I've been listening to a lot of 90s music lately. It's the only music I can claim first person or non-pretentious nostalgia for (like I do when I claim that music was soooo good in the 1940s and those were the good old days; or that Janis Joplin is listenable; or that I was into Motley Crue in 1981, but I was 2 years old, and they were already one year into 5 combined venereal diseases.).
I was planning a number of long pieces on the 1990s, and still might have a go at them, but in the past few weeks, here are some things I've been thinking that can't fit in a tweet or status update (except maybe #4).
1. The only band of the "alternative era" that was both truly alternative and truly popular was The Presidents of the United States of America. Primus was too alternative to be popular. Smashing Pumpkins were popular but not an alternative to anything by time Siamese Dream was out. You can make an argument for Tool, but Tool is perhaps outside of the genre of alternative and are probably art metal. The big four (Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam) were all just rock and roll bands of varying degrees of awesome.
2. Of all the lead singers who died young, Mother Love Bone's Andrew Wood is perhaps the most significant. Mother Love Bone would have made Porno for Pyros unnecessary if Andrew Wood could've have avoided a heroin overdose before grunge "broke." Not to mention, Pearl Jam probably doesn't happen if Wood doesn't die. This was a really cool band, and when nostalgic 90s movies start getting made, MLB will be playing in the background of party scenes.
3. The best movie about the 1990s is somehow 1993's Dazed and Confused which is a movie set in the 1970s. This seems like something I didn't think of on my own, yet I know I've thought it for a while, probably because everyone was dressing like the kids in D&C in 1993 (unless you were dressing like 2Pac). Possibly someone else has expressed this idea (Klostermann maybe, he says shit that we're all thinking all of the time). Singles, Reality Bites and Threesome do not transcend the era like Pearl Jam's Ten, Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger or even Mudhoney's Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. In a 100 years, Back to the Future Part II will be a more accurate depiction of 2015 then any of these movies are of 1993. Which is not saying a lot.
4. Axl Rose probably killed Kurt Cobain. He had motive.