Monday, October 31, 2005

That is so 1991

Josh writes:

So in about seven years, when they make the next Peter's Friends/Big Chill, what will be on the soundtrack?

The 90s and 00s (or whatever they decided to call this decade) seem relatively low on generation-defining anthems and fashion gimmicks. While the 70s and 80s were (for better or worse) chock-full of iconic fashion statements, all I could think of for the 90s was:

  • Emo glasses
  • Emo glasses with yellow lenses
  • Irony
Which are essentially all the same thing. Oh, and there was the skirts-with-trousers controversy, too. Is that really all? If you had to pick half a dozen songs that summed up the decade, would you have trouble?

Or, to put it another way:

"Dude, the 90s called -- they want their ______ back." Fill in the blank.

Anything? "Dot-com startups" perhaps? "Ace of Base albums"? "Episodes of Friends that were actually funny"? What?

Maybe it's just because we're still too close to the 90s. Maybe the things that will stick out like a sore thumb in a decade or two are still too tainted with familiarity to be recognizable. Who can say -- answers on the back of a postcard. And by "back of a postcard", I mean "e-mail or in the comments section", because it's almost 2006 for Christ's sake.


Lucy said...

How about the trailer trash slut look used by brittany spears, J.Lo and others?

Ms Vile File said...

How about grunge for the '90s? The look of having just tumbled out of bed and put on something from the rag-bag was very haute couture.

Soundtrack? Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc....

As for this decade? (shrugs)

Mal Fet said...

I was just thinking grunge myself, mainly due to hearing "Anthum for the year 200" last night.

The was I see it, early 90's was tiny toons, mid 90's was gargoyles/animaniacs.

Also remeber the MASSIVE horror that was pop music in the mid/late 90's when the spice girls / boy bands rules the airwaves *shudder*

As for this decade, it won't hit its stride till 2007 in terms of style... that is what happened with the 90's anyway... by then something will have had a chance to have been new, and proven itself

Josh said...

Good points -- the decade of grunge. And also the Spice Girls.

Nevertheless, add flannel shirts to the list of 90s fashion icons.

Apathy Jack said...

See, the problem with nineties nostalgia (and I predicted this was going happen even back then - if only we had the internet - people could have listened to me) is that for the first few years, grunge took off, and then all of a sudden, seventies nostalia kicked in. Remember all of the hipsters who spent the flannel days mocking their parents fashions, then started rooting through old drawers and looking in the back of closets for leftover flares?

This coasted along with grunge for a while, eventually superseding it.

Then, just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, eighties nostalia kicked in.

Who remembers the parties of the late ninties, where the stereos were programmed with the following playlist:

*Blue Monday
*Spin Me Right Round
*Blue Monday
*Spin Me Right Round
*Blue Monday

and so on?

Sure, there was grunge and the general Spice poptartiness, but the ninties was, primarily, the decade of nostalia for other decades.

Nostalgia for the nintes will, with the exception of a token spin of Smells Like Teen Spirit, consist of resenting your parents for being able to pull of Woodstock, or desperately trying to forget that ninety-five percent of Duran Duran's songs were actually rubbish and that they looked ludicrous. But not ironically ludicrous. Just actially really stupid.

Psycho Milt said...

Anthems of the late '90s for me were "Smack my bitch up" by Prodigy and "Block Rockin' Beats" by the Chemical Bros. I'm nostalgic for them already.

RSJS said...

Some years back I encountered Rage Against The Machine playing amidst the Wham! and Boy George at a "Retro" night. The angry anthems of my generation are the comical boogey-fodder of the brainless alcopop whores of today. I couldn't be happier...

90s stalwarts are smart drinks, raves in warehouses, Reebok Pumps, and movies about other movies.

Dodgy Rich said...

I can't believe no-one's mentioned ALT and The Lost Civilisation's 'Tequila (Sex On The Beach'!

And whatever did happen to Charles and Eddie?

Dodgy Rich said...

Oh dear. I retract my previous post. It is nothing but lazy wallowing in the foetid pool of nostalgia and faux-irony.

My pick for future Peter's Friends/Big Chill: lots of cargo pants, self-absorbed angst and lashings of irony before SHOCK HORROR! it's all put in perspective by the events September 11th.
End-of-movie voiceover: 'We all learnt something that day... that what really matters is the people around you... we'd been through a lot together... and, you know, somehow, along the way, our group of friends had become a family.'

Credits roll. Third eye Blind's 'Semi-Charmed Life' plays.