Tag Archives: 90s music

TRACK MARKS: What the Hell, You Weirdos Are All Too Good For “Creep,” by Radiohead?

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

Latest posts by Marisa (see all)

I used to have a long-ish commute. As expected, sometimes traffic would snarl to a halt. On one particularly backed-up day, I looked up and realized I had no idea where I was. Even though I was overly familiar with every inch of scenery on my way to and from work, having driven the same route every day, I never really had the chance to stop and look closely at some of the things I was passing.

After seeing our Best of Radiohead list, I realize that “Creep” is that stretch of landscape. People pass by it so often that they don’t stop to really listen to it anymore.

Continue reading TRACK MARKS: What the Hell, You Weirdos Are All Too Good For “Creep,” by Radiohead?

’90s Week+!

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

Latest posts by Marisa (see all)

The dream of the ’90s is still alive at SportsAlcohol.com, and during our thorough examination of the decade, we did the following:

…ranked and wrote about the top 90 songs of the ’90s in three groups (90-51, 50-11, and 10-1), and included a little behind-the-scenes about the voting process. (Before you ask: Yes, there is a Spotify playlist.) The ranked lists are worth clicking on for the era-appropriate photos of our contributors alone.

podcasted about the list so we could gripe about each other’s choices.

…defended some songs that didn’t make the list, including seven tracks that received No. 1 votes, and a few stray others that weren’t No. 1s but should have been in contention anyway.

…put ’90s music in context of music videos, movie soundtracks, and videos from movie soundtracks that specifically featured Elastica (a band that did not make our list).

…remembered that time that Chris wrote Rob an email entirely about Dana from Morphine.

…linked to some other articles that proved we’re not the only website still talking about the ’90s.

No fear.

For Further Reading (Or, We’re Not the Only Ones Who Are ’90s-Obsessed)

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

Latest posts by Marisa (see all)

We just spent the last week exploring the ’90s through music. I know 2016 seems like an odd time to take on such an endeavor, but the decade seems to be having a moment right now, even outside of SportsAlcohol.com. The ’90s have officially passed through the era where they were embarrassing (which usually happens to a decade at the 10-year mark), and has come around to being cool again.

Don’t believe me? Here is how the Decade of Flannel is rearing its head around the interwebs.

My neighborhood had a ’90s fest, and the fest ignored almost all of what we at SportsAlcohol.com considered good about the decade (save Salt-n-Pepa). The A.V. Club did a good job taking apart how awkward it can be to go to a ’90s fest in 2016, while Flavorwire talks about the decade’s commodification through the event.

Still, that doesn’t stop the sisters Haim from wanting to bring back Lilith Fair.  Maybe they can get some advice on bringing back the ’90s from Sleater-Kinney.

Our Spotify playlist isn’t the only place to hear ’90s music. You can also hear what Kmart was playing in its stores, thanks to a dude who took all of Kmart’s cassettes with him and uploaded them for our pleasure.

“As the ’80s wore on, [music] got less interesting and I think things got more interesting again in the ’90s. So I think it’s just the way it goes.” Who said it? Joe Jackson in Salon.

We talked about the many reasons that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ranked as our No. 1 song, but we missed one: science! New evidence says the Nirvana tune is the most iconic song ever. (Take that, decades-older classics like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.)

And yet, there’s still no talk of rebooting Dead at 21.

90s Music Goes to the Movies

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

We intentionally dedicated last week to ’90s songs, rather than albums or movies or TV shows; the decade is too big to cover in great depth in a single week. But as Rob alluded to in his essential Soundtracks with Elastica Songs piece, a lot of great ’90s tunes turned up in a lot of great (and not-so-great) ’90s movies, for reasons both artistic and mercenary. So here we’re taking a look at how some of our Top 90 Songs of the ’90s fared in movies that actually came out during the ’90s, with a big assist from film fan and music enthusiast Sara Batkie. A lot of them involve Scenes of Teen Partying.

90s Music at the (90s) Movies

“Fake Plastic Trees” (#61) in Clueless (1995)
“Wah wah wah.” This is how Cher Horowitz reacts to Radiohead in Clueless, with the band standing in for all complaint rock that typically plays on college radio or at least does in Cher’s version of California. I didn’t realize until looking the soundtrack up that it’s actually an acoustic version of the song as its appearance in the film itself is brief and pretty muffled. It is notable, however, for backing the scene that introduces Josh, Cher’s ex-stepbrother and eventual love interest, a plaid-and-Amnesty-International tee-shirt-wearing foil to Cher’s candy-colored Beverly Hills princess. Like Thom Yorke’s sweetly abrasive crooning on the soundtrack, which is otherwise a mix of peppy pop rock numbers by Supergrass and Smoking Popes and sunny covers of Mott the Hoople and Kim Wilde, Josh doesn’t fit his surroundings at first glance. But Clueless remains a classic of its genre for its inclusiveness, from Di and Murray to stoner Travis, even teachers like Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall. In the end, just like Josh and Cher, “Fake Plastic Trees” works with the film because of its differences, not in spite of them. – Sara Batkie

