FASHION / Down, out and blasted
Sunday 10 January 1993
It's been coming on for a couple of years, inspired by conscience and the movies. You can only step around duvet-wrapped bodies in shop doorways for so long before feeling the need to make some sort of adjustment to yourself. Then what happens? Gus Van Sant makes Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho, a bunch of rock groups in the Pacific north-west find themselves in the charts, and suddenly heavy boots and thin flouncy skirts and thrift-store cardigans are the answer.
Seattle's role as the new Madchester is consecrated by another new film, Cameron Crowe's Singles, which opens in London this week. Crowe, who had a job as a star on Rolling Stone at the age of 16 in the early Seventies, is a whizz at catching America's teen spirit on the breeze: ten years ago, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the first (and cleverest) of a new generation of high- school movies; at the end of the Eighties, Say Anything was the last - and sweetest. But Crowe had made the prescient move to Seattle in the middle of that decade, and was able to watch the thing we call grunge as it emerged from the local club scene. Singles is built in episodes, divided by captions like a Sixties nouvelle vague job, and has a fine young ensemble led by the
adventurous Matt Dillon as a brain-blasted rocker and the equally admirable Bridget Fonda as his girlfriend.
The soundtrack, of course, bulges with Seattle bands. Now Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Screaming Trees are where the Manchester bands were two years ago: in the charts, and not yet ejected from the hip parade.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, singing 'Masters of War' from memory rather than from the autocue, stole the show at the Dylan 30th anniversary bash in Madison Square Garden before Christmas, making his elders look, well, old. He seemed to be the only one who remembered that it was the 30th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis; all the rest were stuck in a more recent and less becoming past. And his jeans and sweatshirt looked a lot more apropos than the stadium-
stars' wardrobe selections.
Meanwhile, fashion people anxiously subject the defining term grunge to intense etymological analysis: grime, grease, garage, mange, dinge, the 'un' (but that's all) from punk. Most of all, perhaps, an intimate onomatopoeic relationship with the sound of a dirtied-up rhythm guitar, the basic noise of rock 'n' roll. A noise beyond noise for the look beyond looks.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark finale review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
The Visit: Watch terrifying trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3 - review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton, really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia