First of all, grunge is not what you think. Unless you were in Seattle in the late 80s, or are a rock researcher, you don't really understand. And, let's be honest: most musicians don't even know what genre their song represents. Let's even be more honest: genres are an imperfect quagmire of a system.
When I think of "grunge", I do not think about Nirvana. My mind echoes Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and early Silverchair. Nirvana transcended that genre pigeonhole in 1991.
The year of 1994 was a pivotal moment in my life. My favorite year of music. Several albums were hot then: Siamese Dream, Throwing Copper, The Downward Spiral. None of those were true grunge, however. The post-grunge era of music had already begun!
What is post-grunge? For examples, listen to:
- Bush: Sixteen Stone
- Foo Fighters: The Colour and the Shape
- Creed: My Own Prison
- anything labeled "2000s rock" in your iTunes
The Foo Fighters were (and are) very popular. In 1997, all of my friends loved their second album. But, as I said before, I was leery. I didn't like it. I bought the album (only because of the "Everlong" video), but the rest of that album is extremely polished quasi-grunge. Take a look at the vapid "My Hero". Not that deep, and perfect for Guitar Center clientele. I admit, I learned to play that song on guitar (it's very easy). Dave Grohl pretty much single-handedly invented this style. And even right now, in 2012, he is still in his element. Dave's music wins Grammys. And I'm not blaming him for ruining music. Ultimately, the masses ruin everything...
The question is: when the hell will this sub-sub-genre ever become unpopular?
The dilemma: no one would ever admit their favorite music is post-grunge.