Tag Archives: music

There’s no alternative for 90s alternative music

June 3rd 2014

All the bands featured in Grunge Gods are bands I listened to as a teenager. And they are bands I listen to now.

Radiohead. Tori Amos. Bush. The Afghan Whigs. Bjork. Sarah McLachlan.

I was careful when selecting song titles to use as chapter headings so that the songs represented the tone and theme of the chapter. And that all the songs were released before September 1996. (Side note: The band is called The Prodigy, not Prodigy. I learned that late. Did anyone else know this?)

Here’s the playlist (via Spotify) for Grunge Gods and Graveyards. Each of these song titles is a chapter heading. And then if you’re up to it, tell me in the comments which song from the playlist you loved most. Enjoy!

Anytime I hear 90s music I’m transported back in time. The minute I hear Sarah McLachlan’s “Ice Cream” or The Wallflowers’ “One Headlight,” I’m back in my friend’s car driving to high school at 7am. Space Hog’s “In the Meantime” makes me think of junior year art class (the teacher kept the radio on) when I made a terrible sculpture of my dog, Rudy. (My mom still has it.) Oasis…man, anytime I hear “Wonderwall” I think of a ridiculous short story I wrote where I based the romantic lead on Liam Gallagher. (He was such a hottie in the video.)

Music was such a big part of my teenage life, as I imagine it is for most teens today. However, I discovered new bands via music videos on MTV. MTV was a far cry from what it used to be. Sure, we had reality shows (The Real World!) and dating shows (Singled Out!) and my all-time favorite sketch comedy show, The State!!!, but we also had music videos. Plenty of them. We didn’t have YouTube. We had to wait until they were on the TV to actually see them. My friend would call me (on my own phone line cuz I was cool like that) and say, “Quick. Put on MTV. The Bjork video is on!” And I’d stop whatever I was doing to run to my TV and turn on channel 30 (I think, VH1 might’ve been 29) just to watch the video. I’d be so grateful to her for calling me because I would’ve hated to miss it.

Music was everything back then. I became obsessed with my musician idols like Tori Amos and The Afghan Whigs. I used to daydream about being Greg Dulli’s girlfriend and tried to justify in my head the 14-year age difference. The Afghan Whigs are touring this year and will be in NYC in October, but alas, I’m nursing a baby. Plus, it’s my husband’s birthday weekend and I feel bad dragging him to a concert (an awesome concert) when it’s not his thing. Alas, these are the concessions we make as adults.

I still listen to 90s alternative rock. It’s been difficult for me to discover new music. I discovered a few new bands when they were (and I’m not ashamed to admit this) when they were featured on Gossip Girl. MGMT! Manchester Orchestra! Check them out.

I could ramble on and on about 90s music, but I’d much rather hear about the music you love. Share in the comments your favorite bands, either from the 90s or now. Or before. Can’t count out classic rock.

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