Continue reading 90s Music Goes to the Movies

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: ’90s Music

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

The SportsAlcohol.com list of the 90 Best Songs of the 90s led to our biggest podcast yet, with seven panelists — plus a special call-in guest! — talking for eighty minutes about ’90s music. In a wide-ranging discussion, Rob, Jesse, Marisa, Sara, Ben, Craig, Nathaniel, and phone participant Jason talk about where our ’90s music list went right, where it might have gone wrong, what bands got screwed over and what songs from that decade we’ll always love and/or hate. Find out:

  • Who wasn’t listening to ’90s music during the ’90s
  • What Rob and Jesse agree is the best R.E.M. album
  • Which album made the guy at Tower Records insult Ben during college
  • Why Rob feels like Marisa is gaslighting him
  • Why at least one of us hates that Meat Loaf song
  • And so much more!

Join us, won’t you? It’s like having a special ’90s music brunch with a bunch of your best nerd friends.

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Best Songs of the 90s: Lonely at the Top

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

In the process of putting together our list of the best songs of the 90s, certain brave people made certain brave tastes known. These list-makers might not have known they were committing an act of bravery at the time, but no fewer than seven of our 22 participants submitted #1 votes – choices for the single best song of 1990-1999 – that no one else in the poll voted for at all. Some were from artists whose other works were recognized; others were from artists whose works were roundly ignored in any form. I so admire this kind of free-thinking that I asked these people to write a little about their particularly distinct choices. Below are the responses I received. (And for the record, six of my personal 40 received no other votes from anyone else.)
Continue reading Best Songs of the 90s: Lonely at the Top

Reliving the ’90s Through 15 Music Videos

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

Latest posts by Marisa (see all)

One of the major themes that’s emerged from our deep exploration into ’90s music is the link between music and film. Many of us first came to our favorite songs (or several Elastica songs) by hearing them used perfectly in a movie or TV show and, in turn, directors first made themselves noticed by directing some kind of calling-card music video. These intersections really stuck with us; just look over our ’90s song list and see how many of us couldn’t help but talk about the music video when writing about the song.

Now, that cycle is mostly missing a link. Music videos aren’t the cultural drivers they once were. It’s not that there are no videos anymore; it’s just that there are so many other kinds of videos, all vying to eat up our attention and go viral, that music videos no longer get prime placement. I mean, who can focus on them when there are cats vs. shadow cats? Now and then, a music video may break through to the public consciousness—I’m thinking something like the “Single Ladies” video, or “Fancy”—but it’s not like the days when people would come home and turn on TRL.

So, it’s worth going back and revisiting what the 1990s music-video scene was like. I’ve chosen 15 to look at here. I didn’t just want to go and pick out the videos from our Top 90 songs—you can see most of those right in that list. And I didn’t want to talk about the same videos that everyone talks about in the best-of video lists, basically the ones included in the Palm Pictures Director’s Label series. If you haven’t seen those, you definitely should watch all of them. They’re amazing. But you don’t need me to tell you, yet again, that Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry are the best video directors out there, and no one needs another list that says that video where the dude is running and on fire is pretty boss.

To recap: These aren’t the best songs of the ’90s (at least according to this website) OR the best videos of the ’90s. But that’s the thing about that decade: You can lop off the top of the iceberg and there’s still so much left to talk about. So, let’s begin.
Continue reading Reliving the ’90s Through 15 Music Videos

Best Songs of the 90s: Behind the Scenes

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Now that the official SportsAlcohol.com list of the best songs of the 90s has been revealed to the world in full, I thought I’d offer the list geeks among you a quick peek behind the scenes at the making of the list. So if you’re wondering why Pavement didn’t make the cut or how assured Nirvana’s victory really was, read on!

Participants
As mentioned, we had 22 voters each assemble a ranked top 40 list. There were twelve women and ten men, and most of the participants spent at least some time as teenagers in the ’90s, though one of us didn’t enter teenagehood until after the turn of the century.

Because of the high number of participants, a single number-one vote was not enough to propel a song onto the master list. Every song on our final list garnered at least two votes, and while it was theoretically possible to make the list without any of those votes being in anyone’s top ten, that was not the actual case when all was said and done. Every song on this list was on at least one person’s Top Ten of the ’90s, and in fact several songs with two votes (where one was passionate enough) beat out a number of songs that garnered three or even four votes. That four-vote wonder, the most-voted song that failed to make the list? The subject of founding editor Sabrina’s t-shirt: “It’s a Shame About Ray” by the Lemonheads. A shame indeed; sorry, Dando.
Continue reading Best Songs of the 90s: Behind the Scenes

The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 3)

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

You’ve seen songs 90-51 and 50-11. So let’s slow down a bit at the end and let our writers go a little long-reads on you as we talk about the top ten best songs of the 90s as voted on by the SportsAlcohol.com crew.

The 90 Best Songs of the 90s, Part 3: The 10 Best Songs of the 90s

Continue reading The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 3)

The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 2)

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

No time for fancy intros today! You’ve seen the first 40. Let’s just get right to next 40! Take it away, nerds:

The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 2)

Continue reading The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 2)