"Why did I write so much about this shit. Who cares. Enjoy!"
June 28, 2015 7:38 PM   Subscribe

Giant 800-track alt/indie-focused 90's playlist in chronological order "This is a behemoth of a playlist I put together, focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on the alt/indie/college side of the 90's experience. It's 800+ tracks, about 55 hours, and features plenty of songs that tend to get overlooked in the "remember these 90's hits?" pieces that pop up from time to time. Not definitive by any means, and extremely subjective, but it's a decent chunk of curated history in one convenient place. Also it's a fully chronological playlist, on a week-by-week level. So a track released on May 7, 1994 will come before a track released on May 14, 1994. Time and research went into this. Think of it as the Boyhood of 90's playlists!" (From Mefi's own naju, via MetaFilter Projects.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (96 comments total) 180 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, I can't WAIT to open this up tomorrow morning. Thanks!
posted by lalex at 7:42 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I approve of the Slowdive pic right up top, and if you haven't watched the recent Pitchfork doc on Souvlaki then you really should.
posted by item at 7:44 PM on June 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is there a text list of the songs? I really like these kinds of exhaustive projects, even if I am unlikely to listen to 55 hours of 90s music.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:47 PM on June 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there just a text-only version of the track list somewhere that doesn't require a login?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:48 PM on June 28, 2015


I was able to scroll the track listing on the rdio link without logging in.
posted by idiopath at 7:50 PM on June 28, 2015


I can see the track lists just fine on Rdio without logging in.
posted by item at 7:50 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is amazing.

Also, I love that we get 13 songs into an alt/indie playlist before hitting Mariah Carey.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 7:57 PM on June 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


need one for the 80s.
posted by pandrus at 7:58 PM on June 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Crikey. This is the the audio equivalent of Knausgaard's "My Struggle"!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:03 PM on June 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Wait -- "Birdhouse In My Soul," "Here's Where The Story Ends," and Inspiral Freaking Carpets in the first twelve songs?

This guy IS 90s ME.

AND THERE'S THE JUDYBATS. What's up, 90s me? Hey, while we're talking, that haircut was a mistake.
posted by escabeche at 8:06 PM on June 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


All haircuts are mistakes. I see that now.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:15 PM on June 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Very cool. Somebody collected KEXP's Top 650 Albums since 1972 into a Spotify playlist, I've been digging that too.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:16 PM on June 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pro Tip:

This plays in my browser, which I don't want. To play it in the Spotify App, copy the URL once you're on a playlist, and paste it into the Search box of the Spotify app.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:17 PM on June 28, 2015


For all those asking for a list of the songs in a more universal format: naju kindly linked to some CSV (basically a text database with comma-delimited values) files in the MetaFilter Projects page. You do NOT have to log in to Dropbox to download these files.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:35 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Billy Bragg is a curious omission. Don't try this at home was a great album from 1991.
posted by wilful at 8:37 PM on June 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am 36 and I approve of this playlist. Also, 'The Ship Song' just came on right after 'Welcome to the Terrordome'. Sweet!
posted by temancl at 8:51 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Billy Bragg is a curious omission. Don't try this at home was a great album from 1991.

From TFA:
I was eight in 1990, so that consciousness started out pretty inchoate and surface-level, then grew increasingly sophisticated as the decade went on.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:18 PM on June 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gin Blossoms! Ha. Credits for being honest. Does the list have Matthew Sweet? How can it not have Matthew Sweet, right? The Rentals? Teenage Fanclub? Frente?
posted by Beholder at 9:40 PM on June 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yay, I'm on the blue!

