Tag: 90s music

  • Thank You, Next

    Yeah, this one is pretty ugly too, so let’s slog through.

    16. You Oughta Know -Alanis Morrissette (Jagged Little Pill, 1995, Maverick and Reprise)

    I don’t like this song, though I suppose I did the first couple of times I heard it. Then it was several hundred more times, and several hundred more after that, and I do not like it. There are songs I dislike a whole lot more, but this one would never make any playlist I am making unless I have a lobotomy. Also, I have never forgiven her for writing a song about irony filled with non-ironic things, although in the end, I guess that kind of makes the song itself ironic, which was not what she was going for I don’t think.

    Oh! And my favorite Alanis Morrissette-based trivia (no, not that one). She was on the straight-from-Canada-to-Nickelodeon kids’ sketch comedy show You Can’t Do That On Television as a tween. My sisters and I watched a lot of hours of that show. SLN did a spot-on parody of it a few weeks ago:

    Final Verdict: No.

    Replace with: Wild Thing – Liz Phair (Girly-Sound, 1991, self-released)

    Spotify iTunes

    17. Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz (Are You Gonna Go My Way, 1993, Virgin)

    This is a good song. I will leave as is.

    Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz (Are You Gonna Go My Way, 1993, Virgin)

    Spotify iTunes

    18. All the Small Things – Blink 182 (Enema of the State [witty], 1999, MCA Records)

    There were five to ten of these bands in the late 90s that I would not be able to tell apart with a gun to my head and none of them are good. I listened to this whole playlist while I worked over the past few days just to be thorough, and I can confirm that this song is not good.

    Final Verdict: No. I could be a smart ass and write it 182 times, but I think too highly of you to have you waste any more seconds of your life on this band.

    Replace with: All Your Experiments – Elf Power (Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs, 1995, Arena Rock Recording)

    Spotify iTunes

    19. Sabotage – Beastie Boys (Ill Communication, 1994, Capitol)

    I have given up on the but-they-were-popular-in-the-80s argument. I mean they were, but whatever. I mean, they did form in 1981, and Licensed to Ill came out in 1986, but we will carry on. It’s a good song.

    Final Verdict: Good song. It stays.

    Sabotage – Beastie Boys (Ill Communication, 1994, Capitol)

    Spotify iTunes

    20. Firestarter – The Prodigy (The Fat of the Land, 1997, Maverick)

    I did not know what this song was until I played it, and of course, it is instantly recognizable. I was not a club kid by any stretch of the imagination, but on the times that I did (a handful of times when I lived in Portland, Maine and another handful of times when I lived in Philadelphia), this song was certainly played. I don’t don’t like it. I wouldn’t listen to it every day, but I am feeling generous, and the commenters on YouTube live for this song, so I will leave it.

    Final Verdict: Staying, with a sort of ambivalence, but as you have probably noticed, when I don’t like something, I am pretty clear about it. For the record, I think the singer in the music video looks moronic, but maybe that was what he was going for. Also, I looked moronic a lot in the 90s too. And the aughts, and so on.

    Firestarter – The Prodigy (The Fat of the Land, 1997, Maverick)

    Spotify iTunes

    21. Glycerine – Bush (Sixteen Stone, 1994, Interscope)

    No. I can’t get behind this band. I think they are at best meh. Kind of like Coldplay, like maybe you could catch yourself liking a song or two, but then just feel embarrassed about it. Their songs are boring, and there are far too many great ones out there to waste time on this horse shit.

    Final Verdict: Horse shit.

    Replace with: Holland, 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, 1998, Merge)

    Spotify iTunes

    22. Today – Smashing Pumpkins (Siamese Dream, 1993, Virgin)

    No, this band is boring.

    Final Verdict: No.

    Replace with: Truly Great Thing – Sebadoh (III, 1991, Homestead)

    Spotify iTunes

    23. Everlong – Foo Fighters (The Color and Shape, 1997, Roswell Records)

    You already know from the first song that I don’t like the Foo Fighters, though I have not heard all of their songs. I do like the song Times Like These, but I don’t like this one.

    Final Verdict: No, sadly. Really truly, I admire Dave Grohl quite a bit.

    Replace with: Styrofoam Boots – Modest Mouse (The Lonesome Crowded West, 1997, Up)

    Spotify iTunes

    24. My Own Worse Enemy – Lit (A Place in the Sun, 1999, RCA Records)

    Another song and band I do not remember having heard of before, but I can see why this song hates itself.

    Final Verdict: No.

    Replace with: A Minor Place – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie (I See a Darkness, 1999, Palace)

    Spotify iTunes

    25. Come as You Are – Nirvana

    Yes, I don’t want to be too hard on this album. It deserves acclaim.

    Final Verdict: Yes, good song.

