Nostalgia Alert

Nirvana’s Nevermind, 20 Years Later

EMP pairs the album’s anniversary with a benefit show for beloved local music vet Susie Tennant.

September 20, 2011

Originally published Aug 19, 2011. It’s been 20 years since the Aberdeen boys and their little naked baby swam into the MTV generation’s collective consciousness. Nevermind hit shelves on September 24, 1991, introducing the world to Seattle and tracks like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium"; the album went on to sell 25 million copies globally. In honor of the anniversary of grunge’s sacred scripture, Experience Music Project has planned a multiday celebration. It kicks off September 20 with a benefit concert for local music industry ace Susie Tennant, who was diagnosed with cancer in May and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Anyone even tangentially related to the Seattle music scene knows that Nirvana’s success dulls in comparison to the work and outreach Susie has done for this community, starting as a rep for Geffen Records in the ‘90s and as Nirvana’s one-time publicist. Tickets to the show at EMP Sky Church sold out early, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they release additional passes or move to a bigger venue. Updated 9/20/11. You can also watch the Nevermind benefit concert online September 20 at 10pmPT at Get updates at

Here’s the schedule:

Sept 20, 9pm: Nevermind Live in the EMP Sky Church: A Benefit for Susie Tennant Seattle bands perform every song off the album to raise money to support Susie and her family. It’s a stellar lineup that includes the Fastbacks, Visqueen, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic with PUSA, Champagne Champagne, Tacocat, Crypts, Vendetta Red, the Long Winters, Ravenna Woods, Vaporland (ex-Love Battery, the Fluid, TAD), Valis (ex-Screaming Trees), and Campfire OK. Donations to the Tennant family can also be made at:

Susie Tennant Fund
c/o Wells Fargo
13273 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

Sept 20, 6:30pm: Breaking Nevermind Die-hard fans will want to attend the pre-concert panel discussion on the launch of the album at JBL Theater, moderated by senior curator Jacob McMurray.

Sept 24 & 25, 2pm: Catch Bob Smeaton’s 70-minute documentary Nirvana—Nevermind, chronicling the release of the album through interviews with key players like Butch Vig, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman, and more.

Sept 24, 7:30pm: World-premiere screening of Nirvana: Live at the Paramount, a 16mm taping of Nirvana’s 1991 Halloween set—a homecoming of sorts at Paramount Theatre after they’d been off on a nationwide tour. The set includes hits "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium," as well as earlier tracks like "Love Buzz" and a rare version of "Rape Me." The film will screen on EMP’s new 33’ x 60’ LED video wall with its "better-than-HD image quality."

Amid all the Cobain craziness, don’t forget EMP’s exhibit of rock ephemera, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses, featuring 100 new and archived oral histories about the making of the band. Plus, beyond our borders, Jon Stewart (yes, Daily Show’s Jon) will host a two-hour Nevermind retrospective on SiriusXM satellite radio on Sept 24 at 8pm (Channel 34, aka "Lithium"). Expect Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and Nevermind producer Butch Vig to join.

For more info, visit EMP’s Facebook page.

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