Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Muzak’s role in grunge

Do you know what “Muzak” is?  They’re the Seattle company famous for providing elevators and shopping malls with that sickly sweet instrumental music.  What many people don’t know is that one of the world’s coolest record labels was born in the Muzak warehouse. 

Bruce Pavitt was the “tape returns coordinator” for Muzak.  But during his coffee breaks, he worked on putting together a company that would issue material by local artists.  One of the cassettes Bruce listened to when he should have been working was this outfit from Aberdeen, Washington named Nirvana and they ended up becoming one of the groups signed to his new label–which he called Sub Pop. 

It’s weird how strange things can be connected, huh?

Yesterday’s post explained how Johnny Lydon was rotten.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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