Seattle: Finding Nirvana at the Museum

Seattle: Finding Nirvana at the Museum
Take a peek inside the Seattle sound movement of the 1980s and ’90s with the “Nirvana Taking Punk to the Masses” at the EMP Museum. The museum covers music, science fiction and pop culture through permanent and traveling exhibits created by its own highly talented staff. “Nirvana Taking Punk to the Masses” is one of many exhibits at the museum. The exhibit focuses on the band Nirvana, its place in the Seattle music scene and its rise to prominence worldwide. The curators’ ability to create an exhibit that gives you a feeling of being an insider during that slice of musical history is very impressive

They do this by combining personal artifacts, such as handwritten lyrics and personal photos, with more recognizable pieces, such as singer Kurt Cobain’s iconic sweater. The exhibit’s many interactive elements allow you to go deeper into the materials. The oral histories are outstanding, and listening to bassist Krist Novoselic talk about his own experiences is pretty cool. Among the many other incredible oral histories from those involved in the scene at that time are accounts from Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Ian MacKaye of Fugazi, just to name a few.

The curators kept the context of the Seattle sound by including other bands, such as Green River, Pearl Jam and the Melvins. Two truly unique aspects to this exhibit are the audio guide, which Novoselic narrates, and the exhibition soundtrack, which Nirvana producer Steve Fisk composed.

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