Being that I'm both a huge Nirvana and Beck fan, I felt I needed to chime in. First of all, I met Beck a few years ago after a concert, and he's the COOLEST guy you'd ever wanna meet. Extremely humble and soft-spoken. Me and my girlfriend even got a picture and autographs with him. As for his music, Beck is a genius. I'm not too into the turntable rap/rock stuff, but in my humble opinion, Beck is the exception. He has a vision that far exceeds most of today's artists. I wasn't as thrilled with his last album, but it was still good. His breakthrough album, 'Odelay', is a masterpeice. (By the way, P. Mac said that he liked Beck on the '97 VH1 Town Hall Meeting.)
As for Nirvana, I can't say enough about them. In my opinion, the most important and influential group to come out of the last 15 years. After Nirvana, almost every other band was a rip-off. Kurt Cobain, wallowing in his misery or not, was a genius. I know it's hard for a lot of people to think of Cobain as a genius, because they just see the exterior (his trashy, dirty look, his drug addiction, etc.) But if you look past all that, you will see that he was a master. I can't think of anybody who's ever listened to the 'Nevermind' album, and not been blown away. Kurt was often compared to a modern John Lennon. At first I thought it was baloney, but then I saw why. Cobain's lyrics in particular, are very Lennonesque. On the surface, they seem to make no sense at all, just a bunch of gibberish. But you have to look closely. He did a lot of genius play on words, much like Lennon. And most importantly, just listen to the songs. Cobain was a master melody maker. I think of him as the "McCarntey of alternative rock." The man could create the most awesome melodies, that never get old. If anyone thinks Kurt Cobain was just a depressed, whiny, dirty, heroin addict....then they're not looking closely enough.
As for the Nirvana legal battle, it's an absolute mess. I agree with you, Chris. It is very much like The Beatles' legal battles. Me, like other Nirvana fans, are dying for that box set. In my opinion, it is definitely Courtney Love that is holding it up. I think she's a nut. Dave Grohl and Krist Novaselic actually asked the judge to order a psychological examination for her, to prove she's crazy. But the judge recently refused. I could go on and on and on and on about Courtney Love and this legal battle, but I'm not. (Partly, because I don't feel like hearing from Shinestar.) But all I'm gonna say is, it's a shame. And fans are being denied good music because of his widow who had nothing to do with the band's music.
As for Eminem, I have mixed feelings as well. I am ALL FOR free speech, and AGAINST censorship. However, some of Eminem's lyrics are just totally vile. On the other hand, he is a brilliant writer, and I respect his right to speak, write, sing, play what he wants.