The (Musical) Dream of the 90's is Alive In*....

I keep meaning to do a London post or three, but do you know how when you've had a lot of excitement/activity and it was freaking great but then your brain is just kind of mush? So yeah, that's me this week.

So anyway last night I was lying in bed thinking the usual stream of consciousness inane thoughts that sometimes keep me awake, and I started thinking about music, specifically 90's music (not unheard of for me but I think this all stemmed from watching an episode of Parks & Rec where Adam (the guy is called Adam in real life but I can never remember his character's name - Leslie's husband, you know the one!). Anywaaay Leslie's husband...ok this is going to bug me I have to look it up....

BEN! He's called Ben. Sorry! Ok so Ben is having his dream birthday party, which entails a roller skating party and "early 90's" theme. He gets upset when the d.j. only has Monster by R.E.M. which as any child of the 90's knows is MID 90's NOT EARLY 90's! Whole different game. (Can I also say I love that Ben, whose name I will now never forget, is wearing a Toad The Wet Sprocket t-shirt. What early 90's alterna-girl was not in love with Glen and his barefoot stage presence?). Also Anne is wearing a really ugly "Blossom hat" and crochet cardigan and weird floral dress, which was pretty spot on. Leslie looks like she wasn't alive in the 90's by her outfit but I think Leslie as a character is not someone we expect to know fashion. Anyway I digress...

So it got me starting thinking about music, and how the 90's is now history, which means certain things come back around (Jess Glynn and her ouevre are basically this decade's Ce Ce Peniston am I right? Same damn sound, completely), but others for whatever reason have faded into obscurity/never caught back on. And in some instances I do think we are missing out/music is much less interesting for it (and here is where I begin to sound a hundred years old, but hear me out!).

On that note, I want to proffer a few genres/musician types that I think have unfairly been buried or morphed and mutilated beyond all recognition in this day and age (see what I mean, only ancient people who were not in nappies in the 90's say "this day and age"!). Also please keep in mind I am referring mainly to the early to mid 90's, because honestly late 90's is where it all started to go a bit wrong! ;-0

Where Have All These 90's Musical Types Gone?



1. The Earnest Female Singer: She was girly, but a little crunchy. She didn't blatantly use sex to sell records but lbh she was usually not hit with the ugly stick. Her lovelorn woe is maybe best repesented today by, dare I say it, Taylor Swift, but she was rarely to be found in arenas or conquering the world with her "squad", no she was more likely in the back of a VW van crying her heart out in between stops on the Lilith Fair. See also Joan Osborne, Fiona Apple, Lisa Loeb, Mary Lou Lord, etc. etc.









2. The Mellow Rock Band: I guess it's obvious why bands like Nirvana were the ones that spawned a thousand ships, but sometimes, it was nice in the 90's to just have a little side of hippie chill with your rock music. I guess there are mellow-ish rock bands like The Shins and The Decemberists, but even they are sort of old news now, I can't think of any recent rock bands that aren't blatant 80's rip offs or just more boring stadium anthem rock. I would argue that there is still a place in the world for earnest, philosophizing lyrics set to pleasingly soothing melodic rock.






 















3. The Badass Trailblazer: Tori Amos: Where is this generation's Tori?! Also see Sinead O'Connor, obviously (I would love to add more videos but Blogger is being a beast with these codes!).



 








4.The Girl With A Guitar: Is it just me, or do the 2000's/ 2010's really suck in terms of front women who play guitar unashamedly, not like, as an accessory? See Also: Kim Deal, Aimee Mann, Tanya Donnelly etc.! 


 






5. The Rock Band with the Unashamedly Sexy Front Man: Somewhere along the line this stopped being a thing. Most band's front men are now usually unfashionable, boring, beardy, overly earnest, indifferent and not trying to seduce the world with a flick of their hair or swivel of the hip. Yawn. You had one job, rock stars! Even less traditionally strutting frontment like Michael Stipe and Morrissey always gave the crowd a good show: they had charisma and they weren't afraid to wield it. The only modern guy who maybe hints at it sometimes is the Arctic Monkey's Alex Turner but it's like he's too cool to bother most of the time. Michael Hutchence, we miss your pleasing pout and luscious locks.








How about you, is there a genre or style of music that you miss? Also, I apologize as I know some of these bands weren't that big (if at all) in Britain, as you guys were all too busy with your Britpop and Robbie Williams and whatnot! ;-) Am I missing out on some amazing new artist who might float my 90's influenced boat? I confess I haven't bought any new music (as in by someone I didn't already own something by) for a few years now, maybe my ears have tuned out some good stuff along with the dross.



