The 90’s are back!

by wimemama

The 90’s are making a comeback in fashion, film and television.

Netflix has brought back Full House (1987-1995). Boy Meets World has a spin-off show, Girl Meets World.

There was a re-make of Total Recall and another film in the Jurassic Park franchise.

’90s Trends That Made a Comeback

Get The Look: 90s Style Icons

What 90’s influences do you see around you?

What were your favorites from the 90’s in fashion, music and entertainment?

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195 thoughts on “The 90’s are back!

  1. I was too old to wear most of those styles the first time the 90s came around.

  2. Seeing Bill Clinton last night made me nostalgic for the 90s. I remember reading wsj.com at work c. 1998 and noting that all the news was good: “Economists meet to discuss pending payoff of national debt.” “Stock market races to record high” Twas a golden age…

  3. In fact, that top list illustrates the whole problem with 90’s fashion : total lack of originality, and even more so, lacking a defining look. DD’s camp has done 70’s and 80’s days – those are easy. What would a 90’s day entail. There were no iconic looks.

    Chokers and high platforms were defining looks of the 70’s, and the only reason you saw them in the 90’s was for a ironic retro look.

    As noted above, Doc Martens and leather were late 70’s into the 80’s.

    Jellies were 80’s (http://www.liketotally80s.com/2007/01/80s-jelly-shoes/)

    I will agree with the Scrunchies and floral dresses. I had forgotten all about the floral dresses, but when I saw the photo, the memory came back. I used to play a lot of oldtime music in the 90’s, and I recall all the women at the festivals wearing those things.

  4. MM – 90s – flannel shirts and dad’s cardigan. big t-shirts (that even changed color in the sun), even bigger pants (JNCOs anyone?). Tight shirts (belly shirts) for the ladies with wide leg jeans so you showed you had an itty bitty waist, but probably legs the size of tree trunks. And platform shoes.

    Clueless – that is the iconic 90s style. Or Nirvana.

  5. Or you could dress like the cast of Empire Records… (a personal favorite… now I want to watch the movie again…)

  6. I still listen to a lot of 90s music. The alt rock station does 90s weeks and I love it. We have a habit of leaving on the 90s station on the Music Choice channel. But I spent most of my formative years in the 90s. I do have to admit, the 80s also have a lot of good music and fashion memories, but I was influenced by older family members.

    I really don’t miss the clothes from the 90s. Though it’s fun to have shirts that change color in the sun (thanks Del Sol). And little boys shorts look like JNCOs on my son because he’s short for his size, so the wide leg shorts look like short pants on him.

    TV: X-files, SNICK (Saturday Night Nickelodeon – Clarissa Explains it All, Roundhouse, Ren & Stimpy, Are you Afraid of the Dark), Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, the Cosby Show, Saved by the Bell, Rugrats, The Nanny, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Daria…

  7. By the 90s Doc Martens had segued into a new market niche, for lesbians. http://kittyradio.com/community/threads/can-i-wear-doc-martens-and-not-look-like-a-lesbian-i-need-winter-boots.43651/

    Mooshi, I think that all the time when I hear things about “90s kids” or reliving the 90s, but those kids seem to have something specific in mind. I was in grad school, drinking up the deCerteau, David Harvey, Walter Benjamin, and colonial archives. Only fashion thing I noticed than was an amazing pair of 70s-influenced pants that I *will* wear when I lose the weight!

  8. Saacnmama, I knew a lot of lesbians in the 80’s, and trust me, they were wearing Doc Martens or similar back then too.

  9. Rhode, isn’t the 90s the era of “Great Wall of Sound” music? Not for me, tyvm.

  10. Seaquest DSV and the Dinosaurs were fun. We still say “not the mama” all the time.

    Northern Exposure, MST3K. ER. Chicago Hope.

    Sports Night is still a favorite in our house (though it was from 1998-2000).

    Man I watched a lot of TV… curse of no DVR – you watched what was on…

  11. Mooshi,

    But parachute pants hit their heights during the MC Hammer/Vanilla Ice era of the early 1990s.

  12. My HS boyfriend had a pair of parachute pants, 1984. But they did not look like harem pants, like the picture Rhett posted.

  13. Saved by the Bell was also very 90s.

    Also, is anyone else troubled by the fact that Mario Lopez looks younger now than he did as a teenager.

  14. delias reminds me of many fashions I forgot- I feel like I’m back in HS

    I loved the kerchiefs (#28) and everyone wore dresses like this one

  15. Saac – I don’t know. When I heard “great wall of sound” I thought of the Grateful Dead.

    The 90s gave us some pretty epic bands who are still around, or are still having their music played – Nirvana (now Foo Fighters), Green Day, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Beck, Daft Punk, Collective Soul, Barenaked Ladies… the list goes on.

    The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” was just used in Star Trek Beyond (much to the delight of DH and I).

    What makes 90s music great was how eclectic it was. You could go from folk rock ala Sister Hazel and Toad the West Sprocket, to alt rock like Beck, to grunge like Nirvana or No Doubt, to hard rock like RHCP, and Metallica (yes, they started in the early 1980s, but hit it big with Enter Sandman, probably their most played song). I haven’t even hit the pop songs – Britney Spears, Spice Girls, TLC, Madonna (yes another 80s queen, but again Vogue brought her into the 90s), Ace of Base, the list goes on.

