Loose Lips

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Patti Smith

Nana's Sunday Jams

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Patti Smith

Banner artwork by the majestic Trav, all of Nana's jams are gathered in this playlist. 



Yes, Yes Sunday Jammers, welcome back, hope it’s been good and still getting better. Back with part 3 of September is 'She', hope you are liking the tunes so far and Big Loves to all the Arlo Parks fans who sent nice words about the writing. It's so, so, so cool to be appreciated and understood, so nice one. Love that Arlo Parks inspires so much love, thank you all round.

 

This week’s artist is a creative polymath of epic proportions and that’s no hyperbole. She is a rare breed of a human being and in possession of an exceptional creative mind. She is a poet, musician, fine artist, environmental and human activist. To say the love runs deep is an understatement but I really have no other words to describe the gravity of it all. Patti Smith is today’s She, an icon who needs no introduction, so I won’t bother, instead I draw your attention to my favourite things about Patti and today’s track – her rendition of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. A track that polarises fans but for me is a dreamy, quirky off centred beauty of a tune. It manages to find space in an original that is dark, heavy and almost suffocating in its beauty and reforms it into an earthy, quirky poetic reflection. Cools as hell.

 

This track is off the 2007 album Twelve – also the number of tracks on the album – a covers album that includes Tears for Fears – ‘Everybody wants to rule the world and The Allman Brothers Band – ‘Midnight Rider. I have always been in two minds about this album, mainly because I’m always wary of covers, but after a few listens I heard some old favourites given a new voice. Things I love about this tune: the stripped back acoustic feel, the inclusion of the banjo which takes it from this angry roar into something a little bit more philosophical – but note that it does not lose any of the dark beauty instead transforms it, releasing the chaos to reveal something almost beatnik. At points it feels like being in an abstract western with Smith in the role of Sheriff navigating the gunslingers come to do battle in a dry, dusty prairie town. The other thing I love is how it divides fans of Nirvana and Smith
alike; mostly a straight down the line split – always good for great chat, new perspectives and suitable for our Sunday Jamming.

 

Patti Smith continues to be graceful, elegant and effortlessly cool, her longevity and continuous exploration of her creativity will always have me gripped, her ability to stay entirely grounded yet have this far reaching outlook is remarkable coupled with that she never ever had to trade her body for her art. That’s not to say she shied away from the presence of her sexuality because it’s obvious for anyone to see, see the cover for Horses, magnetic, powerful and present. Patti Smith made her own space to be a woman her way, to enjoy her sexuality and beauty her way, to exist and create. Smith, as an artist is about the art and continual growth she never seems to reject the ‘female’ part of herself – maybe because she isn’t a cookie cut beauty so maybe it gives her an advantage, At 74 Smith still feels like a breath of fresh air whenever I see her perform or listen to her speak. Continuing to be human first; a central focus in her music and poetry. So, so beautiful. Hope you enjoy it, happy Sunday and Loves.