Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: What Went into Writing an Anthem of a Generation

Kurt Cobain is a songwriter with a very distinct personal style. What he didn’t know was how many people would resonate with what he was expressing. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, when you create a highly expressive piece of art, one that crystalizes and sharply evokes a focused …

Seeing the Art in Dada’s Quirkiness

Dada was an alternative rock trio that was active in the 90s and had on-again-off-again spotty career since then.  I have been following them though because they are a bit like King’s X, in that they combine clever songwriting and stupendous musicianship.  Their persona has more quirky, geeky, quasi-slacker type …

The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: Arranging a Lean, Mean Impact Machine

This is the second in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production.  This post focuses on the oft-overlooked aspect of music: arrangement. In the previous post we examined how John Lennon wrote an efficient little pop gem using two well-matched chord progressions and repetitive …