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What If Nirvana Had Been A Pop Group? One Austin Musician Found Out.

Rose Robin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Nirvana fan art.

From Texas Standard.

It might sound a little different than you remember, but there’s a new version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” going around online. With 2 million views online, it was finally taken down for copyright reasons.

The “new” track got a lot of people wondering about whether the legendary Seattle band could have easily been a pop group. The person behind the re-tuned song – which he renamed  “Teen Sprite” – is Austin musician Will Patterson, also known as Sleep Good.

Patterson says the idea came from a Nirvana CD-R he bought at a garage sale that had the individual components of each song separated.

“And then I was playing guitar to them and realized that if I strip everything out – the vocals and the drums – I could kind of like turn it into this whole different song,” he says. “Like a pop punk song.”

He says that from there, creating a new version was effortless – but he didn’t expect the huge reaction online.

“It felt really bizarre that people cared enough to spread it around,” he says. “I think it’s pretty controversial because there are a lot of people who really hated it and there are people who were really surprised and there were people who actually liked it better.”

Patterson says his new Sleep Good album, called Bohemian Grove, will be out in the spring.

Written by Jen Rice.

Leah Scarpelli joined Texas Standard in September 2015 from NPR’s Morning Edition, where she spent seven years as a producer, director and occasional reporter of music and arts pieces. As Texas Standard director, Leah is responsible for the overall practical and creative interpretation of each day’s program: choosing segue music, managing the prep of show content, and providing explicit directions for the host and technical director during the live broadcast. She graduated from Ithaca College in New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio. She enjoys riding her Triumph motorcycle and getting out for hikes in the Texas countryside. Her late grandfather was from Yoakum.
Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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