Smith. Just Smith.


The one constant in all the years, Ray? Baseball.

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Baby girl sweetness honey nobody has suffered like I have suffered yeah alright

I've been listening to someone's 90s rock playlist all week, someone who had been a teen in the 90s and an American, whom I assume to be my age or just a hair older. I decided that, since that was the era of my teens, and because I've always had buckets more patience with North American music than British, I'd intentionally listen to a massive nostalgia playlist and determine once and for all if there was anything going on during that period. (This is roughly an extension of my policy which was first tested via the 'so what is Batman?' question of November of last year). I've listened to about 90 songs this week, and have about another 150 which I will listen to, and my goodness. I know it's uninformed and incorrect to think of that decade as being particularly worse than every other decade when the top 40 was ever a bag of sodden horseshit, but as someone who can pick out some of his favourite music of all time from within that decade I feel particularly betrayed by it. The 90s is the 70s of the period circa post-'89-2000. We're talking genuine horror here. I have endured. Things you should have been forewarned about:

Hootie & The Blowfish
Third Eye Blind
Toad The Wet Sprocket
Counting Crows (sorry Melly, they fucking suck)
Barenaked Ladies (any song not that one)
Goo Goo Dolls
Alanis Morissette
Gin Blossoms

That's from the first third of the damn thing. I've not mentioned the half dozen Stone Temple Pilots songs or the endless Sublime songs or Green Day because they were among the more tolerable tracks in there. Consider what I'm saying there. The full import of it. You could have a playlist using just the bands I picked out there, and the end result would be scarcely imaginable. Try it for yourself because I sure as shit am not bound to.

What's disappointing me most is not the wasted promise of Pixies and Nirvana, pissed up the wall of commercial radio by the drunken fratboys of post-grunge alt-rock, it's that someone who writes about music remembers this stuff fondly enough to trawl Spotify to put together a 264 song playlist. Listening to it, not in the order of the playlist itself, but in the order that it's listed on that webpage, has been an exercise in protracted self-flagellation. I feel like it has given my soul internal injuries.

And the week started out so well, with discovery of Fontanelle by Babes in Toyland.

I don't know what can be learned from all this, except that dudes with guitars and bros and feelings about chicks really do love the sound and smell of their own farts enough to record them and their friends and enablers powerful enough and bellends enough to force you to listen to them.


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