Thursday, February 11, 2016

Personal Nineties

At the grocery store the other day, I picked up a new issue of Rolling Stone devoted to the Nineties. The issue features articles about Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tupac, Green Day, Notorious B.I.G., Fiona Apple, and others, plus their list of the decade's greatest 100 albums and greatest 50 songs. Kurt Cobain's pensive face stares from the cover.

During almost the whole of the Nineties, we lived in one community. It was a time of joys,  professional transition for both me and Beth, serious illness in the family, family deaths, and other things. To me, the best thing about the Nineties was our daughter Emily, who was in preschool and then elementary school. I decided to be a stay-at-home dad for her during the summers, in spite of some financial difficulties involved in that; I just wanted to be with her more than anything else, and Beth's work almost never involved evening and weekend activities.

The Nineties was the last decade I paid significant attention to popular music; classical and jazz took over my listening after that, although I still like certain contemporary bands and singers. The Rolling Stone issue brought back wonderful memories of whatever was on the radio whenever Emily wanted to go to the park or to summer camps and the like: songs like Blues Traveler's "Hook," Dave Matthew Band's "Ants Marching," Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping," Dionne Farris' "I Know," Everything But the Girl's "Missing," Dishwalla's "Tell Me All Your Thoughts On God," The Barenaked Ladies' "One Week," Meredith Brooks' "Bitch," Crash Test Dummies' "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm," Joan Osborne's "One of Us," Sophie B. Hawkins' "As I Lay Me Down" .... I fell hard for Sophie B.'s music and played her first two CDs to death as I drove to my teaching work. By the end of the decade Emily was beginning to like popular music and asked for CDs by Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and a little later, Evanescence.

Without listing more examples , let me just provide this link to the writer's assessment of some of the decade's best music: . If you listened to popular music in the 90s, you can remember, and add your own favorites. What were you doing in the Nineties, and what music takes you back (hopefully to pleasant memories)?

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