Approximately 15 minutes
Grunge Music in America
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The term grunge is American slang for dirty or repugnant, and that’s what this sub-genre of rock music embodied in the late 1980s to early 1990s. This style originated in the Pacific Northwest around Seattle and the surrounding cities and, for a brief time, was the most popular music in America.
The origins of grunge rock began around 1984. Future Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic said he heard dirge-like songs with slow and heavy riffs being played by former punk bands at local shows. Many punk bands had slowed their rhythms down to create more of a metal rock sound. In fact, some bands completely flipped their playing style by playing punk rock songs backwards. This meant that players were descending the neck of the guitar, which made the songs sound more ominous and dark.
Ultimately, grunge music is a fusion of punk rock and heavy metal. It uses the electric guitar with a guitar pedal to create distortion sounds played loudly on a powerful amplifier. Bands combined this with an electric bass guitar and a smaller drum kit than those used by the metal bands of the 80s.
Concerts and shows were loud and high-energy performances where people would scream and wildly jump around along with the performers. Grunge musicians ditched the costumes and flamboyant hair styles of the 80s in favor of everyday clothing and had unkempt hairstyles. They considered it trendy to spend less on clothing.
In the early 1990s, many of the Seattle grunge bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains signed with major record labels. And in doing so, their style and sounds broke into mainstream American culture. But it came with a price.
Many grunge musicians never sought fame and fortune and were heavily involved in drugs and alcohol. This combination proved deadly for some famous grunge musicians like Curt Kobain, Mike Starr, Layne Staley, Andrew Wood, and Stefanie Sargent.
The 1994 death of Kurt Cobain proved to be the beginning of the end of grunge rock. Many imitation bands had copied the sounds of popular grunge bands. By the mid-1990s, it was all over, and grunge rock was replaced with commercialized pop rock. But, for a time, grunge rock was on the top of the world, and it’s made a lasting impression on the history of rock music in America.
Here’s a video summing up the essence of 90s grunge music:
Grammar Center: Dependent Prepositions
Look at this sentence from the passage:
Grunge musicians ditched the costumes and flamboyant hair styles of the 80s and dressed in everyday style clothes and had unkempt hairstyles.
Notice the combination of dressed and in is used to describe the clothes commonly worn by grunge musicians. It isn’t dressed on or dressed up or dressed down or any other combination of verb and preposition. This is known as dependent prepositions.
There’s a lengthy list of expressions that include verbs, nouns, and adjectives that always combine with a particular preposition. Dependent prepositions do not, however, combine with adverbs.
The problem for many ESL speakers is that these phrases don’t always translate well into other languages. In fact, sometimes there is no explanation for the combination except to say, “That’s just how we say it.” As an advanced speaker, it’s important to know the common list of these combinations.
But don’t worry! You can review the short list below or take a look at this longer list of dependent prepositions.
Top Dependent Prepositions to Know
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