Madness in pop culture land: It’s all about the ‘90s, sadly


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As I was combing over the rack of new CDs at KAFM HQ, prepping for my next set of shows, one particular jewel case caught my eye.

No, it wasn’t the rocking Black Keys album or the dub step sounds of Austra. It wasn’t even Noel Gallagher’s latest offering of tunes that sound exactly like Oasis but isn’t exactly Oasis.

It was something far more menacing and destructive.

It was ... Spin Doctors. No missprint here. The latest album to get the anniversary edition upgrade is “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” first released in 1991. To paraphrase one of Spin Doctors’ “classic” lyrics, I hope you read that line and it pissed you off. Come on. Who the hell demanded that as a rerelease?

This insidious act has led me to think that hot nostalgia for 2012 is aimed directly at the 1990s. That’s right, we’re only a couple of months away from tying flannel shirts around our waists and standing in line to watch “Titanic,” this time in 3D!

All the signs are there, clear as Crystal Pepsi.

Madonna is playing the Super Bowl. No Doubt is getting back together. Somehow, Fatboy Slim is just as popular now as when his 1998 masterpiece “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” dropped.

Take the recently released, and totally awesome, Coachella Music Festival lineup as further evidence. Coachella serves as a musical bellwether for the rest of the year. This April they’ve got three days worth of performers, many of whom dominated the 1990s.

Pulp, which languished in relative obscurity for nearly 20 years before breaking big with its 1995 album “Different Class,” will be there. So will indie hermit Jeff Mangum. Mangum is the creative force behind Neutral Milk Hotel and the greatest indie album ever recorded, 1998’s “In An Aeroplane Over the Sea.”

Reuniting specifically to play at Coachella are Swedish hardcore punks Refused. Coachella marks the group’s first performance since breaking up in 1998. The band sounds genuinely excited about playing together again, promising on its website to “do it over, do it right. For the people who’ve kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes.”

The same, perhaps, cannot be said for the hardcore band At the Drive In. Like Refused, At the Drive In will re-debut at Coachella. This could be train wreck of a reunion, as the members still seem to dislike each other even after an 11 year hiatus.     

Those bands are nice and all, but the ultimate ‘90s throw back has got to be Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, who close the festival as the main headliners. This is actually ‘90s nostalgia I’m looking forward to.

I was 10 years old when Dre’s “The Chronic” came out. That SoCal rap turned my buddies and me into little fifth-grade G’s. We used to listen to that album with the volume barely turned up so our parents wouldn’t hear.

I guess every decade enjoys a resurgence, now is time for the ‘90s.

I’m not exactly pumped for this trend but if “Two Princes” comes on, well, of course I’m going to listen. That’s what I say, now.


David Goe is a programmer for KAFM 88.1 Community Radio. His show airs at 9 p.m. the first Friday and first Saturday of each month. You can email Goe at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter at @David_Goe.


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