Sunday, April 8, 2012

The 90's

The popular IFC show Portlandia started off its first episode asking the question "Do you remember the 90's?". Looking back today they (the 90's, not Portlandia) are just a dot in the rear-view mirror. Although I had many of my most fond memories in the last decade of the 20th century I also had some of my worst. I was a social reject who couldn't form the most basic sentences even amongst friends for much of the time. A little self confidence would have gone a long way. BUT, that's not what I'm here to talk about. Let's discuss something near and dear to my heart...musical diatribe! The 90's started out with boy bands and glam metal and ended with boy bands and rap rock. Some of my favorite bands started out in the 90's, but for every Radiohead there was a Creed, for every Alice in Chains there was a Nickelback.
My thinking at the time was that this was the best time ever to be around and that for the most part the music was great. Although I've realized that not to be the case, it's hard not to look back and see the various pockets of awesome sprinkled amongst the crap in popular music. I missed out on Nirvana, caught only the tail end of AIC and Soundgarden. I hated the Smashing Pumpkins at the time because all of their fans at my high school were douche bags. I hated the concept of hip hop so much that Rage Against the Machine might as well of been Vanilla Ice. Despite my sister's best efforts to influence me I didn't take to Pearl Jam, the Deftones, or Tool until much later. Hell, I didn't even like the Foo Fighters until I heard "Everlong". My point being is tastes change over time. Acquired tastes need to be acquired.

So what bands did I like then that I still like now? Green Day were introduced to me by Mtv with their album Dookie. Stone Temple Pilots were through my cousin with their album Core. These two albums are the cornerstones of my musical database. A little later I saw the video for "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead. Their album The Bends is the third corner-stone. This was the first band that I liked and I didn't care what others thought. Somehow I missed their song "Creep" completely when it first came out. So this album was what got me into them and is my favorite to this day. The fourth, and final cornerstone is held by Smash by the Offspring. I think my cousin and Mtv can equally take credit for this one. These four albums are where it all starts. While my friends were listening to Aqua and Blessed Union of Souls (really?) I was trying to figure out why Scott Weiland wet his bed and looking up the meaning of "Libido" and "Albino" (thank you KC). I watched the video "Ruby Soho" by Rancid, which prompted me to buy And out come the wolves on cassette the same day as purchasing The Bends.
Two tapes for the price of 1 cd, as it turns out was a great deal. I didn't appreciate Rancid until MUCH later, but it was a feather in my cap at the time. Where is this all going? I don't know. I'm just trying to prove to myself that despite the decade ending with Limp Bizkit, Korn, Back Street Boys, and Kid Rock, I can't hold that against the decade any more. Times have changed, the cd and music video are essentially dead formats. The masses still like crap that is here one day, gone the next. The girl I married will inevitably like what ever crappy song comes on the pop radio station. I suppose that is my punishment for being so cool. It keeps me grounded and stops me from venturing too far away into the indie genre.

No comments:

Post a Comment