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KEXP Celebrating Kurt Cobain’s Favorite LPs With New Podcast

'The Cobain 50' premieres on Jan. 10
Kurt Cobain
photo: (Frank Micelotta Archive / Contributor)

Seattle radio station KEXP will take a deep dive into late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain‘s 50 favorite albums with the aptly named weekly podcast The Cobain 50, which premieres Jan. 10. The list first appeared in the 2002 book Journals and has inspired discussion between fans ever since. The Cobain 50 will be hosted by KEXP journalists Martin Douglas and Dusty Henry.

Episodes will feature interviews with some of the artists involved on the albums from Cobain’s list, which included everyone from Pixies, Sonic Youth, Black Flag and R.E.M. to the Clash, David Bowie, Aerosmith, the Beatles and Public Enemy. Many of the artists were little known outside the American rock underground at the time, such as the Vaselines, Scratch Acid, the Frogs, Rites of Spring, Half-Japanese and the Wipers.

As SPIN wrote about the list in 2004, “In many ways, Cobain’s favorite albums paint the clearest picture of the musician he hoped to become. Like hip-hoppers who bring everyone from the block onto their second record, Kurt tried just as hard to donate some of his detested celebrity to the bands he loved, often inviting some of his personal favorites to tour the world with the Nirvana juggernaut. Many of these records can be heard near the surface of Nirvana’s music, filtered through a sieve of grungy rage. Others show glimpses of a path that the band might have followed, had Cobain successfully eclipsed his personal demons. But despite what they may say about him and his music, these are the albums Cobain would have told you to buy had you asked him.”

As part of The Cobain 50, KEXP El Sonido host Albina Cabrera will lead El Cancionero de Kurt, a Spanish-language exploration of Latin America’s influence on Cobain’s music and vice versa.