Old Favorite Thing: Nirvana - "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam"

A couple nights ago I saw the Meat Puppets at the 9:30 club and it wasn't pretty. And I don't just mean Cris Kirkwood's teeth. (Or hair. Or clothes.) Definitely one of the worst sets I've seen this year, up there with Islands and the Child Ballads disaster. At least Built to Spill was pretty excellent, as Catherine P. Lewis's review attests. The Meat Puppets raced through "Lake of Fire" and "Plateau," two of the songs they played with Nirvana on that seminal episode of "Unplugged," and it got me thinking about all those bands that Kurt Cobain used to namedrop and get behind, mostly because he loved them, partly because, man, Geffen, how embarrassing and uncool! Then I saw my fantasy baseball team do its best impression of the 2007 (and 2008?) New York Mets (eat it, Javy Vazquez) and I stopped thinking about it. But then this morning a live version of Nirvana playing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" came on iTunes and I got to thinking about it again. I mentioned the version of that Vaselines cover in a post back in April but I just found a high-quality video of it on YouTube and had to share its awesomeness with you.

And for the record, here are my Top 5 Kurt Cobain Pet Bands:

1. Half Japanese
2. The Vaselines
3. Young Marble Giants
4. The Raincoats
5. Daniel Johnston

By David Malitz |  September 25, 2008; 2:16 PM ET Old Favorite Thing , Rankings
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I'd put the Melvins in the top 5.

Posted by: Ben W. | September 25, 2008 4:05 PM

I remember reading a SPIN article back in 1993 in which Nirvana was on the cover for the promotion of In Utero. In the interview, Cobain professes his love of all things Fugazi. They're at least worth a mention.

Posted by: 1buj | September 25, 2008 4:16 PM

Maybe I could have laid out a little better criteria for what makes a "pet band," at least my definition. Cobain had a direct impact on the careers of the bands I listed (except for Young Marble Giants) by either taking them on tour, getting labels to re-release their albums, wearing t-shirts at every opportunity, etc. If you are of the opinion that "Live Through This" is a Kurt Cobain album, then there's a direct connection with YMG, too.

So Fugazi wouldn't really fit, y'know?

The Melvins would. But they are definitely not in the top 5. Same with Meat Puppets and Flipper and the Wipers.

Posted by: David | September 25, 2008 5:15 PM

No love for Teenage Fanclub? KC name dropped them all the time.

Posted by: leafblower | September 25, 2008 5:22 PM

Dude, what, Pixies are a million times better than all those bands put together.

Posted by: Adam | September 26, 2008 10:52 AM

Oops, just read your disclaimer, still I think Kurt Cobain gave Pixies more publicity than they ever generated during their career.

Posted by: Adam | September 26, 2008 12:34 PM

For the record, Nirvana signed with Geffen because Sonic Youth was on the label.

Nice video, I pine for the day when the 1991 Halloween show is released on DVD.

Speaking of the Pixies, check out the sweet shirt that Grohl is rocking!

Posted by: mikef | September 26, 2008 1:32 PM

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