    Come as You Are – Nirvana (Nevermind, 1991, DCG)

    Spotify iTunes

    Scope & Horror

    dedicated to votaries of the absurd, beautiful, miserable, and suspicious
    2022

  • Your Weight on the Moon

    There are so many more to go, but let’s wrap up this portion already.


    I am just going to be out with it. I can’t stand Sublime. Have you ever seen the movie Clue? I hope so, and if not go watch it and come back. It’s worth it. Tim Curry is a national treasure (not ours, but whatever). So you know the scene when Madeline Kahn is describing how much she hates Yvette? That’s how I feel about Sublime.

    11. Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

    JFC. We covered this with yesterday’s U2 entry, but why are these massively popular 80s bands on here??? I like R.E.M., they’re great – wait, did they sing Shiny Happy People? Because that song is surely played in hell. That song is terrible. But off the top of my head Orange Crush, It’s the End of the World, Pop Song 89, What’s the Frequency Kenneth, Drive, Stand. I like all of those songs. A lot even.

    But they were not alternative music. Maybe they are included because they came out of Athens, GA

    and clearly they are important in the history of the genre, but they had six albums in the 1980s and were with a major record label.

    They were not an alternative to anything in the 1990s.

    If you were wondering, I do not like this song, but I suppose you could have guessed that.

    Replace: 50 Pieces – Andrew Bird (Thrills,1998, Ryko)

    Spotify iTunes


    12. The Way – Fastball

    I have never heard of this song or this band, but it is the late 90s hit apparently, and I was super busy in college, so you can understand. I did listen to it though as part of this review.

    Final Verdict: Come on, is this a joke?

    Replace: Destination Venus – Man or Astroman? (Your Weight on the Moon,1994, One Louder)

    Spotify iTunes


    13. Sex & Candy – Marcy Playground

    I genuinely like this song. So did my freshman college roommate, and I owe her this one (if you want to read the comments on the Colby College Radio post, you can see why). You’ll hear more about her later when we get to 311.

    Final Verdict: It stays. Sex & Candy – Marcy Playground (Marcy Playground, 1997, Capital)

    Spotify iTunes


    14. Santeria – Sublime

    Final Verdict: No.

    Replace: Room 429 – Cop Shoot Cop (Ask Questions Later, 1993, Big Cat & Interscope Records)

    Spotify iTunes


    15. Wonderwall – Oasis

    Get real.

    Final Verdict: I think we know each other well enough by now that you know the answer to this.

    Replace: Girls & Boys – Blur (Parklife, 1994, Food)

    I didn’t like Blur in the 90s but my radio cohost Kristina did. I texted her in 2021 apologizing and admitting I was wrong. I will stand by my dislike of The Smiths. I know that is blasphemy in some circles, but it’s okay. Anything that makes Morrissey cry will just make him stronger.

    Spotify iTunes

    I shall return soon.

    Go in peace.

  • When Colby College Let 10th Graders Take Over Their Radio Station

    Also known as our time without Pearl Jam


    Kristina and I at just about the same age and maturity level that we had when someone decided it was fine to let us take over the local airwaves in Waterville, Maine for hours a week for many months. It was a magical time.
    WMHB, Mayflower Broadcasting, Waterville, Maine

    10. Jeremy – Pearl Jam (Ten, 1991, Epic) From the album Ten – do you think Apple did that on purpose?

    For a handful of years in the mid-1990s, the good people at Colby College in Waterville, Maine thought it fit to give me and my best friend Kristina access to the airwaves for far more weekly hours than was probably prudent. We gladly snapped up all kinds of hours they couldn’t otherwise find college students willing to sober up for. It helped that Kristina lived right next to the college, and we could arrive after a less than 5 minute walk given I do not believe either of us drove yet.

    The summer before our junior year in high school, I believe we had two separate radio shows (during daytime hours even!). One was called Rasputin’s Diner and the other was The Mike the Bird Show (the back story to that title is long and tedious, so don’t worry about it).

    Both shows instituted a strictly enforced no-Pearl-Jam policy with pretty much the sole intention of pissing off college students. I mean, you can imagine the student body in the mid-90s, yes? A very crunchy, largely white, liberal arts school in the middle of Central Maine. You can imagine how that went over, yes? [ed. I need to make it clearer that we also wrote this into the promos for our show. As all shows had to promote each other during their own segments, such promos had to be read by other DJs, probably several times a day, for many, many, many weeks. I am sure it greatly increased our listener base].

    I am sure I will tell more tales of our radio shows as I get further into this playlist, but for now, let me just put out a blanket apology to anyone who was employed at the Colby College bookstore, or anywhere else on campus that that was hardwired into the station at all hours of the day, and you were forced to listen to us while attempting to earn a living. I mean we usually played good music I think, but we also spent a great deal of airtime making pithy skits such as fake interviews with Jesus Jones, and one Saturday we played the 1:21 second song I’m Gay from the Kids in the Hall Braincandy soundtrack like no joke 30 times in a row until we probably peed our pants laughing (it happened sometimes). Actually, I am completely alone while I write this, and I am still laughing about it.

