Today at Slate, author Simon Reynolds*, whose new book about pop’s insatiable

Today at Slate, author Simon Reynolds*, whose new book about pop’s insatiable appetite for old culture Retromania is out now, turns his nostalgia-critical lens toward this fall’s impending rehashing of grunge myths, with an eye towards Nirvana at the Reading Festival, the accumulated output of Pearl Jam, and Seattle in general. Setting things off is the Reading Festival’s plan to screen archival footage of Nirvana’s 1992 performance (Kurt rolled onto the stage in a wheelchair, exiting it via the drum kit) in the space that would usually be occupied by a living, breathing band. Reynolds:This decision is perplexing on a number of levels. First, there’s the obvious oddness of interrupting the schedule of live groups in favor of a dead group. Then there’s the curious fact that Reading’s promoters, aiming to capitalize on 2011’s status as the Official Anniversary of Grunge, are showing the footage of the gig on its 19th anniversary, a year ahead of customary schedule. (Nirvana did actually appear at Reading in August 1991 but were still relatively unknown and played midway through the bill.) Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about this exercise in time travel, though, is how it isn’t really that surprising. It’s exactly the sort of thing that you’d kinda expect from a pop culture increasingly characterized by a compulsion to revisit and reconsume its own past. The whole essay is worth reading, as is the book. Reynolds reads from Retromania in Seattle Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the (appropriately retro) Rendezvous.*Whose essential sociological history of rave, Energy Flash [UK]/Generation Ecstasy [U.S.], published 1998/99, I’m reading right now–so how’s that for nostalgia?Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.