I'm open to suggestions if you've got em, go for it. The playlist isn't set in stone and I've already been adding to it as I think of stuff I missed the first time through. I'm gonna see if I can add Billy Bragg, Frente, The Rentals (they've allowed their full catalog on streaming except "Friends of P", which is a song I really love. Boo.)
posted by naju at 9:58 PM on June 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Oh, and Matthew Sweet's "Sick of Myself" is on here, definitely.
posted by naju at 10:05 PM on June 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hey naju, I don't think twelve hours fixing up that playlist was a very long time at all. I reckon I've spent far longer just curating my own collection. Great work though!
posted by wilful at 10:19 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


there are no bouncing souls, this is an outrage not just to metafilter but to the entire fine state of new jersey.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:29 PM on June 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


an outrage i tell you
posted by poffin boffin at 10:29 PM on June 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


You know you're getting somewhat "toothy" when you see all too many songs on this list that make you think: yeah, x was OK, but y the same band was a truckload better, only to remember that y was released in the 1980s.

cf Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Nick Cave, Galaxie 500, Morrissey, REM, Talk Talk, The Sugarcubes

But fangs for the good memories: it was like some crazy mindreading shit going on while grazing on that list. What about "z"? Oh, there's z down the page, right where they should be...
posted by pjm at 10:34 PM on June 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was wondering how I was going to impress and irritate the shit out of my coworkers in equal measure this week. Thanks naju!

I was 9 in 1990, so this feels, in some cosmic way, made just for me. I put it on shuffle and it just went from noisy-ass early My Bloody Valentine to "Everything Zen." 18-year old me just rolled his eyes right before 13-year-old me fuckin socked him in the arm and turned the volume up real loud.
posted by Maaik at 10:35 PM on June 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, I still have the fast part of Blues Traveller's "Hook" mostly memorized in case any of y'all were wondering. Which I'm realizing now is sorta the extreme nerd version of knowing the Left Eye verse of "Waterfalls" by heart.
posted by Maaik at 10:38 PM on June 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Okay, first, this is excellent! As someone who started high school in 1991 and whose second or third cassette purchased was They Might Be Giants - Lincoln, I am loving this. It's so right on that I'm glad you included your age so I didn't have to wonder if we went to high school together! There's plenty here I haven't heard, so, lots to enjoy.

I also love this perfect disclaimer:
"The playlist is probably ideal for twenty-something millenials, in my mind anyway. Music-savvy people my age and older are probably just going to be annoyed that I neglected to include an essential song, or act amazed I would choose something so obvious, or whatever. Gripes."
It's funny how personal the music from one's adolescence is. It's impossible not to think "THAT song from that album?" when you yourself put a different one on the mix tape that you wore out while driving around endlessly at age 17. I like that the disclaimer acknowledges it, like, "hey, if you grew up during this period, you you are your own expert, I get that." Anyway, thanks, this is awesome.
posted by salvia at 10:43 PM on June 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Holy shit, naju!

Pretty comprehensive list, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything you missed. I've gone through my own collection and come up with a few: Bran Van 3000 (drinking in LA), 54-40, Ben Harper, Barenaked Ladies, Dread Zeppelin, the Rheostatics, The The. Mostly Canadian bands that played on college radio, at least at first (I'm looking at you BNL).

Interesting phenomenon going on here - I have a great memory of the 80's, not so much of the 90's, and pretty good for the 2000's and on. I was in my early 20's in 1990 - I must have blown a lot of brain cells.
posted by ashbury at 10:48 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Oh yeah, Bouncing Souls seconded -- here's my vote.
posted by salvia at 10:51 PM on June 28, 2015


also their cover of don't you forget about me
posted by poffin boffin at 10:55 PM on June 28, 2015


Did they also cover "Another Saturday Night" by Sam Cooke? Either they or their opening band did, circa 1995 in Chicago -- an Ask Metafilter post I've long considered asking.
posted by salvia at 11:16 PM on June 28, 2015


No Billy Bragg is a curious omission. Don't try this at home was a great album from 1991.

'Sexuality' is on the playlist :). (So is 'California Stars').

Nice list, you had me at 'Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning'. (Being born in 72 a lot of this is familiar to me, but I'm going to enjoy picking up on the stuff I don't know, seeing as I like most of what I know here).
posted by Pink Frost at 11:25 PM on June 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


'Sexuality' is on the playlist :)

Yep, this thing is getting updated in real time! Bouncing Souls fans, breathe a sigh of relief.
posted by naju at 11:58 PM on June 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is great, naju, thanks!!
posted by taz at 12:06 AM on June 29, 2015


I can't believe TWO people here remember the Judybats!! I've always had at least a few of their songs on any mp3 player I've owned, ever.
posted by nevercalm at 12:10 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't believe TWO people here remember the Judybats!!

