Boxset, Update #5: You Really Like My Limousine

And, just so we’re not running behind on that Nirvana boxset:

Sound of Dentage, disc one, likely final running order

I sat down tonight and decided to poke at the disc one running order, just to see if I couldn’t get something I was happier with going. I shut off my phone and Discord and things and just laid in bed for an hour, listening to nearly this exact order, and it was set. I’m very pleased with this.

The big thing was the introduction of two live cuts, both from the 1/23/88 Community World Theater show With the Lights Out initially pulled from. I initially wasn’t gonna use anything live on my boxset, just because I thought the studio and rehearsal ones would suit my purpose on their own. Problem is, the third disc is still unfortunately looking a little empty (especially because I don’t have the In Utero deluxe set to pull from). I figured since I’m trying to be a bit of a sonic storyteller here, showing you how scrappy they used to be on the first disc and how drained they’d become on the third, I’d add some live cuts to fill things out. I couldn’t just have that going on only one of the discs, so I added some to the first as well. For those, it only made sense to stick with the same show the real boxset pulled from.

Problem being, I hate all three renditions With the Lights Out used from that show (“Floyd the Barber”, “Downer”, and “Erectum” with a “Moby Dick” jam mangled in there). In general, it’s not really my favorite Nirvana live performance I’ve heard. Kurt mangles pretty much all of the lyrics, even if he gives a pretty decent performance at times–but that’s also what you get when you listen to live Nirvana. The show itself is fine–but man, man–they could’ve picked better songs from it.

So on a whim, I took “Aero Zeppelin” (the studio version from the same day features on Incesticide) and “Paper Cuts” (same studio session gave us the immortal Bleach rendition) from that show and threw them in, using a much earlier, slower band rehearsal of “Downer” for that cut, the KAOS-FM version of “Floyd” for that cut, and skipping whatever the fuck “Erectum” was supposed to be, and lo and behold, it all perfectly capped off the early, “we didn’t even have a name” Nirvana–but the listenable parts of early Nirvana.

Really, with this order, I’ve solved the biggest issue with the first disc of the boxset, the rather weak tracklist. So many Bleach/Incesticide cuts were skipped over for awkward, half-formed jams on usually Zeppelin songs, and while Nirvana played a lot of covers back then and those have their place, you want a bit more you actually recognize on such a set to help it go down a little easier. I think this works really nicely–and like disc two, it comes in a solid ten minutes shorter than disc one of the real boxset.

Since I’m limited to their 80s output on this disc, I was also having trouble ending it in a way I wanted, a way that’d hint at the poppier direction Nirvana would take on the second disc. Now, “Polly” ends the real disc one, so using it would only make sense, but while the boxset has two rather neat renditions of it, I went with neither. The home demo would be a strong candidate for my disc in a vacuum, but for my purposes, it doesn’t quite fit sonically or chronologically. The full band take at the Music Source is a fine version, but the band’s gear was totally trashed and absolutely sounds it.

Third option–the John Peel version, also from 1989. This one builds on the Music Source take with some unique harmonies that aren’t in any other version of the song, but has nearly the same arrangement otherwise–and with gear that doesn’t sound (quite as) cheap and trashed! Perfect for my needs, and thankfully, the transfer I’ve got of that sounds fantastic to boot.

I’m really gonna aim to have this thing finished in time for this month’s recap. I’m gonna tweak the second disc a bit, on suggestion to use a different version of “Teen Spirit” (and on second thought, I’ll oblige), and the third one will coalesce in time too, I’m sure.

On some other notes! I’ve finally sorted through all of Stardew Valley‘s dialogue for Furdew (yes, we are still working on that) purposes. Course, you can’t just leave a bunch of lines in the game about having pets, hair, being human, and slathering yourself in coconut oil when everyone’s become an animal person, so early in the month (maybe around the 6th?), I set about looking through all the thousands of lines of in-game dialogue for anything that’d need to be rewritten. Finally, I’m done with that. I’ll start rewriting stuff tomorrow. It probably won’t take nearly as long.

I also bought some new CD-Rs after I ran out of my Memorex set not too long ago. I wasn’t intending to, but the group’s been tossing around a few mix CDs (here’s a link to one I made, shh, don’t tell anyone), and I wanted to be able to…uh, burn them to CDs. I went with these “digital vinyl” ones because I was curious how they were, given that I’ve been seeing them for years now. (I have a sampler CD from, of all places, Austin, TX, on one of these, and I know Silversun Pickups used them early on for demos.)

Verbatim "digital vinyl" CD-Rs
I was an idiot once upon a time and tried to play the fake plastic grooves on one of these on my turntable. Hint, there’s nothing on them, stupid.

I got this pack super cheap, ten for $4, and I bought two of them. Aside from being a bit thicker than normal CDs, they seem pretty damn good. Both my burns from tonight turned out perfectly fine. Shouldn’t be surprised, given it’s Verbatim, but I’m pleased.

Avalanche of stuff from me coming out soon, friends. See you soon.

Leave a Comment