A memory triggered – MTV Unplugged sessions

The other night I had to do some mind-numbing visa application stuff to renew my visitor’s permit (to be in effect while I’m still waiting for permanent residency). After a chain of  watching Soundgarden videos earlier in the night (after chatting with Adam about them post-Rock Banding Spoonman), I decided to fall back to my old grunge favourite Pearl Jam and threw that into the YouTube search bar. One of the first results was “Pearl Jam – MTV Unplugged (Full)” & my eyes went POP. It poked a long-dormant part of my brain.

Growing up, my town had one radio station, an AM band one that played classics and top 40 (blah blah, the usual). It wasn’t until I was a little older that we got access to the FM national station Triple J (part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Having only had that AM band station and my parents music tastes to go off growing up, Triple J was an outstanding explosion of new music for a 15 year old (or thereabouts) girl like me.

One of the best things about starting to discover new music was getting into a bunch of grunge (well after the fact, but it was better late than never!). Pearl Jam became my fast favourite. Taping live concerts from Triple J, acquiring every piece of their music I could, and best of all taping this MTV special to watch over and over. Listening to it the other night as I typed away, I knew all the beats – exactly how that live performance played out, well over 15 years after first encountering it. The brain is a weird thing, right?

This sent me on a mini YouTube spiral to find some of the other MTV Unplugged performances that I was crazy into back then, too – Stone Temple Pilots, REM, Live, Alice in Chains and – of course – Nirvana. Here they are for your viewing pleasure! Come away with me, readers, on a journey back through time to the sounds of my evenings in mid-to-late high school as I hermited in my room listening. (And thanks to radio & discovering grunge – plus friends with great taste – I’ve come into my adult life with a much better rounded taste in music progressing on from this time in the mid-90s.)





It’s tough to find the whole Nirvana one in a big chunk, but this playlist hits a lot!


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