Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Gen X-er Reminisces

SEATTLE- Pearl Jam has promised to donate $100,000 to several groups that focus on climate change, renewable energy and other environmental causes as part of an effort to offset carbon emissions the band churns out on tour.

"Wow," I thought, "Pearl Jam is still around. . . and touring?"
Pearl Jam was thee band back when I was really into bands about 14 or so years ago. Has it
been that long? Dude, I'm gettin' old.

Remember the whole grunge movement? I wore flannel shirts, baggy T-shirts, chunky, working-class type boots and I even grew my wavy hair out all Eddy Veder-esque.
Is Pearl Jam the only grunge band left?

Nirvana-suicide; Soundgarden-broke up; Alice in Chains; overdose. Who else was there? I can't even remember now. That was way back when music came in CD form and I've long since sold the mediocre ones for drugs.

I remember, laughingly, that back then, every town was about to become the 'next Seattle'.
I was living in Salt Lake City in 1995 and attending alot of live shows when some grunge-drunk local told me that Salt Lake was about to become the next Seattle.
Poor guy, he was so sincere. Unfortunatley for the local SLC bands, Salt Lake was about to become the next Salt Lake. Musically that means Michael McLean and the MoTab, not The Jack Mormons despite their totally cool name.

From 1996-1999, I listened to 3 bands almost exclusively: Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction and Sublime. By then, I knew what I liked and wasn't interested in keeping up with the scene anymore.
(Speaking of Jane's Addiction: I am ever so pisssed at how Dave Navarro turned out. You could have been like Perry, man, but now you're just another cheese-ball celebrity.)

In 2000, I met Stephen Madsen in the basement of the house I was renting. He was the only guy I knew with a beard. He turned me onto the Grateful Dead and convinced me that all cool people live in Oregon.

All this talk about old bands has me feeling terribly nostalgic. I shall now blow the dust off "Nothing's Shocking," and be more like the ocean.


At 5:58 PM, Blogger a.m. said...

Having lived in the Midwest during this time, my experiences are completely different (and tinged with too much pop music, I must admit). Having lived in the western part of the U.S., I bet you've got some great stories.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Gigi said...

I remember grunge. I had my brother's too long levi silver-tabs (frayed at the cuffs, and with holes in all the right places), a white tank-top, black doc marten knock-offs, and a flannel around my waist. That was my unofficial uniform. Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Everclear, Bush, Candlebox, Alanis (before she hit the pop charts). KNRK 94.7 was the alternative rock station in Portland, and we still had to explain to people what "alternative rock" was. I carried a Crown Royal bag everywhere I went: my cigarettes, matches, pot or shrooms, and whatever else I didn't want my parents to find were in there. That was before drug-sniffing dogs in the high schools, thank goodness. The year before I started high school they got rid of the "smoking lounge", but there were still plenty of teachers who would let you bum a smoke. I usually had smokes back then, because a pack of Marlboro reds was only $1.19. Sometimes Chevron had 5 pack for 5 bucks. Nirvana's "Nevermind" album was the most profound thing we'd ever heard, though Jane's Addiction had some pretty good shit, too. We'd heard of Meth, but it was a Hawaiian problem. It hadn't reached the mailand yet. The worst tweakers we knew were the freaks strung out on Crank. We were all so pround to be in the northwest, where ALL the cool people came from. People were so jealous when I told them I'd been born in Seattle, even though I moved away when I was two. Seattle was the center of the universe. I desperately wanted my eyebrow pierced. Henry Weinhard's was THE beer. Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" was tied with Metallica's "Enter Sandman" for the coolest music video of all time. Princess Di and John Denver were still alive. Women were dying in Afghanistan, but the world didn't care yet. We were all going to join the Peace Corps and move to Africa. After we backpacked through Europe. Sexual Harassment was a new concept. I couldn't wait to turn 18 so I could vote Socialist, and change the world. How could I have forgotten so many things that were so crucial to me at the time?


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