Whatever Happened to the 90s?

taken by me during a trip to hollywood. This i...
This exists.

This is another dip in the old search-query-that-brought-someone-here-mailbag.  This question is honest and simple, and I spent a good part of my mid-20s trying to figure it out.  Here’s what I came up with:

Generation Y.

Yes. Everyone who was just becoming a teenager as the 90s wore down, I’m talking about you.  This is what happened:

Your boomer parents gave you a lot of disposable cash for no good reason.

You spent it on Britney Spears, boy bands, and clothing that wasn’t ironically cool (that is, clothing that cost more than $4.)

You did not spend it on Oasis or Nada Surf or Harvey Danger.  You did not spend it on The Flys or New Radicals. You absolutely did not spend it on REM. You also didn’t didn’t spend it on AOR or Adult Contemporary (goodbye, that whole genre).  No New Bohemians, no Mazzy Star.  Good bye John Mellencamp.  It’s been fun, John Secada.  Peace out, Tonic, Gin Blossoms, Dishwalla, Joan Osbourne, Black Lab.

Hello, TLR.

Hello, all delighted teensters with your expendable non-work-related dollars.  Hello, Generation Bigger Than The Baby Boom.  Hello, malleable taste-makers, hello.

Goodbye, alternative radio formats.  Goodbye, Y-100.  Goodbye, you last hangers on of Generation X, you would-be Cusacks.  Goodbye, Empire Records.

Hello Music Town.

That’s pretty much it.

9 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the 90s?

  1. We’re the last of Gen X or the beginning of Gen Y depending on who you talk to. Either way, I feel partially responsible for the demise of good music. You should see my Brittany Spears collection.

    Actually, you should see the memories I have of TONIC playing a Thanksgiving Show in ’97. My sister, my girlfriend and her cousin came along. Two of us knew who Tonic was, and by the end of the night we were all fans. I don’t have any concert experiences like that from any artists during the 2000’s (except a few Coldplay concerts). All the other shows (that I’ve loved) in the last 10 years were holdovers from the 90’s (Oasis, 3eb, etc.).

    It may be my age. It may be the fact that I was in a band myself and hoping that I was “better” than the music I was watching. But I think it’s because I was meant for B-104’s Sunday Evening Alternative Music (92-94 era).


      But seriously, 88-90 was the New Kids. 98-00 was BSB and NSYC. Coincidental that during our formative years boy bands were in hibernation? I think not.

      1. Jay makes an interesting observation, and so I wonder if Boys II Men happened to be relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things.

        1. Boys II Men… it’s why we’re are cool?!? Thank you Boys II Men and Motown Philly.

          Mmmmm… Motown.

  2. How comes I can’t just “like” this like I can on facebook? This comment thing makes me have to use my brain. It’s all burnt out from listening to the same Lady Gaga songs OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

    You should see how excited I get when Tonic or Mazzy Star comes on the radio. One of my stations played The Sundays a few weeks ago!

    On the other hand…it’ll cycle back around. It always does.

  3. I am really needing to listen to “Wild Horses” and “Fade Into You” right about now.

    It might come back. Some of it hung on (that being Belle & Sebastian…of course, we didn’t know who they were back then).

  4. I take you to the year 2050 when your grandchildren attend cliche’ decade-themed dances:
    1950’s: Greasers and Poodle Skirts at the Hop
    1960’s: Hippies
    1970’s: Disco
    1980’s: New Wave
    1990’s: Grunge
    2000’s: CANCELED
    2010’s: Pants pulled down and underwear hats

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