Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sounds Like…

This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. This may seem like hyperbole, especially when one considers my posting history on these internets, but I assure you it is not. This may be due to the fact that I am old enough to remember when the news that Kurt Cobain had committed suicide was A Big Deal. I knew some people who may have shed a tear or more upon hearing this proclamation. Those people will, no doubt, deny the veracity of that statement, but we both know it to be true. Maybe, on the other hand, it is simply due to my curmudgeonly nature, that wizened, frowning, disapproving aspect of my personality given to bemoaning the state of modern music and remonstrating youths for loitering on my well manicured lawn.

Whatever the reason, Chilean singer Abigail’s version of the Nirvana classic Smells Like Teen Spirit remains a stupendous atrocity; a pop-techno re-imagining devoid of irony but instead recorded with what seems to be a complete lack of understanding. I’m no great fan of the band but, really, I think they deserve better than this. Of course, I could be completely wrong. This could, in actuality, be an exquisitely orchestrated trolling a thoughtful deconstruction of Grunge; ruthlessly exposing its teen existential angst as petulant whinging and bubblegum philosophy.

Only Abigail knows for sure.

38 Responses to “Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sounds Like…”

  1. Jack Says:

    Hmm…sounds like something you’d find on a Cleopatra tribute album…

  2. toro Says:

    … she feels stupid …

  3. ChurchyLeFemme Says:

    And I thought the singer/songwritery version of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s”Maps” I heard in the super market was horrible…
    Now I have to start tracking down covers that redeem the originals and clean my head.

  4. lizzelizzel Says:

    I kinda like it.
    That could be because I have never felt reverence for any music of any kind.

  5. Zoetica Says:

    HAHAHA, Jack, you nailed it.

    What a magnificent piece of dookie that was. Thanks as always, Ross.

  6. Infamous Amos Says:

    Does anyone else get the feeling watching things like these that this leaked through some kind of tiny portal has opened into some weird alternate dimension? One where ‘Nevermind’ is in grocery store bargain bins and Battlefeild Earth won the Palme d’Or?

  7. Marc Says:

    Oh my, that is a bit special…

    and that’s only the third most painful Nirvana related video I’ve seen this week.

    This is the winner.

    I love the guitar hero games more than is strictly healthy
    but this video makes my bones itch.

  8. Art Says:

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, I just died a little inside

  9. badluckshadow13 Says:

    Kill it with fire!

  10. Mer Says:

    Speaking of dookie, the video Marc linked to gives me an urge to leave an aromatic flambe pie on Courtney’s front door. Not that she’d notice.

  11. Tequila Says:

    Ross, Ross, Ross…here I thought I could go through life never being reminded of that abysmal cover. Now it’s vile imagery will haunt me all week. If I wake up screaming at night it’s on your head sir! :P

    @Marc & Mer…the Guitar Hero horrors get much much worse sadly. You should see the Johnny Cash stuff…eek. A lot of the blame rests with the game developers who simply didn’t put in the care, tact, or even respect in dealing with these icons. I know Courtney has “bills” to pay and all but you would think after the horrid release of Cobain’s journals and the questionable quality of the Nirvana Box Set a few years ago it couldn’t get any worse.

  12. CgBeastie Says:

    Her rendition sounds uninspired and manufactured for a quick buck. I can’t say that I approve. Even if grunge is to be mocked in generations to come, atleast Kurt Cobain put his spirit in his music. Ross is right, he doesn’t deserve that.

  13. Inarticualte Dullard Says:

    Abigail smells like something….

  14. jonathan Says:

    My Nirvana heartbreaking moment was when I heard Breed in a video game ad for MLB 2k7. From wearing a shirt that read “Corporate Magazines Still Suck” on the cover of Rolling Stone, to being featured in an advertisement. Sadly, I couldn’t just blame Courtney for that. They all took part.

    The only good cover is Tori Amos’s.

  15. zeitzeuge Says:

    The bells! The bells!

  16. Matthieu G. Says:

    Sorry, but I would argue that THIS version is even worse :

  17. Shay Says:

    Yeah, I miss the days when musicians that got played on MTV had a soul.

  18. steph Says:

    sweetjebus. even if you hated Nirvana i think the urge to kick the cheerleader smile off that bitches face is just a basic human instinct.

    on the flip side, i sometimes want to punch myself in the face for digging the Melvins/Leif Garrett version as much as i do.

  19. tygorton Says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting a tear at Cobain’s death. I tend to believe that, if the man had been capable of sticking around, he would have blossomed into a true giant and I’m sad he’s not in the world.

    I am not obsessed with Nirvana by any stretch, though I do occassionally get an itch to hear the music.

    This video is completely disrespectful, which is an artist’s right, but it also SUCKS beyond belief, which is simply sad. Her “cute” antics have got to be some of the most vile on record.

  20. MR. B Says:

    YIKES! . . . fucking YIKES!

  21. Marc Says:

    Some interesting news broke today that casts the video that I posted yesterday in a slightly different light:

    So are Activision sinking to even sleazier lows,
    or is Courtney lying/confused/mistaken and attempting to save face and desperately trying reclaim a tiny sliver of credibility?