I took a playwrighting course with Heiskell and Ms. Hambright was awful nice to me-- She owned a bakery a few years ago. Knowing them, and what they endured after signing with a label as large as Sire, was my first exposure to how shitty the business is.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 12:37 AM on June 29, 2015


Yeah, Bouncing Souls! Thanks, naju.
posted by salvia at 12:39 AM on June 29, 2015


The chronological list gives off the impression that, in a given week, there might have been a radio station somewhere playing the full breadth of it. In fact, I think station policies, geographic limits on releases and even purchasing budgets would have made this impossible. So it is a really interesting alternate reality.
posted by rongorongo at 12:40 AM on June 29, 2015


THIS IS AWESOME. : ) Takes me back to the college days...

Needs some Lush, though. And Bettie Serveert.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:45 AM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yep, this thing is getting updated in real time!

Ah, I didn't think to check the 'when added' field...

On further perusal, nice call on the Clean. Given my username, I'm going to have to point you to the Chills at this point: Heavenly Pop Hit would work. Also, you should totally accept the Mountain Goats into your life.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:47 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


*sigh*

I gotta learn, my dears. You can't do this to me.

(Looking forward to dig into this in a few days.)
posted by bigendian at 2:10 AM on June 29, 2015


This playlist got me thinking about is the subjective nature of musical memory and how much it's influenced by the contingencies of time and geography. I mean, I would put Ride, Stereolab, and Lush on a subjective '90s playlist now, but the 14 to 18-year-old version of me who was actually alive between 1990 and 1994 wouldn't have. These were bands I vaguely knew of, I think, but pre-internet my information came to me through bits and pieces of radio play, and then (later) through older colleagues and the CD collection at the local public library when I started working there as a library assistant, so it was all really haphazard and retrospective and full of huge gaps. And the local student radio station that pretty much formed my tastes when I was an actual teenager had an annoying habit of hardly ever doing any back-announcing, because they were too cool for that apparently. So I'd hear a lot of amazing stuff but never know what it actually was. And much of the stuff I was hearing I could never really use Spotify to recreate, due to the contingencies of IP law. As a teenager in New Zealand, shoegaze came to me primarily through Bailter Space's 1993 album Robot World, which isn't on Spotify. Similarly, Straitjacket Fits' Down in Splendour was my favourite song when I was 14, but again ... good luck finding it on Spotify. And Emma Paki's System Virtue, pretty much the categorical early '90s song for me ... just not there. And there's no way of recreating, through a Spotify playlist, the exact effect "Your Ghost" had on me a bit later, when I first heard it as an 18-year-old. But what could?

Which is to say, this isn't my '90s, not exactly, but I love it all the same.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:14 AM on June 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


You're being screwed over by geography, Sonny Jim: in NZ I can get SJF's entire discography, most Bailter Space, and that Emma Paki album...then again a lot of stuff I could listen to in the UK is unavailable for me now...
posted by Pink Frost at 2:40 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I figured that's what was going on, PF. It's just so frustrating, though! It's like you can take your musical memories with you when you emigrate, but not the music itself ...
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:15 AM on June 29, 2015


"The Ghost At Number One" instead of "Baby's Coming Back": this is legit
posted by thelonius at 3:36 AM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is amazing! Nice work! This is going to get tons of play in our car this summer (and, like, forever beyond the summer).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:35 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thank you for deciding on my musical listening for the next week. I appreciate all the hard work and can't wait to dive into this.

If anyone would like I can share a playlist I found where it's every single song ever played on 120 Minutes.
posted by Tarpit_Carnivore at 4:48 AM on June 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


need one for the 80s.

Okay, so I did a similar thing with an 80s playlist on Spotify.

