Yesterday, whilst my daughter napped in the afternoon, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Unplugged in New York’. The choice of listening was not itself that significant, it was just that I realised it was the first time I had consciously chosen to put a particular album on at home since she was born. I had put music on to try and soothe her, I had put the radio on for background, I had listened to music on my headphones to and from work, but I hadn’t just sat down and listened to music for pleasure.
in my twenties, on a Saturday or Sunday daytime, if I didn’t have much to do, I would get up in the morning, go buy the Guardian, then return home and listen to music and read pretty much all day (with perhaps a break to watch the football results come in. The vast majority of weekend days were spent this way, as my socialising was kept for the evenings, and I didn’t appreciate the outdoors so much (as I lived in Mancheste the outdoors were generally grey and damp anyway)
I listened to a lot of music this way, but because it was kind of automatic that I would put it on, and because I was reading simultaneously I sometimes wonder how much of it I took in. Now, I listen a lot less, but what I do listen to I really appreciate. Which brings us back to ‘Unplugged in New York’, one of those albums I have loved more and more as time has passed, and the only Nirvana album I still listen to with any regularity. It always makes me a little sad because, while I doubt that Kurt would have been still making albums like In Utero if he were still around today, I feel he might well have been making albums like ‘Unplugged in New York’. The sad part, as with any life cut short young, is we will never know.