It won't be long before every magazine, music blog, and tweet is talking about the 20th birthday of Nirvana's Nevermind, which is just around the corner for those who have lost track of time.
Musicians of every caliber routinely talk about their early influence from Cobain and the gang, and what better way to "tip your hat" to the band that turned the music world upside down than with a 13-song tribute album in the original order?
The folks over at Spin have done just that with Newermind, a tribute record offered for the low, low cost of free that fans can download and share with each other.
The real treat isn't the CD, though--this isn't the first ode to Nirvana, and it certainly won't be the last.
Among the lineup that was gathered, two names particularly stand out: the Meat Puppets and The Vaselines. Both bands were covered in Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance, which was the first CD released after Cobain's death in April 1994.
The Meat Puppets got the task of covering Nirvana's most well-known song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the first track on the album and definitely a major standout. Singer Curt Kirkwood's vocals are raspy, low, and occasionally off-key--a fitting match to the original (though it's weird to be able to make out the lyrics).
Other highlights include "Breed" by Titus Andronicus, a jittery indie-rock version that is fun and loose, and "Come as You Are" by Midnight Juggernauts, which is so far in its own league that calling it "borderline creepy" is an understatement. (It sounds like a mummy is harmonizing with a possessed child . . . or something like that.)
To download the record, just go to Spin's Facebook and enter your e-mail. Unlike the free Lollapalooza mix offered by Spin last month, iTunes is not required for the download, though it'll only be available at the link above until Monday, July 25.
1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Meat Puppets
2. "In Bloom" - Butch Walker & the Black Widows
3. "Come as You Are" - Midnight Juggernauts
4. "Breed" - Titus Andronicus
5. "Lithium" - The Vaselines
6. "Polly" - Amanda Palmer
7. "Territorial Pissings" - Surfer Bood
8. "Drain You" - Foxy Shazam
9. "Lounge Act" - Jessica Lea Mayfield
10. "Stay Away" - Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band
11. "On a Plain" - Telekinesis
12. "Something In The Way" - JEFF The Brotherhood
13. "Endless Nameless" - EMA
What's your favorite cover? Comment below!