It's nowhere near as comprehensive -- only 5 hours+. I took only one song from an album, for example, left out a lot of early rap, didn't do punk justice. But it was in response to NPR's All Songs Considered, which a few years back featured a show around each decade of rock/pop music, and for the 80s they played Kenny Loggins, John Fogerty, and Michael Jackson and then said the decade was pretty much a wasteland. So it was more of a playlist to echo the show -- something to send off to Bob and Robin.

But it's a beginning. It would be hella fun to crowdsource an 80s list.
posted by touchstone033 at 5:13 AM on June 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


So much good music! Yer a star, naju! As an aside, my (almost) 14 year old son has been playing 'Birdhouse in Your Soul' pretty much continuously for the last week. I'm looking forward to sharing some more 90's goodness with him from these lists.
posted by h00py at 5:32 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


(as if my entire itunes collection wasn't enough)
posted by h00py at 5:41 AM on June 29, 2015


As I said in the Projects thread about this, when I pulled this up in rdio, there were a lot of these already marked favorites.

However, I did not look super-closely and just started listening chronologically, so I hit the first Mariah Carey song as a surprise and I knew this was an even more special list than I realized.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:07 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've been in something of a musical rut for the past several months, fixated on the same run of 20 or 30 some odd songs. For the past few days I've been trying to kick that by going into this playlist, picking an artist or two with an intriguing name who I know little or nothing about, and diving in. Current hits: The Divine Comedy, The Promise Ring, Belly. Excited to dig into a lot of back catalogs now!
posted by ActionPopulated at 6:11 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I and my college radio pals put together a 10-hour Spotify playlist called "It's the early 90's and I'm a DJ". It hits some of the same notes but goes a bit more obscure here and there. Between that one an these three monsters, I think I'm good on my work soundtrack for the next few months at least.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:34 AM on June 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I took a playwrighting course with Heiskell and Ms. Hambright was awful nice to me-- She owned a bakery a few years ago. Knowing them, and what they endured after signing with a label as large as Sire, was my first exposure to how shitty the business is.
posted by lazycomputerkids


That's awesome, lazycomputerkids. I was in a band where the lead singer's girlfriend stumbled into a somewhat long email conversation about all sorts of stuff with Ed Winters. What happened with the Judybats was a total crying shame.
posted by nevercalm at 6:37 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


> If anyone would like I can share a playlist I found where it's every single song ever played on 120 Minutes.

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE NOW PLZ AND THANK YOU
posted by Lucinda at 6:38 AM on June 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Naju you may want to make this collaborative so you can just curate suggestions from there rather than here as they come in, BUT that said here are 1 million suggestions from my personal collection of 90s Memories (purely 90-94 of course aka the golden age of america):

Lotion - Head
Velocity Girl - Sorry Again
Tiger Trap - My Broken Heart
Cub - Flying Carpet
Slant 6 - Nights X 9
Candy Machine - The Breathing Song
Lungfish - Friends to Friend in Endtime
Circus Lupus - Pacifier
Hoover - Private
Devil Dogs - So Young
New Bomb Turks - T.A.S.
Gories - Thunderbird ESQ
Tsunami - Kidding on the Square
Versus - Mirror Mirror
Dambuilders - Candy Guts
Poster Children - She Walks
Northside - Take 5
New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Big
The Farm - All Together Now
Ocean Blue - Cerulean
School of Fish - 3 Strange Days
dada - Diz Knee Land
Love Spit Love - Am I Wrong


You are great.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:48 AM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


No — no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful... I had no idea.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2015


WAIT MORE:

Dramarama - Haven't Got A Clue
Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me
The Las - There She Goes
Field Mice - Septembers Not So Far Away
Pale Saints - Sight of You
Soho - Hippychick
Renegade Soundwave - Probably A Robbery
Meatbeat Manifesto - Original Control
Disposable Heroes of Hip Hopcracy - Television the Drug of the Nation
MC 900 Ft Jesus - The City Sleeps
Consolidated - Dysfunctional Relationship
The Goats - Rumblefish
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:14 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


where is the soul asylum.

where is the pantera.

these are my gripes.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2015


If anyone would like I can share a playlist I found where it's every single song ever played on 120 Minutes.

