February 1, 2011

I Still Love the 90s. Hard.

Tell me, do you like hip-hop?

Then I'm not talking to you.

How about indie folk?

Get the fuck out of my face. Seriously.

How about 90s rock music?

Yeah? How about 90s alt rock? Okay, how about 90s light alt rock?

Well then, all right! Let me buy you a beer!

No, not really. This is the internet. I have no way of doing that. But, tell ya what, I'll go grab one from my fridge, you go grab one from yours, and we can drink together across the wires.

I gotta tell ya, it's nice to finally find someone who's not too busy "gettin' their swag on" or "crankin' that" to appreciate a bouncy and/or mopey 90s rock song when they hear it.

It was a fucking amazing era, wasn't it? I swear, every time the radio plays Oasis, an angel gets high and fails out of angel college.

True story: in 1993, the Statue of Liberty read: "Give me your Blues Travelers, your Foo Fighters, your Collective Souls yearning to be Better Than Ezra." (Sidenote: It was promptly replaced to its original wording in 1995 when Collective Soul released "The World I Know." What a shitty song.)

Go ahead, call me a fag for listening to the Gin Blossoms.

I dare you.

The fact is, anyone who listens to Hey Jealousy and doesn't get a little wistful...well, they're the ones who are wrong.

The 90s were breeding grounds for some of the best One-Hit Wonders to ever not...ya know...get a second hit. Remember all the success The Verve had after their big breakthrough? Me neither! But Bittersweet Symphony was a great fucking song.

Like a cheesy, melodic wine, these tunes only get better with age. "Breakfast at Tiffany's," for example: like nails on a chalkboard when I first heard it, but 15 years later, it's delightful. Ditto for anything the Spin Doctors ever put out.

(Some of you right now are thinking to yourselves: who are the Spin Doctors? And who sang Breakfast at Tiffany's? ...was it the Spin Doctors? To you people: go read a book, the rest of this does not concern you.)

I'm sure a few of you are thinking, "you're just selectively remembering the best parts of the era; there was a also ton of shit on the radio from 90 to 99." This is the part where you "helpfully" namedrop bands like Goo Goo Dolls, Blessid Union of Souls, Sister Hazel, Hootie (and his Blowfish), Matchbox 20, Vertical Horizon, Live, Tonic...and Sugar Ray.

Mark McGrath: the worst thing to happen to music since AIDS.

I can't say much in response to that. But I can say this: Dizzy was a good song, Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me) is better than you remember it being, Sister Hazel put out two great albums in the past two years, Hootie is the most tolerable thing in country music, and all those other guys are most likely working for minimum wage somewhere in Idaho. So it all evens out.

Now, I've already listed some wonderful goodness to come out of the speakers of the 90s, but I've left out some of the greatness.

Between 1990 and 1999, we were lucky enough to have the radio give us Everclear, No Doubt, Mighty Mighty (mighty) Bosstones, the lighter side of Green Day, the beginnings of Ben Folds, the Lemonheads, a very commercial (and more fun) Tom Petty, "Today" and "Tonight, Tonight," Oasis a.k.a. the most artistic drunks in the world, two types of Crows (both Black and Counting), Third-Eye Blind, the mopiest of R.E.M., and Lenny Kravitz.

Remember Lenny Kravitz?

So, haters of this wonderfully prosperous decade for the jaunty, jangly, less-distorted side of alternative rock music, you have fun with your Daughtry and your Fray and your Coldplay.

I'll be over here in the corner listening to Fastball.


  1. Not going to lie....I only like about a quarter of what you've mentioned here.

    I was way more into the grunge and rap of the 90's.

  2. Gin Blossoms still rock!


  4. Remember the 90s when you felt so superior to all those old farts rhapsodizing over the days when the Airplane was great and Janis was alive and Jimi rocked? Now listen carefully... That's the sound of you getting old!!! Kids these days!

  5. I have to be honest, if my teen years hadn't played out during the 90's, I probably wouldn't feel the same way, but I definitely have a soft spot for pretty much all the (good) songs you mentioned. Must be a nostalgia thing.

    Also, this made me laugh til I drooled: "I swear, every time the radio plays Oasis, an angel gets high and fails out of angel college."

  6. Beau, I know you have a soft spot for Nirvana and such (and I do love me some STP and Soundgarden), but you've got to give props to a genre of music that can make a guy famous for wearing a vest made out of harmonicas.

    Gin Blossoms rock less than they used to, but they're still around at least. Sister Hazel IS awesome. (Listen to "Ghost in a Crowd" and try to tell me differently...)

    David, I'm not getting older, musicians nowadays are just getting younger. Besides, Jimi still rocks.

    Cash, I hope your definition of "good" is the same as mine (which, coincidentally, includes the song "Good" by Better Than Ezra). Also, a nostalgia overload does not excuse the drooling. Pull yourself together man!

  7. I second T.D., I had to wipe up some spewed coffee over the angel remark. Hysterical! :)

  8. Ah, the 90's... As an Indian student in Kerala, studying in a Hindi music dominated school arena, the 90's reminds me of fisticuffs, wordplay abuses, and mud-slinging... Me against the army of my friends who supported the Hindi screeches over my MTV and Channel V... back when MTV and Channel V were not Indianized completely yet...

    And FYI... I loved "The World I Know". Since I also like most of the other artists/songs you mentioned here, we can avoid the mudslinging fistfight. So cheerios. ;)