I really liked the 90’s. It was a time of change, technology advanced at astounding rates, movies got bigger and better (I don’t care who you are, I LOVED Twister), and the world was closer to peace than ever before. The best part? The music. I have spent the last two days listening to a 90’s alternative web-streamed radio station on Shoutcast, and I am in music heaven. I will recap some random memories I’ve had while listening to these songs.
Wallflowers-One Headlight..it was 1996/1997 and I was dating a woman who lived 5 hours away from where I was going to college. I spent every cent I had trying to see her every other week (and buying alcohol to party with on the weekends I couldn’t). It was the year of funky socks with sandals and I rocked them.
Harvey Danger-Flagpole Sitta..it was 1998 and things were winding down. I was in Iowa, had just changed majors from Elementary Education to Communications. I wanted to be a radio DJ. I realized my calling and this song helped me realize that because EVERY damn radio station in Iowa played the hell out of this song. I was so pissed. I vowed to rebel against overplaying for the rest of my life.
Belly-Feed the Trees..Belly was one of my first memories of alternative music. I had a massive crush on Sarah McLachlan in 1993 and somewhere around that time, I stayed up late to watch her on MTV’s “120 Minutes” and saw this video from Belly. Loved this song. “Chick rock” alternative at it’s best. Forget that hairy-armpitted Paula what’s-her-name.
White Town-Your Woman..Another 1997 classic that was both hooky and original. The rest of the album sucked major balls and I quickly moved on to better bands like the Eels, but this song still inspires many drunken flashbacks wandering around the campus of NSU.
Verve-Bittersweet Symphony..I don’t know how people confused this band and the next one on my list. It was two totally different sounds and they were from two different nations. This band came at the end of the Oasis reign and stepped right in, cranking out two hits. Most people remember it from some Reese Witherspoon movie but I can’t stand that woman so I skipped that flick. Eat me.
Verve Pipe-Freshman..I loved this band long past their two initial hits (“Photograph” and this one). The lead singer had a raspy “Blue October singer” type-voice and they made all around great alternative rock. The lead singer was even in the movie Rockstar with Mark Wahlberg. Yes, that’s how much I loved this band.
Lit-My Own Worst Enemy..Lit released this song in the summer of 1999. American Pie was in theaters and was awesome, I was living in Iowa and had just returned from a stint in the military. It was a great summer in Cedar Falls.
Soundgarden-Rusty Cage..People sometimes forget Chris Cornell once had a band that rocked. Soundgarden was one of those “Seattle bands” that exploded in the grunge scene in the early 90’s. In my opinion Nirvana had nothing on bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. I remember playing driveway basketball in flannel shirts and jean shorts to this song. Don’t judge, jean shorts were indeed cool back then.
GooGoo Dolls-Name..This came out in 1997-1998, the year of my first (failed) attempt at living in Minnesota. It was a fun, yet depressing year in which I learned more about myself than I had up until that point. Oddly enough, I also liked Madonna’s “Frozen” that year. Who’d have guessed I liked a Madonna song?
Cypress Hill-Insane in the Brain..Yes, Cypress Hill is a rap group, but if you think about it, so are the Beastie Boys. These two groups are what I would consider fringe alternative groups. Their music fit nicely with the alternative crowd that was typically not looking for Ice Cube (for you younger people..he used to rap, not just make stupid comedy movies) or Dr Dre, but who didn’t want the guitar infused rock either. This was a great song for a great year.
Republica-Ready to Go..The summer of 1996 was the summer after I’d graduated high school. I very quickly shed my “good boy” image that I had gained growing up in South Dakota and spent a summer partying like crazy. I remember wandering through a party and seeing someone that I went to high school with. She slammed her beer down on the table and said, “You drink?!?” This song is embedded in my memory as a result.
Live-Lakini’s Juice..I got into a fight with my brother just hours after hearing this song. We were playing paintball and he shot up my car. I had a crappy Tempo, but it was SO crappy that paint dye from the paintballs stayed on my car. I got mad and shot at him, striking him in the lip. What ensued what a half-karate, half-WWF ass whipping. I jump kicked, he elbow dropped, and we had it out. Ten minutes later we were eating Scotty’s and relaxing. Ah to be 20 again.
What an awesome radio station.