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE NOW PLZ AND THANK YOU


Seconded! Please share that list, it sounds amazing!
posted by Sangermaine at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2015


Speaking of lists one of these days Ima make a FPP out of this list of 99.1 WHFS's Top 99 songs of each year of the early 90s (which you can listen to here [WITH ADS!!]])
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:20 AM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I didn’t include Korn, Limp Bizkit, Hanson, Spice Girls, Hootie, and lots of other things."

DID I MISS THE PART WHERE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE COULD CONCEIVABLY BE CONSIDERED "ALT" omg no, just nooooooooooo.

Reading that sentence has made me highly dubious about the rest of the list.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:35 AM on June 29, 2015


(yes, yes, eponysterical, yes)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:36 AM on June 29, 2015


This is superb. Thank you.

I wish you'd get a cut of the Spotify/Rdio revenue for your troubles, but I guess when they don't even pay the artists a reasonable cut, that's way beyond the Pale.
posted by General Malaise at 7:56 AM on June 29, 2015


Very much looking forward to this. I have a 24-hour 80s playlist that I put together subject to the rule of no more than 2-3 songs per artist and I still can't stop fiddling around with the thing.
posted by informavore at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is really interesting. One of the odd things about musical memory-by-time is that it does a great job of putting up some of the musical wallpaper of an era, so to speak, but most of us didn't spend our time staring at the wallpaper. We were discovering our own tastes and digging into the past and other genres, even as FM stations were playing this sort of thing and we were listening, buying, and going to concerts. I think musical taste (for big music fans, anyway) is always going to be mixed, never a pure expression of a moment in time. At the same time, it's awesome to hear what was passing through our ears from the radio, especially college/alt radio. And SPIN samplers, and that kind of thing because that's all we had to listen to walking uphill both ways in the snow.

In some ways, I think eight is the right time to have your ear captured by contemporary pop music. I was eight in the very late 70s and I had an attention to and curiosity about the musical wallpaper of the time that I don't think has ever been as strong again. When you first start listening to contemporary music, it's very powerful and a little mysterious and adult. There are certain songs (like Hot Blooded or Saturday in the Park) that bring back extremely vivid memories of how that time felt. This music, though, brings back my college years and early 20s, when I was playing a lot of guitar and digging into the acoustic and folk scene and its history and also listening to a lot of 60s garage rock, New Wave and snotty semi-punk. It was a mixed era, genre-wise, for me. Hip-hop barely crossed my screen, but it was really big among some of my peers, and often totally missing from alt/college radio.
posted by Miko at 9:06 AM on June 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Still, I have really powerful memories right off the bat - first hearing Birdhouse in Your Soul when one of my friends sent it to me on a talk/music mixtape; bellowing "Nothing Compares 2U" in the kitchen of my summer camp, laying in someone's basement at the end of the party with a swirling head and "Whatcha' Want" blasting in my ear...
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was 8 in the late 80s and so I cry whenever I hear Lady In Red like a human/trash can hybrid.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:40 AM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wait -- "Birdhouse In My Soul," in the first twelve songs?

I know, whereas it should have been nowhere since it was an 80s track.*
posted by biffa at 9:55 AM on June 29, 2015


speaking of the 1990s and music and lists and such, here's a self-link to a radio project I'm in the middle of that purports to limit its focus to the best drug-related music of the decade in question. The website's a few weeks behind things, but I'm trying ...
posted by philip-random at 10:11 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This was quoted above, but it's really the most fascinating aspect of this for me:
"The playlist is probably ideal for twenty-something millenials, in my mind anyway. Music-savvy people my age and older are probably just going to be annoyed that I neglected to include an essential song, or act amazed I would choose something so obvious, or whatever."
It's really interesting to me: a playlist of songs from my twenties that's not "for" me, but rather for people who are in their twenties now. Which, remarkably, is exactly what this feels like: a view of the past as seen through the lens of the present.

