Bruce Pavitt Was There, Man
You may not know who Bruce Pavitt is, but you know all about what the indie label he pioneered in the 90s, Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop didn’t birth “grunge”—the media did. Bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Nirvana (duh), and the other heavy hitters on Sub Pop’s roster just made the music.
These days, Bruce has retired from running the label full time, but he recently released a photo book with Bazillion Points called Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe 1989. The book follows Nirvana, Tad, and Mudhoney through their first European tour, and if you’ve been keeping up with VICE you probably saw the exclusive photos we published a few months back. Nearly three decades later, grunge has become a cultural phenomenon and bounced by into a retro-trend for younger musicians. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
So why put this book out now? I called up Bruce because he’s extremely cool and I wanted to talk about the 90s, the label, and why this book needed to get out into the world.
VICE: Hi Bruce. So first off, why do this book?Bruce Pavitt: Essentially, the Seattle scene in the late 80s was a revolutionary time. The level of emotional intensity that those bands was expressing was incredible. I thought it was time to share some of those memories.
What did you think of The Oral History of Grunge?Honestly, I didn’t read it.
Really? I mean, I don’t see why you would have to as you were kind of… there.Yep. I actually took a very long time off from thinking about the scene, after Kurt’s passing. It was just last year when I started revisiting those times.
Continue

Bruce Pavitt Was There, Man

You may not know who Bruce Pavitt is, but you know all about what the indie label he pioneered in the 90s, Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop didn’t birth “grunge”—the media did. Bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Nirvana (duh), and the other heavy hitters on Sub Pop’s roster just made the music.

These days, Bruce has retired from running the label full time, but he recently released a photo book with Bazillion Points called Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe 1989. The book follows Nirvana, Tad, and Mudhoney through their first European tour, and if you’ve been keeping up with VICE you probably saw the exclusive photos we published a few months back. Nearly three decades later, grunge has become a cultural phenomenon and bounced by into a retro-trend for younger musicians. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

So why put this book out now? I called up Bruce because he’s extremely cool and I wanted to talk about the 90s, the label, and why this book needed to get out into the world.

VICE: Hi Bruce. So first off, why do this book?
Bruce Pavitt: Essentially, the Seattle scene in the late 80s was a revolutionary time. The level of emotional intensity that those bands was expressing was incredible. I thought it was time to share some of those memories.

What did you think of The Oral History of Grunge?
Honestly, I didn’t read it.

Really? I mean, I don’t see why you would have to as you were kind of… there.
Yep. I actually took a very long time off from thinking about the scene, after Kurt’s passing. It was just last year when I started revisiting those times.

Continue

Fashion in the 90s - Kate Carraway’s Li’l Thinks
Illustration by Penelope Gazin
The 90s were perfect. That’s objective. Not even “the 90s,” really, but particular neon-gilded chambers of time within the 90s (like, super-ur-90s Sassy magazine before it began its slow death in 1995-ish) were perfect. This isn’t to privilege one set of nostalgics over another; the 1990s reverence felt by three small, semidiscrete generations (X, Y, Millennial) is, of course, no different from anyone else’s nostalgia for what came before, but seriously, the 90s were good for us. They were great sometimes. 
I don’t even care about “better.” What’s better? Does better matter, is better relevant, is better possible? But one particular aspect of the culture that is definitely not better right now, and will be no better, is the translation of fashion to film, to video, to TV, to the internet. 
I guess I mean this in an abstract and personal sense of “better”: There are a zillion dedicated segments and shows about fashion, on real TV and online, on blogs and the rest of it, that are doing what they set out to do, achieving everything they want to achieve. Every website I’ve ever been to (ever? Ever!) has featured a closet tour with some emerging or expiring It girl. Like the 90s, this is good and even great sometimes. And the epitome of 90s-fashion television, MTV’s House of Style, was revived last year, with ace model hosts and the familiar and correct cross-genre/high-low/daydreamy approach. 
Continue

Fashion in the 90s - Kate Carraway’s Li’l Thinks

Illustration by Penelope Gazin

The 90s were perfect. That’s objective. Not even “the 90s,” really, but particular neon-gilded chambers of time within the 90s (like, super-ur-90s Sassy magazine before it began its slow death in 1995-ish) were perfect. This isn’t to privilege one set of nostalgics over another; the 1990s reverence felt by three small, semidiscrete generations (X, Y, Millennial) is, of course, no different from anyone else’s nostalgia for what came before, but seriously, the 90s were good for us. They were great sometimes. 

I don’t even care about “better.” What’s better? Does better matter, is better relevant, is better possible? But one particular aspect of the culture that is definitely not better right now, and will be no better, is the translation of fashion to film, to video, to TV, to the internet. 

I guess I mean this in an abstract and personal sense of “better”: There are a zillion dedicated segments and shows about fashion, on real TV and online, on blogs and the rest of it, that are doing what they set out to do, achieving everything they want to achieve. Every website I’ve ever been to (ever? Ever!) has featured a closet tour with some emerging or expiring It girl. Like the 90s, this is good and even great sometimes. And the epitome of 90s-fashion television, MTV’s House of Style, was revived last year, with ace model hosts and the familiar and correct cross-genre/high-low/daydreamy approach. 

Continue

Epicly Later’d - Eric Dressen Part 4

Epicly Later’d - Eric Dressen Part 4

We didn’t predict 9/11, no matter what Alex Jones or anyone else says.

We didn’t predict 9/11, no matter what Alex Jones or anyone else says.