    Anyway, so we largely resented Pearl Jam fans and the whole concept of making a culture change around a single city none of us have ever been to and don’t plan to go to that had nothing really to do with the band itself. I don’t believe Kristina liked them very much. I thought this album was good but never pursued the interest beyond this one. It’s starting to sound insincere, but I never liked this song. I do like the song Alive though, it is on some of my current playlists even.

    Final Verdict: Sorry, this one is a no.

    Instead: We All Die – Cat Power (Myra Lee, 1996, Smells Like Records)

    Spotify iTunes

  • FU2

    FU2

    Some of you might be asking what have I done to prepare for the final word on such a list, and I will have you all know that I have as of late re-watched all the seasons of Seinfeld to get myself in the right frame of mind; I am wearing a t-shirt and boxers as outwear, and on Sunday, I re-watched Point Break (it holds up).

    Read Part 1: I Was There: ’90s Music

    Highlights: Neutral Milk Hotel, Yo La Tengo, Elliott Smith, and Tool. Bonus: More Remembering Headbangers Ball

    Okay, this next segment is quite a doozy, and I don’t have a lot of good things to say about it. It features one of my most-loathed bands of all time, and a host of other sub-par picks, so let’s dive in.


    6. One – U2 (Achtung Baby, 1991, Island)

    U2 has absolutely no business being on this list. By 1990, they had like 4 hit records, played at Live Aid, a movie and a double album based on the movie. Their inclusion on any list regarding “alternative” anything is astonishingly oxymoronic.

    Also, I do not like them, but it doesn’t matter because again they do not belong here.

    Final Verdict: No. Every song I have ever heard by U2 sounds like a song you are kind of supposed to like, maybe even want to like, but just winds up annoying you.

    Replace With: Initially, I was going to try to limit to only songs from the 1990s that I knew in the 1990s, and not later but I broke that rule with the very first song. So, let’s bump Bono the f off of here with one of my favorite bands Neutral Milk Hotel – Everything Is from The Hype City Soundtrack (1993, The Egg as a Whole Music). I have never found an actual copy of this soundtrack, but it is really good and on YouTube.


    7. Basket Case – Green Day (Dookie, 1994, Reprise)

    This one is a tough call because I really loved this album at the time, but I don’t like them anymore. Before this album came out, I had probably heard a few of their songs and knew that they had toured with Bad Religion. They had skateboard park approval as far as I know (I do not skateboard, but as I told you in yesterday’s post, I had reason to be interested in their opinions and spent a stupid amount of time at skateparks, but I suppose anything was better than being home). Anyway, before this album, they seemed like a palatable enough band.

    In the summer of 1994, I listened to this album a lot with my friend Amanda. A lot, a lot. I can barely recall listening to anything else, except maybe also a NOFX dubbed cassette tape that someone must have made for me. Possibly my friend Maryann.

    They were on MTV and obviously very popular, and then they were huge and no self-respecting alterna-teen would be caught dead listening to them by October. And so it remained. I think Billy Joe Armstrong’s voice is pretty annoying now, but I do remember digging it.

    P.S. I rediscovered the song She. Oh my god, this song spoke to me in 10th grade. I loved this song, I must give it its proper due. I still like it, but mostly for the nostalgia, it brings.

    Final Verdict: Fine, but again, please remember that in real-time, they got way too big to be cool. This was very important to us for some reason.

    Better: Yo La Tengo – Sugarcube (I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, 1997, Matador Records)

    Spotify iTunes


    8. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Blood Sugar Sex Magik, 1991, Warner Bros.)

    Another tough one. I really loved the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, though the misspelling has always bothered me. I have never liked this song. Other than this song, I would listen to them now if I heard them on the radio, but never really otherwise. Anthony Kiedis was excellent in Point Break.

    Oh, negative points for the nauseating Rolling Stone cover where they are all wearing just socks on their junk. I would confirm it was Rolling Stone, but then I would also have to see the picture again, so apologies if the reference is incorrect.

    Final Verdict: No. I don’t like this song. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. I think songs from then that I did not like make me so angry because I heard them so many times. The thing my children will never understand is that we just watched MTV, whether we liked the music video that was playing or not. We just waited them out. Kind of like how we just read shit that was there, which is also how I happened to read the autobiography of Lance Armstrong. The whole thing. I can’t explain.

    Better: Elliott Smith – The Biggest Lie I hesitate to put this in here so early, because I think it is one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written, and I could not tell you how many likely thousands of times I have listened to it. It probably deserved a better setup, but I search randomly through a group of albums I have written down for this, so here you are and you’re welcome.

