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Nirvana? Nevermind!

September 12, 1993

Robert Hilburn's cover story "Look Into His Eyes. Do You See Nirvana?" should have been titled "Look Into His Eyes--Why Don't We See Anything There?" (Aug. 29).

Hilburn claims the critics have hailed Kurt Cobain as "the voice of a new generation." With Beavis and Butt-head in agreement, it must be true.

What amazes me is how a garage band of such ungifted musicians with such weak material is deserving of four full pages in The Times. Cobain shares with Hilburn his idealism of early L.A. punk bands and how "you could hear a lead singer just scream at the top of his lungs. I felt that way. I wanted to die. I wanted to kill. I wanted to smash things." Pretty prophetic thoughts from "the voice of a new generation."

As usual, we got the standard Springsteen/Guns N' Roses/X/U2 Hilburn parallels. How can anyone stretch his imagination so far as to hear "the melodic grace and craft of Lennon & McCartney" in, for example, "Come as You Are"?

The larger issue is how the new "fashionable moronism" of groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill has become celebrated by the media, and how easy it is to wear some flannel, perform music that 10 years ago wouldn't get you a gig at a high school dance and be dubbed "the voice of a new generation" while those producing musically creative, poetically compelling and intelligent art get hardly any attention or even a fraction of the financial success.

DAN GRAZIANO

Lake Forest

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