first recording featuring the surviving members of Nirvana is part of
a remarkable CD featuring an 11-year-old singer-songwriter.
Known as one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands, The Stinky Puffs is led
by Simon Fair Timony, step-son of legendary cult musician Jad Fair.
The group's nine-track EP, A Little Tiny Smelly Bit Of The Stinky Puffs,
includes four songs recorded with Nirvana's bassist and drummer, Krist
Novoselic and Dave Grohl, at a festival last July in Olympia, Wash.
The Stinky Puffs, which also features Cody Linn Ranaldo, son of Sonic
Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, is something of a family affair. The disc,
which includes a guest appearance by Jad Fair, is being released through
a company run in part by Simon's mother, Sheena Fair, who got her start
working with Ralph Records, home of progressive weirdos The Residents.
Young Simon met Cobain after sending him a copy of his first single,
released four years ago.
They became friends after Cobain wrote, in the liner notes to Nirvana's
Incesticide, that receiving the record was one of his most rewarding
Cobain even agreed to record with the Stinky Puffs, a fact alluded to
on the new CD's standout track, I'll Love You Anyway.
The startlingly honest song, which careens between anger and forgiveness,
is dedicated to Cobain.
"When I was in Cathy's class my friend who I loved who was in a
band in Seattle killed himself," Simon explains matter-of-factly
in a note about the song.
"I loved him very much and I couldn't do anything to bring him
back and I felt kind of like I should have written him more notes or
gave him some more of my drawings or anything to think about something
else that day. Then I wished he called to at least say goodbye, then
I would have a chance to change his mind but now I know that was dumb
to think that."
If that sounds like an impossibly mature conclusion for an 11-year-old,
it's nothing compared to Simon's feelings about his father, who recently
left the family.
"Just when I first started Hudson School my step-dad who I started
the Stinky Puffs with said he was going to Maryland for a few days,"
he writes, "but then he never came home and then we found out he
moved all his stuff out without telling us ... (my mom) said the most
important thing was that it wasn't my fault and I told her, duh."