Tuesday “News:” 90s-Related Media I Discovered Last Week

I have been bad at blogging over the past few weeks. However, I have not stopped taking in 90s media, and now I am ready to tell you all about it. So, here is three weeks worth of 90s discovery:

1. Seinfeld Tracker

When we left off, I had finished season 8. Now that the end is in sight, I am pacing my way through season 9, savoring each episode. My plan is to continue to take it slow, even though I am tempted to finish the show in one night. So far in season 9 I have seen: “The Butter Shave,” “The Voice,” and “The Serenity Now.” I am astounded at how the episodes have maintained their quality at the beginning of the final season. I would even say the show continues to improve. “The Voice” was my favorite of the three. In it, Jerry imagines his girlfriend’s belly button talks to him  when she falls asleep, and the gang mimics it all episode:

Kramer also resurrects Kramerica Industries and fakes its legitimacy to secure an intern from NYU, Darren, who manages his daily affairs:

2. Simpsons Tracker

Over the past few weeks, I took my Seinfeld energy and directed it at The Simpsons. I finally finished season 1, and I am two episodes into season 2 (“Bart Gets an F” and “Simpson and Delilah”). These episodes were both way more hilarious than anything I saw in season 1, and I can tell the show’s form is beginning to take shape. I will continue to watch at a rapid pace.

Homer proudly puts Bart's D- history test on the fridge.

Homer proudly puts Bart’s D- history test on the fridge next to his first grade drawing of a cat.

3. Green Day/Dookie

Cover art for Green Day's 1994 album, Dookie, depicting what it will do to your brain when played for any duration

Cover art for Green Day’s 1994 album, Dookie, depicting what it will do to your brain when played for any duration

At some unfortunate point in the past few weeks I listened through Green Day’s Dookie as a part of working through Rolling Stone’s top 40 albums of 1994. For 39:38, I felt like I was somewhere between a mild nightmare and purgatory. I was already so familiar with the hits (“Basket Case,” “When I Come Around,” “Welcome to Pardise,” “Longview”) that I was exhausted by them, and the rest of the album felt like I was getting attacked by Hurricane Dookie, a storm of drum-pounding, hyper-nasal monotony. I understand if in 1994 some people thought this was a kind of innovation, but I’m sure we can all admit now that it was just mediocrity all along, right? The funny thing is, I somehow heard Green Day in the 90s and remember hating their sound. I don’t know how that impression stuck with me, but as a nostalgic 29 year old man, I can finally affirm that my former self was, at some point, right about something. Thus we have Green Day to thank for proving that a kind of objectivity is possible. Seriously, does anyone like Green Day?

4. In Memoriam: Jeff Buckley/Bradley Nowell

May 25th and 29th were the anniversaries of the deaths of Bradley Nowell, front man of Sublime, and singer Jeff Buckley respectively. I managed to write a short post about Jeff on the anniversary of his death. Both died tragically, Bradley of a heroine overdose and Jeff by getting run over by a boat during a night’s swim. Both also died in their 20s and well before their prime. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed discovering their legacy through the music they left.

5. Seattle/Kurt Cobain post 

A few days ago I posted the second part of my six part series about my trip to Seattle for the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Each post in this series is structured as a narrative that follow each day I spent in the Pacific Northwest. I began the second day of my trip in Seattle and visited Aberdeen, Kurt’s hometown, on the way to imbibe in Portland. Each post has been quite an undertaking, so it will be a few months before I get through the series. Good thing I’m enjoying it!

Tuesday “News:” A Recap of 90s Media I Discovered Last Week

be happy

                                              Kramer doing his thing

For those of you who recently started reading this blog, every Tuesday I write a post recapping 90s related media I discovered in the previous week. I do other posts about bands, Seinfeld eps, movies, etc, but Tuesdays are devoted to showing where The 90s Project stands in real time. I put “news” in quotes because most media I discover is news to me but not to most people.

I was a bit low on 90s intake last week, but here’s what I found time for:

1. Seinfeld Tracker

I’m still in the middle of season 8. Last week I only managed to watch “The Fatigues” (ep 6) and “The Checks” (ep 7), where I learned that Jerry made it big in Japan:

2. Rolling Stone Article 

rolling stone

I’m not sure when it was written, but last week I found an article (via Q101’s FB page) titled: “1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative’s Greatest Year.” Until I read it, I had no idea how incredible 1994 was for alternative music. Some of my favorite 90s albums were released that year: Sixteen StonePurple, Superunknown, Nirvana UnpluggedGrace, and The Blue Album. There are plenty of others on this list that I need to listen through: VitalogyThe Downward SpiralDookieBettyThrowing CopperPisces Iscariot, etc, and I still haven’t hardly touched: Beck, R.E.M., Live, Oasis, Sonic Youth, Alice in Chains, or Nine Inch Nails. I’ve got some work to do, but this list is a good reference point.

3. The 90s Project on Spotify 

90s project

While I’m talking about music, I keep a running Spotify playlist of 90s audio-nostalgia. Those who use Spotify can readily access it. If you don’t know about Spotify and you listen to a lot of music, it would behoove you to do some investigating.

4. Kurt Cobain Documentary

Today I ran across a tweet by Kurt Loder with a trailer for a documentary called “Soaked in Bleach” that accuses Courtney Love of murdering her husband. This conspiracy theory is nothing new, but what’s interesting is the people interviewed: Tom Grant, a private investigator Courtney hired to find her missing husband in early April 1994, Norm Stamper, Seattle’s police chief at the time of Kurt’s death, Forensic Scientists, journalists, etc. The doc claims that the Cobains were in the middle of a divorce, and Kurt was in the process of taking Courtney out of his will. She allegedly killed Kurt and forged his suicide note just before she lost the estate. I don’t buy any of it, but I’m a sucker for conspiracy theories, and it appears to be well done:

5. The 90s Project Reconsidered 

Last week I wrote a lengthy post where I laid out the direction I hope this blog headed (and clarified a few roads I do not want to travel down). It had by far the most views and interactions of any post to this point. I am encouraged that hopefully The 90s Project does not have to be a solo venture but can create a place where we talk together about faith, culture, and story.