Tag Archives: nostalgia

90s Music Goes to the Movies

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

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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: ’90s Music

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 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

Best Songs of the 90s: Behind the Scenes

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 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

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

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)

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The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 1)

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 here at SportsAlcohol.com can get down with a good list, but we’ve never attempted one quite so expansive before: a list not just of a band’s best songs, but the best songs of an entire decade: the ’90s, which have been experiencing a major nostalgia boom over the past five years or so, and which we hope to cash in on in a major way with this very undertaking; we just haven’t worked out the specifics of how that will work. In the meantime, you can send us personal checks.

While we wait for those to clear, let me reiterate: yes, this is the biggest list project yet undertaken by this organization. As it turns out, though, even a big list of 90 songs can feel too short when you’re dealing with a whole and particularly eclectic decade. Over 500 songs received votes, and plenty of favorites were left off the final list. Participants were asked to send their ranked lists of the 40 best songs of the ’90s, and the votes (weighted by ranking) were diligently counted in Excel to come up with the list that kicks off today. No adjustments were made for any reason beyond math. No fudging the rules to include a song by a particularly important artist or to cut down on the number of songs by an over-represented ones. This is the list of 22 children of the ’90s, though many of us approach that designation from different ages, directions, and backgrounds.

Today we’ll unveil songs 90 through 51. Tomorrow, we’ll hit 50 through 11. And on Thursday, we’ll get to the top ten. Look for other Best Songs of the ’90s content on SportsAlcohol.com all week, including our biggest podcast ever where a bunch of us got together to hash out this list.

And before we get started on list itself, I’d like to introduce your Best Songs of the ’90s voters. The panel included beloved SportsAlcohol.com mainstays, editors, and contributors whose biographies and past contributions are available at the click:

Chris Adams
Sara Batkie
Jeremy Bent
Jason Forman
Jesse Hassenger
Craig Iturbe
Rob Kuczynski
Marisa LaScala
Sabrina Lauzon
Bennett Morrison
Nathaniel Wharton

Plus these great people I’ll introduce here:

Shelly Casper is an artist, photographer, and teacher.
Sara Ciaburri is a librarian and former DJ.
Kerry Cullen is a fiction writer and editorial assistant.
Derrick Hart is a music fanatic and librarian from Boston by way of Upstate New York.
Michelle Paul is Director of Product Development at Patron Technology.
Lorraina Raccuia-Morrison edits textbooks and makes pottery.
Cristin Stickles is a book buyer for McNally-Jackson who makes New Jersey look good.
Erin Styne is a teacher and mother.
Alex Templeton is a middle school teacher, voracious reader, and writer in Philadelphia.
Bayard Templeton is a teacher, Mets fan, and theater enthusiast.
Jennifer Vega is a birder, administrator, and Mariah Carey scholar.

I am especially proud of two things about our contributors:
1. The gender makeup is majority female.
2. None of us are professional music critics.

Now then:

The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part One of Three)

Continue reading The 90 Best Songs of the 90s (Part 1)

Dana from Morphine is sitting 4 feet away from me…

Chris has always known more about computers than you. You can see the things he made for you at the55.net. You can see the things he blogged about for you at ruinsorbooks.com.
Latest posts by Chris (see all)

[ed. note: chris sent me this email years ago and I asked that we be allowed to publish it as part of our ’90s music rundown because it is the best email I’ve ever received]

Dana from Morphine is sitting 4 feet away from me…

at a cafe.

I see Dana from Morphine all the time.

Dana from Morphine is a carpenter or fix-it dude of sorts.
He does work at the bookstore that my boss owns.
He drives a pick up truck with assorted band stickers on the back.
It is parked outside my office building all the time.
One of the stickers is a Twinemen sticker.
The Twinemen suck.
Compared to Morphine, at least.
duh.

My office is on the fourth floor.
On the fifth floor is Hi n Dry studios.
Morphine recorded and hung out there all the time.
Various Dana from Morphine related projects record there still.
Sometimes i can hear Dana from Morphine playing the saxamaphone.
Often the same thing over and over again.
For a long time.
That is what recording is all about.
The saxophone carries, so often that’s all i can hear.
wahwahwah, through the ceiling.

Sometimes i pass Dana from Morphine on the loading dock.
Or the stairs.
And i say “hi”,
like he’s not Dana from Morphine,
and he’s just some dude, that plasters ceilings,
carrying a baby car seat,
and i think about telling him that i was way way into Morphine.
That when i was, like, 15,
Morphine, was, like, my fourth favorite band,
between, like, TMBG and Weezer.
That i remember exactly where i was,
and what i was doing,
when i heard that Mark Sandman was dead.
But i think about all that for a sec,
and that he’s got a baby carrier,
and ‘hi’ will have to do.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND BIOGRAPHY IN BROOKLYN (March Edition)

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.

They Might Be Giants is playing a show on the last Sunday of every month of 2015 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Marisa and I have tickets to all of the Williamsburg shows that have been put on sale so far, and we will be reporting on each show. Here is the third installment of our TMBG musical biography, arriving just after the next show. We’ve been busy.

They Might Be Giants at the Music Hall of Williamsburg: 3/29/15

1. Dead
This show is a They Might Be Giants Flood show. I do not, even as a TMBG obsessive, disdain Flood, their most popular album. I find, in fact, that a lot of TMBG obsessives seem to love Flood just as not as, if not more than, their less popular albums. I can’t front; it was the first TMBG album I heard. I bought a used copy on cassette at a record store that is so far away from still existing, I could not even tell you. It was called Probe and a fair amount of their stock at the time was cassettes — used cassettes and also some bootlegs. I went to Probe because I was going to London with my family and I wanted to buy a new (used) tape for my Walkman to listen to on the flight. The vague idea was to get something British, but Flood was there and I’d heard about TMBG from Tiny Toons and, I think, my friend Jeff, so I got that instead. I still remember listening to Flood in several different airports on that trip. “Dead” is on the first side which, I recall from back in 1996, is generally better than the second side, but more in the sense that it has more of the immediately catchy stuff. It was still early enough in my TMBG fanhood that I very much looked forward to hearing “Particle Man” on every go-round of the tape. But I didn’t use fast-forward to go through the other songs. – JH
Continue reading THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND BIOGRAPHY IN BROOKLYN (March Edition)

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Concertgoing over the years

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob

SportsAlcohol.com founders Jesse, Sabrina, and Rob were joined by Sara from Boston to see Sleater-Kinney on their reunion tour. The next day, they reminisced about how great the show was and their history of concertgoing.

How To Listen

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    • You can download the mp3 of this episode directly here.
    • If you are lazy, like 35 year old who would rather just stay at home, you can listen in the player below.