    *Law & Order into music*

  22. c34r34lk1ll3r Says:

    this is easily the most clever troll of all time

  23. Seej 500 Says:

    I’m not convinced she’s really playing that guitar.

  24. badluckshadow13 Says:

    @Marc She’s still a crazy fucking bitch but it’s good to know she’s gonna sue them… even if it’s probably just because she didn’t get paid for it.

  25. pilgrim Says:

    I imagine that Kurt might have been (perhaps rather bitterly) amused by the Abigail clip, which I kind of liked. I mean, I’ve seen much, much worse. The weird production values seem to belong to an era (early 80s) before grunge. It’s positively prickling with cognitive dissonance.

    The Guitar Hero clip, however, I imagine would have made him shoot himself up – so to speak – all over again. Shee-it.

  26. c0rr0d3 Says:

    Regardless of intent and social import (if any; I’ll not get into such a discussion), it sounds like hell.

  27. G Mo Says:

    Somewhere a baby dolphin just cried.

  28. Mer Says:

    Cobain’s bandmates on the Guitar Hero debacle:

    Matthieu G, I gotta confess, I like the Anka cover. Obviously it’s tongue and cheek, but I’m a sucker for beautiful big band horn arrangements. Whether you like the style or not, at least Anka’s actually talented at what he does, and giving the song the best he’s capable of! Same goes for the Moog Cookbook version.

    The Abigail version is just mindless, half-assed sex kitten pandering. No panache, no brains, no soul whatsoever. Now, if they gave a similar techno/club arrangement to somebody like Dee Lite or Grace Jones, that’d be palatable…

  29. Karl Says:

    Its not good, but its still miles ahead of the original Nirvana version.

    Cobain couldn’t sing, wrote half-assed gobbledygook lyrics, was hooked on heroin and killed himself because he couldn’t handle being popular. If he had lived he would be as much of a joke as Ozzy Osbourne has been ever since the public figured out that Ozzy is no more than a doped up old clown.

    At least this Abigail version offers us some dancability while all the Nirvana version makes us do is ask “What? What did he say? I think he needs lozenge. Who let the drunk into the recording booth? “

  30. Mer Says:

    “At least this Abigail version offers us some dancability while all the Nirvana version makes us do is ask… ”

    You’re speaking for yourself, Karl, not for “us”.

  31. Monkey Says:

    Ugh….my brain hurts…from both the horrendous song and from Karl’s comment.

  32. Tequila Says:

    @Karl…”Ozzy Osbourne has been ever since the public figured out that Ozzy is no more than a doped up old clown.”

    You’ve clearly never visited suburban American. That’s pretty much standard as everyone is doped up on something. It’s a non issue. Plus after seeing the footage of him playing Blizzcon and sharing the stage with the 9 year old guitar phenom Yuto Miyazawa and clearly having a blast…one can only HOPE to have as much fun at the tail end of life as Ozzy clearly does. If that’s what being a “doped up old clown” gets you…then sign me up for that! :D

    As far as your Cobain comment…you’re right. LYRICAL CLARITY is the key to a good song and great artist. Enjoy the new Miley Cyrus single.

  33. Jerem Morrow Says:

    “As far as your Cobain comment…you’re right. LYRICAL CLARITY is the key to a good song and great artist. Enjoy the new Miley Cyrus single.”

    T, I was fucking drinking something. Don’t do that!

  34. Seamyst Says:

    Preface: I never got into Cobain or his music – I don’t think they’re bad, they’re just not my thing. (I’m also 25 and grew up on oldies and Celtic music, so that may have had something to do with it.)

    This cover is just… weird. It sort of feels like half the time she’s trying to be satirical (when she’s in the vinyl outfit in the white room), but half the time she’s trying to be sexy-serious. Combined, she’s neither satirical nor sexy. Her voice is also nothing special; she sounds just like every other female pop singer today.

    … That said, I also kept having Weird Al’s “Smells Like Nirvana” popping up in my head during the song.

  35. Kale Kip Says:

    Hey, we’re talking about a guy here who quite explicitly asked to be raped. The Abigail version of SLTS is a perfect tribute to that. And the song was already cheesy as fuck when Nirvana played it. I mean, “our little group has always been and always will until the end”? These guys were practically begging for bossanova/swing/eurotrash-versions. And boy, did they get it.

    My favorite version:

  36. Somebody Actually Made This: Techno Nirvana Says:

    […] post over at Coilhouse that alerted me to the existence of this video starts off by saying “This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.” And I, for one, cannot […]

  37. Jay Says:

    My friend recently bought a set of turntables, and said they came with some awful records. This is my speciality, and as I browed them this jumped out. I remembered it from a 90s dance tape mix, and even as an idiot teen I hated it then.

    Obviously I had to have it.

    It now sits proudly as the worst thing I own on 12″, and I hope it reigns supreme for some time to come.

  38. Abigail – Smells Like Teen Spirit Says:

    […] Coilhouse) Esse post está em vídeo e com as tags badalação, música. Salve o […]