For the most part, radio in the U.S. plays crap. There's some good stuff out there, but you'd never know it. That ends right now.

From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just Before it Goes Downhill: MixTape Tuesday Hits the 90s

The 90's, Part 1. The decade when music officially started going down the shitter. Radio was the first. Slowly but surely any radio station that had programmers who thought outside the box, was either devoured by corporate chains and told what to play, or succumbed to low listenership, as pop and techno along with some grunge took over. Please hold your emails, I fully admit I do not worship at the altar of Curt Colbain. I'll grant he was good, but was his best behind him when he killed himself? We will never know. For my money, I'll take Michael Stipe anyday.

This was the decade that gave us such truly memorable crap such as the Macarena, MMMBop, U Can't Touch This and Whomp. I rest my case.

Anyway, I hadn't started getting heartburn from listening to the music just yet, that really began as the decade ended, but it was a decade where you had to really look for good music instead of just being able to hear it every time you turned on the radio.

So for Jen's Twisted MixTape Tuesday, Part 1 of the 90's, I've come up with what were some of the best of what was out there.

"I like a good beer buzz, early in the morning." How can you not love a song with a lyric like that? Sheryl Crow broke out with a song which could basically be a Mission Statement for a lot of us.

"All I Wanna Do"


R.E.M. were brilliant. End of story. Take your pick of seven or eight possible choices, but I'll go with what I think is the strongest.

"Losing My Religion"


At the age of forty, one of my favorite female singers showed all the boys how it's done, when in 1990, she won three Grammy awards for what would be considered her comeback album.  In 1989, Bonnie Raitt released Nick of Time... which was and is still totally kick-ass. Hard to choose which song to go with, so let's just go with something called...

"Love Letter"


Time to have a little fun. If you're looking for an earworm along with some real fine harmonica playing, and who doesn't want that... I give you John Popper and Blues Traveler with...

"Runaround"


Over the years Carlos Santana has had many vocalists. In 1999, Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20 was the front man on a song he co-wrote. It was a huge hit, winning three Grammy Awards and was Billboard's #1 song for twelve weeks. Deservedly so, it's a great collaboration.

"Smooth"


Though he died in 1990, one year later his album The Sky is Crying was released. On it was one hell of a version of a Jimi Hendrix song, which if you've read this blog long enough, you know I believe it's hard to find a bad version of it. Stevie Ray's is superb.

"Little Wing"


So I'm only one over the official list of five. Thanks Jen, you run one loud and rowdy joint... I feel so at home.

Jen Kehl

26 comments:

  1. Yes! Spot on, Kat. There was crap in previous decades to be sure, but this was when things really started to fall apart. Payola was in full force at the stations and while there were still a proliferation of indie labels, they still didn't have the distribution or or leverage of the majors and bands saw little to no money. Of course, later they were all scooped up by the majors, which merged and now what we are left with are about 3 major label conglomerations, each with a very small roster of BIG name acts and everyone else - of which there are few - gets a career on a shoestring. Don't get me started. Too late. ;) I really liked your picks. Sheryl Crow. She's got some real gems.I like her. She's a talented musician. I think her albums are pretty hit and miss - a few good tunes and the rest kind of throwaway. But I really like her and I hope I get to see her live at some point. REM's a favorite as is Bonnie Raitt. Oh and Stevie Ray Vaughn - I had a guitar teacher who taught me some Stevie Ray. Of course I sucked but it was fun! haha Yep - radio sucks now so thank god for pandora and sirius xm!

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    1. I feel the same way about Sheryl Crow, like her but most of her stuff... meh. In fact I feel the same way about most of the list. It's good, it's not great. Except for Bonnie & Stevie Ray, I could take all the rest off my playlist and not be upset. Just the way I feel about the decade. Thanks Linda.

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  2. Nice list! I listened to SRV's Little Wing version so much, my roommate's hid my CD for a week to get a break from it. The Blues Traveler and Santana I can still listen to often.

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    1. Thanks, next week it will be hard to finish off the 90s. Not much left for me in that decade I'm afraid.

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  3. Thanks Kat... Awesome list!!! That Bonnie Raitt album was amazing. Carlos is so "smooth." Love Sheryl. But, man-o-man... that 7 minutes of SRV is just flat out spectacular. Wow!!! So enjoyed that. He was special.

    Enjoyed, Slu

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  4. Indeed he was, and that's not even the best live version out there. I couldn't find the one I was looking for... just insanely good. Bonnie is one of my all time favorites, she's hung in a long time and gets better. Have you heard her latest Slipstream? Really good too, wonderful cover of Gerry Rafferty's Right Down the Line. Recommended.

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  5. Can I just say that I LOVED your intro? As Linda said, "spot on." And in all honesty, this was the decade which would end with me looking towards the past - instead of the future - for my next musical obsession.

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    1. you are too kind. but I'm beginning to notice everyone likes my writing when I get pissy. The 90s were the real limit for me as far as commercial radio. this was when I started looking elsewhere for good sounds. it's about when I started getting into the blues. so at least that was one good thing about it.