Looking through the tracks, it's not the omissions that stand out, but (as the quote above anticipates) the inclusions: not just the songs that, yeah, are a little too obvious, but especially the artists that would only show up on an "alt/indie" playlist created in the more musically inclusive era of the 2010s. That is, most people making an 800-track 90s alt/indie playlist in December 1999 probably wouldn't have included Mariah Carey, Counting Crows, Marilyn Manson, Blues Traveler, etc etc etc.

This feels oddly of a piece with Jurassic World's success and how it's become a type of memento mori for a certain kind of movie buff in their 40s: this thing that they didn't really care about that much the first time around, or enjoyed but wasn't personally invested in, is now a source of inspiration for people younger than them. For a lot of us, it's the first time we feel we've been lapped by the nostalgia cycle.

But these ramblings shouldn't take away from my admiration and gratitude at the amount of work and care that naju put into this...I've been listening to it all day and probably won't stop any time soon.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:05 AM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I know, whereas it should have been nowhere since it was an 80s track.*

Hmm. The album it was on, Flood, was released in 1990. That's good enough for me. If I went by single releases and pre-album radio play this would've been nearly impossible.
posted by naju at 11:36 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's really weird to me to hear these songs in full quality after only ever hearing most of them on the radio or cassette, 20+ years ago.
posted by zsazsa at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


That is, most people making an 800-track 90s alt/indie playlist in December 1999 probably wouldn't have included Mariah Carey, Counting Crows, Marilyn Manson, Blues Traveler, etc etc etc.

Totally! There's so much here that I sneered at when I was actually going through that time. And a bunch of stuff I enjoyed while never admitting it to anyone. It's the 90s informed by 2015, and with a distinctly poptimist approach. I'm glad Mariah Carey was called out twice, because I think she appears 3 times and it's totally intentional. "Always Be My Baby" has been championed by more indie-loving millenials in my circles over the past few years than it ever was by indie kids during the time. Things are changing and the old pop hits are being recontextualized and loved without reservation. (I skipped Madonna's "Vogue", conversely, and maybe I shouldn't have - but her "Take A Bow" appears later.)

And yeah, there's definitely an increasing amount of hip-hop and R&B in the latter half of this playlist. Even I can't fully explain that other than it felt... right, somehow? Like, that was a really exciting time and a dawning of my own awareness of those forms of music, and I think as we approached the end of the 90s things were all starting to mix up and blur together.
posted by naju at 11:48 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm curmudgeonly enough not to really know how to work these streaming services, but I tried to look and couldn't find the Dentists on your list. (Could have just been me - I was using control-F to look, which didn't turn up Morphine, even though I could see it right there. So, grain of salt.) To me (and yeah, super-personal/experience driven, etc), their album Behind The Door I Keep The Universe is basically the sound of college in the 90s. Which I mention partly to get them on the list but mostly to draw people's attention to them in case folks aren't familiar.
posted by nickmark at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah the 90s, I miss you! In Canada our bands were: Our Lady Peace, The Tea Party, Sloan, Moist, among others. Quebec had a kickass music scene too, Me Mom & Morgentaler, Grimskunk, Groovy Aardvark... I was really into the stuff like Pop Will Eat Itself, NIN, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Prick, Frontline Assembly... good times :)
posted by Hazelsmrf at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2015


This made it to the A.V. Club and there appears to be a backlash in the comments re: my inclusion of pop/commercial stuff. Controversy!
posted by naju at 12:43 PM on June 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's almost like those commenting at the AV Club didn't read the article along with the list.

Fortunately, that never happens here.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:53 PM on June 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


I just listened this weekend to a podcast with a music critic talking about pop music from the 90s. I wish I could find it now, because he had some interesting things to say, including about Madonna's song "Vogue."
posted by wenestvedt at 1:08 PM on June 29, 2015


