Right now, we are asking listeners to tell us their list of the Best Songs of The 90's. As I have been putting together mine, I have noticed that it's pretty fun for me. Most of my listening habits were formed in that decade. It's a nice topic for my first entry in this blog.
I remember it pretty well actually. The actual details are hazy, but the feeling is very vivid in my mind. I came home from school one day in late 1991. I was 11 years old and usually I came home to an empty house for the first hour or two. My brother had band practice, and both parents worked, so I would grab some snacks and turn on the TV. I was watching MTV and this video came on with dreary colors and a janitor mopping a gym floor. Within seconds the song had really kicked in, and I became confused. "Why is this guys hair so greasy? He knew he had to shoot a video for his band, and he didn't wash his hair? Man, that bass player is REALLY tall." Even in the confusion I remember it was exciting. Axl didn't write stuff like this. It was obvious that this music was 100 times more dangerous and free than anything else on MTV. Yes, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video was the game changer for me. It's an obvious choice, but it's pretty amazing to think that thousands of other people had a very similar experience with that video. Also, looking back now, the janitor and cheerleaders with Anarchy symbols on their chests isn't nearly as weird as those Guns N' Roses videos. They made no sense at all. Axl gets married, and then at the reception it starts raining so people start diving over cakes. In the process the bride is killed?!? I also seem to remember another video where he swims with dolphins? THAT'S weird stuff.
In interviews, Kurt Cobain, and also Eddie Vedder, would constantly mention their influences and peers. I know that they both were uncomfortable with the amount of fame that so quickly was thrust on them, so it almost seemed like they mentioned these names so they could push some of this attention off on people they felt truely deserved it. Names like The Ramones, Velvet Underground, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, and Mudhoney would come up. I took these bands they would mention and researched them. This was not long ago, but the internet was still not a factor yet. I would go to the record store and look for cd's that were put out by the same record labels as other bands. Sub Pop, SST, Touch and Go, 4AD, and so forth. I can really say that most of my musically tastes to this day can somehow be linked back to those interviews.
Over the next week or so I'll write about a few of my favorites from that decade. Feel free to comment or name some of your favorites, too.
-Andy, Tuesday Evening Mix