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Deliberatepixel / Neither the Best nor Worst of Times

Neither the Best nor Worst of Times

daria, one of the best things of the 90'sSo, in one of those long, drawn-out, practically-incomprehensible-to-outsiders chain-of-thoughts, I started thinking yesterday about 90's alternative musicians I used to have a crush on. Which is basically all of them.

You see, I came of age in the proper alternative music era of the 90's. It was an epic time. Roving bands of fashionably long-haired and grungy musicians murmured and/or shouted about heartbreak, apathy, and flannel. Billy Corgan's followers numbered into the thousands. And there was a firm line drawn between "us" and "them," them of course referring to those principles of injustice usually summed up under the heading of "The Man," and generally credited with such travesties as the destruction of Cobain and the Spice Girls.

From this maelstrom of artistic incoherence, there emerged a certain ideal, essentially a re-branding of the classic rock hero, longtime subject of teenage female adulation. This version was adorably scruffy, probably very occasionally stoned, and delightfully slacker-next-door in type. He was the guy in your best friend's brother's garage band that you were always just a little too young/shy/smart to go after. While many members of this once-thriving race most likely ended up pursuing a career in food service and/or petty theft, some parlayed their talents into popular music; and since I was in my teens at the time they did this, I will always have a certain ashamed nostalgia for them. They were kind of tools. But I was stupid at fourteen. And it is this I'm exploiting for the sake of a post by digging up some of my old favorites and making fun of them.

  • Stephan Jenkins - I'll start with the one easiest to make fun of. Which is kind of cruel - but, seriously, Third Eye Blind? They're not much in the Annals of Rock but a footnote in the one-hit-wonder category (or maybe two-hit-wonder category, if one exists). But their lead singer was cute. And apparently still is not bad, at 42. (Yes, 42. God, how old am I again?)
  • Matthew Sweet - The difference here is that he was actually a great musician. So it's somewhat justified.
  • Gavin Rossdale - Representing the British sub-species of 90's alternative rocker guy. Still hot as well, although significant point markdown for marrying Stefani. Bonus, however, for having secret past love-child drama, which is exactly the type of thing I want to read about when I haven't even thought of you in at least six years and decide to Google you one bored afternoon. Thanks for making it not a total loss of five minutes, mate.
  • Collectively, Better Than Ezra & the Gin Blossoms - I'm sure there were some others, they're pretty interchangeable. Any one from any one of those type of bands would do, honestly.
  • Trent - From Daria, of course. The synthesis of the ideal, if you will.

By the way - oh my, going to that Daria fan site I linked to is awesome. There's Windows 95 themes! Win-Amp skins! Nonfiction essays about Daria fan-fiction! If my own particular trip down the alleyways of 90's alternative culture irritated you, at least take comfort in the fact I didn't offer you any Third Eye Blind Win-Amp skins.



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