I guess part of that backlash is that the consumption and fandom of a lot this music the first time around was bound up with some pretty hardcore anti-capitalist idealism and hostility to big-anything. If you were a part of those scenes, you fiercely resisted the "popular" as an exemplar of everything wrong or corrupt in mainstream culture and politics. You didn't listen to contemporary pop music alongside your oppositional music, or didn't until, as you put it, the boundaries got blurred. But I suppose that's obvious. What's perhaps less obvious is how the memory of that oppositional stance leads to a certain wariness or bitterness about poptimism among those of us who are a bit older. Because you weren't supposed to like pop music: it was corrupt, something the kids and adults who didn't get it listened to. Seeing supposedly "left" people embracing and championing nakedly commercial or corporate music is still capable of doing our heads in. So that's why the combination of alternative/indie and mainstream pop is so potentially incendiary and provocative. At least to some. But I suspect this playlist was devised in full knowledge of that. :)
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:08 PM on June 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


If anyone would like I can share a playlist I found where it's every single song ever played on 120 Minutes.

WHY WOULD THIS EVEN BE UP FOR DEBATE HOW DO WE NOT HAVE THIS LINK ALREADY
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


My 90s soundtrack was pretty much obscure 60s stuff, noise rock and SW and West Coast garage rock (Estrus, Sub Pop, K Records, etc.) which I think was probably all too small label to show up on these play lists, and sometimes, I think, sadly lost to the pre-internet mishmosh of forgotten recordings.

I'll go be old and obscure over there now...
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:22 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


You didn't listen to contemporary pop music alongside your oppositional music, or didn't until, as you put it, the boundaries got blurred.

But you did hear it when you rode in the car with your mom. So to me, providing some of the surrounding musical context isn't bad.
posted by salvia at 1:26 PM on June 29, 2015


> The album it was on, Flood, was released in 1990.

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It's brand new record for 1990 -
They Might be Giants' brand new album:
Flood!!!!!!!!
posted by Lucinda at 3:25 PM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Dude I love Living Color so.
Much.
You should put some Living Color on the list. Like from Stain. Man I love Stain. High time for a Living Color worshipping Black Metal revival.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:42 PM on June 29, 2015


"Black Rock", scuse me.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:44 PM on June 29, 2015


This made it to the A.V. Club and there appears to be a backlash in the comments re: my inclusion of pop/commercial stuff.

an innocent cinnamon roll: here is a list of things i like! i hope you enjoy my list!
the internets: THE THINGS YOU LIKE ARE WRONG AND YOU ARE DISGUSTING
posted by poffin boffin at 3:45 PM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Camper van Beethoven were sort of seminal for me - but they came in with two great albums at the end of the 80s and, as Wikipedia puts it, had an inactive period in the 90s ("They broke up in April 1990 after a show in Örebro, Sweden.")
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:09 PM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


if anyone would like I can share a playlist I found where it's every single song ever played on 120 Minutes.

Not to beg or anything, but OMG, please share this playlist.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:18 PM on June 29, 2015


OMG this is amazing. Thank you!
posted by photoslob at 7:27 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this is the link Tarpit_Carnivore has in mind, but 120 Minutes Archive is impressive work.
posted by naju at 7:52 PM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's this? It has Spotify playlists. It looks like it draws from the above link.

looks like I picked the wrong time to cancel Spotify
posted by Lucinda at 8:53 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just dropping in late to say thanks. Exactly what the doctor ordered for this week.
posted by repoman at 8:18 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My boyfriend is playing this list by accessing all of the songs' data via an internet connection with a computer program running on his four pound laptop computer. From there, the music is being sent wirelessly to another small computer that lives in the wall by the tv, which sends it over a cable to tiny computer the size of a deck of cards that lives down in the basement on top of the audio video receiver which takes the music and plays it over the speakers, and it sounds excellent.

As I hear tracks I like but do not recognize, the easiest thing to do is use a song recognition program I run on my telephone, rather than going over to his laptop computer, because my tiny telephone is tucked into the strap of my tank top, to find out what they are. I only have to push three buttons to do that.

I have tried to write this in such a way as 1990 me, big fan of Vision of Love, by the way, would understand. It's almost sacrilegious, how far this process is from leaving KROQ or MTV playing all day until you hear the song again. What a cool 25 years. I'm glad I lived those.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:07 PM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


but I still want to run a shove a cassette in... something.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:07 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


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