*Title obviously ripped from Portlandia, where the dream of the 90's is alive and well ;-) 

**Believe it or not I wanted to add a few more videos but Google Blogger +Video html is a nightmare for me!

12 comments

  1. Ah 90's music! I'm listening to 90's Dance tunes in my car recently, I still use CDs rather than downloads cos I'm old skool! ;) It has CeCe Peniston's "Finally" on it, which is a good tune. I don't know some of them you have mentioned but Tori Amos' Professional Widow was very popular in the clubs mid-late 90's. I was in to Britpop in the 90's, Blur and Oasis were both good but there was an unwritten rule back then you had to like one or the other. Pulp was also good, their Different Class cd is amazing and worth a listen. xx

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    1. Ooh I love 90's dance music! Finally was definitely my jam too! ;-) I had much cooler friends who were into Britpop and Pulp, I unf fell down the hippie jam band rabbithole during that era (there MAY have been a Phish concert and Dave Matthews Band obsession...so embarrassed! ;-o) xx

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  2. I was at art college in the early 90s and it was all about grunge and alternative for us, preferably in the basement art college bar (decor concrete walls and ripped vinyl booths) in a fug of cig smoke. Feeling all nostalgic now.

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  3. I think this is why Neil (my husband) says I don't know music, you really go into depth and know names and genres and make interesting talking points... I'm sitting over here like, I like this, I think, I don't know why, or who sings it or if there is a music video.

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    1. I think our brains just digest certain things, like my brain is really bad at historical facts and plenty of stuff. I can never remember what I did last week but can vividly remember stuff from years ago...I dunno! And I am like the tip of the iceberg with real music geekery, I always feel out of my depth anytime I wade into music reviewing in any way. ;-0

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  4. Obviously, as a child of the 90s (well, not child, more teenager/young adult) I LOVED this and have many feelings and opinions. Apologies for what's to come but:

    1. Monster, oh my gosh, that album soundtracked my first kiss/getting together with my first girlfriend. Then after we broke up it soundtracked my first kiss/fooling around with a guy I had a huge crush on. For a long time I wasn't sure love was possible without Monster.

    2. BRB, dying at the 'lbh she was usually not hit with the ugly stick' comment. So true. I still listen to Fiona Apple all the time.

    3. Girls with guitars - there are lots of kick ass young women playing guitar around at the moment but you sorta have to know where to find them. So, I recommend Bleached - amazing, very 90s-era Belly, grunge-meets-power-pop. Haim - obvious but still great. Dilly Dally - Canadian grunge punks, the lead singer sounds like Courtney Love put through a grinder. Fucking ace to listen to when angry.

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    1. Thanks for the rec's! I have tried and failed to get into Haim, Idkw but I will have a listen to your suggestions!

      See, my R.E.M. heartbreak was all set to Out Of Time and Automatic For The People, mandolins and harmonies and whispers! Our 90's age disparity rears its head! ;-) I only came to like Monster in later years, at the time it felt too jarring/full on to me.

      Anyway thanks for reading and relating :-)...how can it be it was so long ago?!

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  5. In my mind and my heart, the 90s finished 7 years ago. It definitely wasn't 21 years ago that I sat in that bedroom listening to Monster. Definitely not. And yeah, the REM thing shows that slight age disparity!

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    1. I know, it's scary! It kind of hit me when I was watching the episode of Transparent where the Indigo Girls play, and they are singing them in the car, how far away it felt, like another time, but of course I still remembered them all. Husband not so much (apparently they weren't that big here!)

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  6. Oh, this made me all kinds of nostalgic. Side note - I've actually been randomly listening to a lot of Jewel in the past few weeks for some reason and I have to think that "Who Will Save Your Soul?" has only grown in relevancy, the same way "Eve of Destruction" by Bobby McGuire has. (I mean, his has some dated-ish references to events that were happening in that exact era, but the total message is the same.) So: Jewel. And Alanis.

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  7. I feel like I took it for granted at the time, the whole "Yeah there are so many awesome female artists on the radio, singing songs, doing their own thing".. It all feels sort of homogenized to me now. "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "What If God Was One Of Us" (Joan Osborne) also I think are so eternally relevant. Also Tracy Chapman. I'm so over people thinking Beyonce is "inspiring" for writing about her cheating husband, whatever!

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    1. I've recently heard "What's Going On?" by 4 Non Blondes 3 times in the last 3 weeks which is insane for today. Must be a political/nostalgia thing. Our music is starting to come back around. My secret = I don't care about Beyonce. I think she is overrated.

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