recalls the surprise of discovering “Endless, Nameless” for the first time.
The first time I heard Nevermind was at a friend’s house. Myself and a group of friends finished listening to the album, and we all started discussing how crazy it was that this album came out on Geffen Records. We never expected Nirvana to become as big as they were. Suddenly, the low rumbling intro to “Endless Nameless” began and we all asked my friend, “Who’s this?” My friend was just as surprised as we were. This was the first time he had heard the record all the way through and didn’t realize that there was a hidden track on his copy of Nevermind. At that point, I was more blown away by this track than anything else on the record. Later we found out the name of the song, and also that not all the CD copies of Nevermind had this hidden track.
20 years later, Mike Alen and I decided to cover “Endless Nameless” for this compilation. It seemed like the right track for us to do. It was fun, but the real challenge turned out to be trying to sift through all the different versions of the lyrics we were stumbling onto. We found a million different versions of what people thought Kurt Cobain was screaming over all that noise. The funniest thing was seeing how people were retroactively bringing their own baggage in regards to Kurt Cobain’s death into their interpretation of the lyrics. We kept finding different variations with lines like “I have died” and other death-related lyrics, which to us sounded completely out of place.
In the end we decided on an amalgam of all the different versions with the least cheesy sounding lines.
Besides piecing together its lyrics, KDK-12 also condensed “Endless, Nameless” to two minutes and 21 seconds. Embrace the noise.
Previous Nevermind Miami Posts
1. “Nevermind Miami: Smells Like Teen Spirit” featuring Baby B Strings
2. “Nevermind Miami: Lithium and Polly” featuring PLAINS and Pocket of Lollipops
3. “Nevermind Miami: Territorial Pissings, Something In The Way” featuring Rachel Goodrich and Guy Harvey
4. “Nevermind Miami: Lounge Act, Come As You Are” featuring Animal Tropical and Ice Cream
5. “Nevermind Miami: Breed, Drain You” featuring Eztorbo and Racketeering Vultures
To keep up with Nevermind Miami throughout September, visit beachedmiami.com/nevermind-miami.