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  6. YOU STOLE MY NEXT WEEK'S POST!!!! I was at Stevie Ray's very last concert, the one where his helicopter crashed. I remember it like it was yesterday. I live about 40 minutes from Alpine Valley and loved Stevie Ray so much. Next week, I will STILL include the song because it was part of my plan. AND can I say, thank goodness you brought the good music? You said what I have been thinking all along. The 90's were it. THE END of good music as far as I am concerned. I wanted to make 90's and 00's a one parter only, but was vetoed by the group. I just can't stand the whiney, why me crap, and the boy bands... ugh. As I mentioned in my post I didn't listen to radio at all in the 90's and was forced to listen to the pop junk at the CD store. I am so happy you brought some good music, I feel the need to stay impartial with my opinions for mixtape so, can you PLEASE do it again next week? You know there must be 5 more out there ;-)

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  7. wow, you have to write about that concert and your emotions after. I love SRV, one of my top 3 guitarist, love that man.

    I had a few more on the list for the 90s that I didn't put on, but really, it's kind of thin. I know everyone loves all the nirvana, oasis and all that.. it wasn't my taste. I will try like hell to get another five for next week, but for ssomeone who grew up in the 60s and 70s... can you even imagine what an assault on the ears the 90s sound had become. the boy bands... don't even get me started. but thanks for being a super host as usual.

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    1. You know what's crazy? My uncle (he's 71) is an alternative musician in San Francisco. He even invented an instrument just to play on the original Star Wars soundtrack, I always looked up to him because he was living his dream BUT he loves current music. Whatever that may be. We are constantly arguing about music. I'm always like Steely Dan, now they were musicians and he's like "come on Jennifer, Nirvana really had something" and then I'm like "wait, are we related? because that stuff is crap." the end

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    2. oh that's funny. goes back to what I always say. "it doesn't have to be good for you to like it and just because you like it doesn't make it good."

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  8. As one of the grunge teens, my heart fell a bit at the beginning. I wore black after Kurt died. But I'll agree with REM and Blues Traveler all day, any day! And everyone loves SRV.

    Back then all I had to listen to was the radio, MTV, and the used CDs my brother and I spent all of our allowances on in the pawn shop. Our selections were all over the place (a mix between our parents music, what the radio said was cool and weird randomness we picked up somewhere).

    I totally can see you feeling that way if you grew up in the 60s and 70s. It's the way I feel about a lot 00s music and definitely 99% of what's on the mainstream airwaves now.

    Even though you likely won't enjoy any of the songs on my angsty list, here it is anyway :)
    http://melstepp01.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/twisted-mix-tape-tuesday-music-of-the-90s-part-1/

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    1. Melissa, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Different taste is what makes music what it is. I actually did like the Soundgarden song and the Faith No More isn't bad. The rest aren't my taste, but I appreciate you putting them out there for me to taste. I didn't see your link over at Jen's site. You should link up so everyone else can check out your list too.

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  9. slim pickings in 90s,like most of your choices.never got or understood cobain-back in my day,jeans&flannel shirts were standard.what the hell happened to talent post 80s?seems musicians(if one can call them musicians)stopped giving a fuck about substance.power chords,electronic crap,mindless simple crap.if you look hard enough there are some gems out there.good luck.good job kath

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    1. thanks, In checking out a lot of the other links for this week, there's a lot of stuff out there that I really hate. haha. but, each to his own.

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  10. Ohhhh I do like your Santana choice.

    See, now for me, the 90's were really the start of it all. Here in the UK we had some absolute classics then. The noughties weren't all that great, but now we're into the (tenzies?) it's ok again. And from there I've travelled back into the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, learning new gems and new wonders.

    I can now call myself eclectic :)

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    1. eclectic, perfect. I feel everyone should be that way. It's all about taste. What you feel is good and just tasting new music. Because sometimes you might go back for more. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. excellent 'stir up the crowd' post! lol

    I liked SRV a lot, but the funny thing about Hendrix (and I suspect that SRV fans will take exception) but it seems that nearly everyone (with the exception of Jeff Beck) who has done a good cover, have their own style of playing altered, ever so slightly. Maybe this should not be so earth-shaking an insight, given how fundamental Hendrix is to the genre.

    I will maintain there were a lot of secret gems to be found in the 90's. Not necessarily in the broadly popular artist category, but in the little corners, maybe even one song.

    great Post.

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    1. I agree that the secret gems are found in the corners. I think there were better songs than there were albums in whole. I have a couple stored up for next week.

      Wouldn't it have been a perfect night to have SRV and Jimi trading licks onstage doing Little Wing. Maybe someone will Mash it.

      Thanks for coming by Clark.

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  12. the number one search term for my blog can beat up your blog is Kurt Cobain sychophant. I may get that tattoed on my body. I used your Christmas gift card (thank you again) to buy a book about seattle music and a nirvana CD. so, that's friendship dude.

    My wife doesn't get the 90s rock stuff much either and she's seven years younger than me. It either spoke to you or made me do , huh?

    Little Wing makes me tear up...beautiful

    hugs

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    1. hugs back, glad the card went to something you love.

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  13. YES! You put REM on your list...I love that song! GREAT LIST!

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  14. Yes, REM were one of the best things about that decade musically. Thanks so much for coming over to my place.

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  15. After reading the post and reading all of your comments you have successfully made me feel like I'm 12. That is all. :)

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  16. Well everyone always makes me feel 75, so there's that. One of the good things of being my age is that I saw the progression of rock & roll, saw how blues influenced all the early bands and synthesizers took over and killed real musicianship.

    If you are having a 13th BD party soon, please invite me. hugs.

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