    Spotify iTunes


    9. Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction (Ritual de lo Habitual, 1990, Warner Bros.)

    Jane’s Addiction is kick-ass. You may have noticed yesterday that I mentioned watching Headbangers Ball? My relationship with music had some weird phases. I definitely remember listening to 45s in between Disney Storytime Records and being young enough to not understand why my parents laughed at us when we sang along with The Horny Toad, the B-side of Prince’s single Delirious.

    I was absolutely too young to see Flashdance, but somehow I did and loved it (doesn’t every 6-year-old kind of want to become a pseudo-stripper dancer?)

  • Where Were My Parents?

    Where Were My Parents?

    dedicated to votaries

    miserable, and suspicious

    of the absurd, beautiful,

    On Watching Headbangers Ball

    as a Fifth Grader, and Other Topics

    This list needs help. A lot of help.




    This list. Christ, this list. It’s bad. It’s really, really bad. I mean, the eyeballs of my sixteen-year-old self would not be recoverable, they would have rolled back so hard. It’s not alllll bad but collectively, it sucks. It’s also really long, so I guess I am going to have to screenshot it. I am too lazy to type out all of these shitty songs and give them even that much more legitimacy. We can deal with them in chunks, shall we?

    1. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (Nevermind, 1991, DCG Records)
    Okay, so I know I am probably literally quoting Jack Black’s character from High Fidelity here (a character I very much identified with btw), but come on. It’s a little obvious no? It’s a good song sure, but there are better ones. I like Nirvana. I liked them then, and I still like them (not so much on Foo Fighters though, my apologies. Dave Grohl seems like a truly wonderful human). I bought Nevermind on cassette tape in the 7th grade sometime after this video came out. I watched Headbangers Ball, and I remember them being on it, and that Kurt Cobain wore a ballgown in a joke that seemed kind of lost on the host, and probably most of the at-home audience. That seemed as good a reason as any to spend what little money I had on their album. Music was the only thing I ever spent money on. I guess I used to babysit because I can’t think of any other way I had any at all. There is no way my parents would have given me money to buy records. I don’t know.

    Anyway, I liked Nirvana, and for a couple of years, I loved them because the boy I loved from 8th grade, all of my high school years, and probably a few years after that even, loved them. Incidentally, one of the only letters I have ever received that would approximate a love letter even quotes a Nirvana song. I still have it. I was always writing him these long, intense letters asking why he would not give me the attention I so craved the answer, as painfully obvious then as it is now, was that I was fourth on a list of priorities that ranked as follows: drugs, skateboarding, other girls). When In Utero came out in 1993, I spent a lot of time listening to it on CD in his garage bedroom in Belgrade, Maine. Listening to this CD, smoking cigarettes, losing my virginity, and getting high. Oh, wasted youth. Anyway, in the letter he wrote out the lyrics Swap Meet, which after all is said and done, I still think was absolutely perfectly ninth grade, and rather sweet.


    Final Verdict: Yes, good song but there are better, less played ones.

    Better: You Know You’re Right*

    *I know this is cheating a bit, but obviously it was recorded in the 1990s, 1994 specifically.

    Spotify iTunes

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    2. Loser – Beck (Mellow Gold, 1994, DCG Records)
    Okay, also a good song. I always preferred the shit kickin’, speed takin’ Truck Drivin’ Neighbors Downstairs, and if I had complete power of this iTunes list, I would pick someone else all together. With this in mind:


    Final Verdict: Pretty good song
    Better: Daniel Johnston – Mind Contorted (Fun, 1994, Atlantic Records)
    Spotify iTunes


    3. Spiderwebs – No Doubt (Tragic Kingdom, 1995, Trauma Records and Interscope Records)
    No.


    Final Verdict: Absolutely not.
    Replace with: Almost anything else. I didn’t care for the ska craze but try Blue Angel – Squirrel Nut Zippers (Hot, 1996, Mammoth)
    Spotify iTunes


    4. Creep – Radiohead (Pablo Honey, 1993, Capitol Records)
    Ugh, I am already bored by this project. There are so, so, so many Radiohead albums and this song is okay, but there are better ones. To be fair, now that I am looking, most of them came out after 2000.


    Final Verdict: Good song but there are so many better ones.
    Better: Palace Brothers – You Will Miss Me When I Burn (Days in the Wake, 1994, Drag City)
    Spotify iTunes


    5. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer (Blue, 1994, DCG Records)
    No.


    Final Verdict: They just aren’t that good.
    Replace: Guided by Voices – Drinker’s Peace (Same Place the Fly Got Smashed, 1990, Rocket #9)
    Spotify iTunes

  • I Was There: ’90s Music 

    I Was There: ’90s Music