For the cost of your e-mail, SPIN magazine* will let you download an MP3 compilation with track-by-track coverage of Nirvana's Nevermind, which was released 20 years ago. (Oddly, it seems older than that to me.)
*which I haven't really read since Charles Aaron stopped writing his "Singles" column a dozen-plus years ago**
**Yes, I missed the Klosterman years.
The results vary widely, but two are worth the inconvenience of having to unsubscribe after you get the first unwanted e-mail, and a two more are interesting:
1. Meat Puppets "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Almost sounds like it could be a well-recorded acoustic demo. Curt sounds a lot like Kurt, or actually, I'm first realizing how much Kurt was sounding like Curt. If ever a story came out that Kurt had Curt co-write his songs for him, I could now totally believe it. "With the lights out, we're less dangerous... I feel stupid, and contagious": Totally Puppets lyrics.
2. Titus Andronicus "Breed". I've tried listening to TA before, and I just haven't been able to get into them at all. But this sounds great, the vox are all treble and aren't aping Kurt, yet still get some of the intent across.
3. Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band "Stay Away". James-Brown-type funk with some Summer-of-love distorted guitar for color. Reminds me of Sharon Jones' Janet Jackson cover, which made it sound like Janet was actually covering a long-lost classic. Only this "Stay Away" is clearly the cover.
4. EMA "Endless Nameless". This is the noisy hidden track. EMA does alright, but I think she could have done better on one of the actual songs than some of the other jokers did. And this just makes me miss Dave Grohl's drum thump at the end of the original, over which Kurt's guitar squealing staggers. It's here, but it doesn't feel like it should go on forever.
Not all of the other tracks are necessarily worthless, and I haven't listened to them that carefully. Some are really bad though, even worse than Tricky's cover with incorrect lyrics of "Something in the Way". A better list of contributors could have helped, but I really don't know where SPIN is right now or which bands who would have done well.
OK, that's not true. Bobby Bare Jr.*, Ha Ha Tonka, and Will Oldham definitely could. And I'd love to see what these folk could do: Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Low, Rocky Votolato, Grinderman, The F--- Buttons (only for Endless, Nameless for them though).
*He did a fantastic cover "Ocean Size" from Jane's Addiction for a complilation.
Anyways, those are my thoughts for today. What's randomly running to your ears?