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Much of the tribute consists of musings from various members of the entertainment world on what the album means to them. Interviewees include musical contemporaries (Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder), industry figures (manager Danny Goldberg, Sub Pop publicist Jennie Buddy), comedians (Patton Oswalt) and musicians inspired by the band (The Black Keys' Patrick Carney, Fucked Up's Damian Abraham, Against Me!'s Tom Gabel).
The issue also explored the overall musical landscape of the 1990s (focusing on how music helped listeners to form an identity and express themselves in a post-Reagan era), the interplay between early '90s alternative rock and hip hop and the appropriation of grunge rock styles into fashion especially by Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs.
Of course, I was a little younger than the targeted demographic when Nevermind was released; being more interested in "I Love You, You Love Me" and "The Song That Never Ends" than alternative rock. By the time I started watching MTV, though, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was still in heavy rotation. Once I was in the targeted demographic, in my early teens, manufactured pop and polished "alternative" rock were staples and consisted of most of what I listened to.
I didn't really start exploring Nirvana until my freshman year of college, but I don't really know what triggered it (nostalgia, probably). Although "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the only song I knew really well, I was surprised at the familiarity of almost all of the songs on the album. I don't know where or how, but I had heard it before. It's still music that I can go back to and enjoy, although it never coincided with any of the angsty periods of my life.
To celebrate the album's anniversary, Spin compiled a tribute album with each of the album's tracks performed by a different artist, including EMA, Wavves, Foxy Shazam and Surfer Blood. The tribute is available for download here.