REVIEW: Nirvana – Icon (2010)

NIRVANA – Icon (2010 budget compilation)

The Icon series of compilations is mostly shit.  One of the stinkiest of the shit is Nirvana’s installment of Icon.  Where’s “Sliver”?  There’s not one song here from Bleach.  “About A Girl” is from the Unplugged CD and “You Know You’re Right” was a “new” song added to Nirvana’s first and only official greatest hits set, Nirvana.  In fact, every song here can be found on Nirvana.

Rather than bitch bitch bitch about how shitty this CD is, and how pissed Kurt would be to have his music released in configurations that nobody in the band authorized, I’d rather just rate it and change the subject.  Enjoy the following essay.

1/5 sharts

A Brief History of Kitchener, Ontario by Michael Ladano

DOWNTOWN KITCHENERKitchener, a city of 220,000 in southern Ontario, was settled around the year 1800 on lands by the Grand River.  The Crown gifted this land to the Six Nations, who sold it.  It was settled by loyalist German Mennonites from Pennsylvania, to escape religious persecution in the United States.   The Mennonites who settled here included families such as the Schneiders, Webers, and Ebys whose names can be found on streets and buildings all over town today.  They named the settlement Sand Hills, within the Township of Waterloo.

Land was converted to farms, and the Grand River enabled an early sawmill industry.  Streets such as the present day King Street were built, as were landmarks such as the Heuther Brewery, in the early 1800’s.   The town grew with waves of German immigrants, and in 1833 Sand Hills was renamed Berlin.

LORD KITCHENERIn 1856, Berlin was connected to railways, and industry grew.  In 1912, Berlin was declared a city.  During the First World War, anti-German sentiment in 1916 caused the town to be renamed Kitchener, after Lord Kitchener, a British war hero.  His famous face adorned many British recruitment posters.  The bust of Kaiser Wilhelm was thrown into Victoria Lake.

Although some still wish to rename the city Berlin, Kitchener today boasts strong industry, easy access to excellent post-secondary education, and a huge annual Oktoberfest honoring its German heritage.  It is known for its OHL hockey team the Rangers, and for spawning many NHL athletes.  It is also known as the birthplace of William Lyon McKenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister and possibly the only one who regularly sought advice from a crystal ball.

Kitchener is also known for its music.  The annual Blues Festival is always popular.  Kitchener has also spawned such international musical artists as Rob Szabo, Helix and Kathryn Ladano, and world famous writers like Michael Ladano.

Come to Kitchener (only 100 km west of Toronto) in the summer to enjoy boating, hiking, biking, music festivals, and much more, including a large population of Miniature Schnauzers.  Don’t bother coming in the winter.


  1. “Sharts”…lol

    I like your tag “shit” followed by “smells like teen spirit”…

    I was at the 1993 Oktoberfest, btw. Took a rickety old school bus from London to KW. I couldn’t tell you what the bar was called but tied one on pretty well that night…


        1. Interestingly the rest of the time, she rescued cats. She was a cool girl. I remember back when we first met, everybody was in dial up. She was the first one I knew to get cable. She called me one day. “You won’t believe what I’m doing. I’M ON THE INTERNET AND TALKING TO YOU AT THE SAME TIME!”


        1. No. But I guess it’s only funny to Canadians. We have the proverbial “Newphy jokes”, you know the types. “A Newphy walks into a bar…”

          But they are proudly Newphy, I’ve met quite a few who have the word NEWF tattooed on them, or worn on their shirts, jackets, etc…and they have also produced some amazing musicians too.


        2. Oh man, one year in Saskatoon we went to a Christmas party at the home of a couple of Newfies and we all had to have a shot of Screech. I know you can buy it in the store, but I think they made this themselves. That stuff’ll peel paint. On the plus side, it’ll clean out yer pipes!


  2. I love your version of the history of Kitchener. As a resident of Kitchener, I can vouch for the fact that there are lots of miniature schnauzers here, as there are 3 on my street alone! I can also vouch for the fact that Kathryn Ladano and Michael Ladano live here and are world famous!!!! I also agree that it’s not worth visiting in the winter.


        1. Maybe, I like the giant idea (that’s what she said). But no, winter just doesn’t bother me. I feel the cold, but I don’t hate it. It just is. So dress for it and carry on. It’s all a state of mind, brother. If you hate winter and complain the whole time, you’re gonna hate and complain about half of your life. I’m not into that.


  3. I was wondering recently what I would do if/when I came across an absolute turd of a record on the 1001. It hasn’t happened yet – but I think I’ll borrow your strategy of changing the conversation, nice essay!


    1. Excellent question T-Rev! This was a gift that I own no longer, because I already have the Nirvana CD. And the wife has their whole collection on top of that (although her CDs are all scratched, too bad).


  4. The only ICON series CD I own is the Motörhead one, and that rules because, well, Motörhead. Duh. But I see these discs in the bins for $5 and they’re almost always shitey-looking. Never enough tracks, not even most of the ones you want. Bah.

    I remember you ranting about this CD when it came out (isn’t Mrs. Lebrain the big Nirvana fan?… or is my memory wonky?… it’s entirely possible). Oh well, when they print the track listing on the back, ya gets what ya paid for.

    What’s the 1 shart for? Just for showing up? The strength of songs themselves which, of course, can be found on other comps (or just own the bloody albums, already)? If it stank that bad, maybe it oughta get a 0?

    As for your history of KW, very amusing. Just factual enough to keep the reader hooked and then opinion slides in. WLMK was bonkers. Have you seen the sculpture garden he commisioned, in Ottawa? Hooboy. Anyway, dude talked to his dead mom. For advice on how to run our country. Oh yeah. So… I’d like to think it wasn’t all caused by the drinking water in KW?

    I lived in KW for about 4 years (1995-1999), it was fine enough. Heck I was born there, ages ago. Moved away when I was 1. It was the go-to place from where we ended up, if we ever wanted to “go to the city” (haha). I still have family there. I partook of some of the post-secondary education there. I shopped a lot at your old store. I only left, really, for the opportunity to go live in Montreal. Beauty.


    1. Yeah it’s Mrs. LeBrain who is the big Nirvana fan although I do own the Nirvana CD as well.

      What is the one shart for? Yeah, showing up. Something like this can be made so much better by just a little effort. Nirvana’s songs are so short, they could have and should have included way more tunes. My Rush ICON CD was longer than this.


Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s