    It’s all about filtering. I missed hundreds of artists, some of whom are played in my house.

    I’m sure other decades were just as eclectic, but the late 80s and 90s were my formative years, so I know the best about those years.

  16. Wine – I still own a sweater from Delia’s. My grandmother gave it to me for my 18th birthday. It’s big, hunter green with a cream stripe through the center. I still wear it on the weekends.

  17. #19 looks like something I would have worn, I don’t think I ever bought anything from delias, but DEB at the mall had similar stuff , I shopped there

  18. Rhett, your 90’s grunge picture is how I remember the 0’s. It was also the era of limp straight hair, probably a reaction to the excesses of 80’s Big Hair.

  19. Rhett’s 90’s grunge was def 90’s

    this was the alternative look when I was in MS and HS complete with greasy hair

  20. Baseball caps. Every male student I had wore a baseball cap. They were the hoodies of the 90’s

  21. I lived in Manhattan for the first half of the 90’s. What I remember were the little floral dresses (I bought one in 1990 in fact), limp hair, and black girls who wore enormous goldplate earrings, and had uberlong fingernails. In the late 90’s, the teeny tiny eyeglass style emerged (I saw it first in Germany in 1995) which dominated eyewear until about 4 years ago. Sex and the City appeared in the late 90’s, and ushered in the uber-femmy chick thing that dominated the 00’s. But mainly I feel like there was this big gulf of nothingness between about 1992 and 1998.

  22. “Rhett’s 90’s grunge was def 90’s”

    Absolutely!! Giant flannel shirts, giant t shirts, giant pants, Doc Martens, Chuck Taylors, “skate” shoes like Vans, baggy jeans, Birkenstocks (maybe with wool socks). Look at these photos from the 90’s music fests. Lots of baggy light jeans/jorts, massively oversized t shirts, flannels tied around the waist in the heart of summer (used as an accessory in the 90’s!), skate-inspired sneakers, etc.

    Check out the photos here of 90’s music fests. I remember that 90’s style very well.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/20/music-festival-photos_n_7342876.html

    I think Rhett’s “California” picture looks very Saved by the Bell/Beverly Hills, 90210 which are also classic 90’s, just a different kind of look. There’s also the hip-hop 90’s, but even Snoop Dogg was wearing a gigantic flannel shirt in 1994.

    http://www.thecoli.com/threads/snoop-doggy-dogg-on-the-arsenio-hall-show-back-in-94-appreciation-thread.230951/

    I love 90’s music of all kinds. Totally agree with Rhode’s analysis. One of the kids in my office referred to Pearl Jam as “oldies” the other day, and I died a little inside. (after admitting, that yeah – they peaked when he was an infant)

  23. The 90’s was when I gave up on rock music for the second time. The first time was the early to late 70’s, when as an angst filled tween and teen, I decided that mere pop music could never speak to me. After spending 5 years with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, I emerged to discover punk rock. I spent the next 15 years totally into the music scene (DH played in a number of moderately successful punk bands), and then sometime around 1993 or so, I just gave up. I don’t know why. I listen now to Nirvana, and they were perfectly OK. I think I just felt that there wasn’t anything new to say. I think the last music scene I was really into was the NY noise scene (Live Skull, Swams, Sonic Youth) and I liked Public Enemy too, but then it seemed like nothing new was happening so I lost interest.
    Now of course, I WISH we had bands around like Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rock music today is so dead that there is no hope of resurrection. Maybe I was already sensing the death throes in the 90’s?

  24. rock music is not dead today, you must be talking about pop music if you think there isn’t any good rock in 2016

  25. Parachute pants and Hammer pants are two different things. Parachute pants from the 80’s, Hammer pants from the 90’s. Different silhouette, different fabric, totally different.

  26. MM – I think your feelings about the 90’s have more to do with your age than anything else. Of course you like the music/styles of your own era better. Almost everyone does. Who has the angst and time to connect with music better than HS and college kids?

  27. Thirtysomething ended in 1991 but that was iconic for some of us in the target demographic. I had earnings like the ones Hope always wore. And a colleague like Miles Drentell.

  28. winemama, name me some. We search all the time, especialy DH who says he really misses finding cool new bands. The last band to really wow me was Gogol Bordello, but that was a while ago. I really liked Woven Hand too, but they dated from the early 00’s

  29. Girls Shoshanna “Everybody knows the best music came out when you were in high school. “

  30. The National, the Decembrists, Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons. And Radiohead. Just to name a few current artists.

  31. Ivy – Temple of the Dog is reuniting for a tour this year to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of their album.

    Pearl Jam’s Ten was a fantastic album.

  32. Ivy, that is true. But one thing I find fascinating about today’s kids is that they do not have any generational music tastes. I see that in my college students, as well as my kids friends. In the 90’s, my college students were all into Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, as could be expected. But my college students now listen to music from every era and do not seem to be attached to anything recent. They know as much about the Beatles as about current bands. Have you noticed the fad for old band Tshirts? My DS1’s friends sport Paul McCartney tees! It seems to me that they are far more interested in and loyal to YouTube stars than to bands.

  33. Scarlett, Radiohead dates from the mid 90’s. Yes, I know they are still recording, but so are the Rolling Stones. I mean, who is NEW?

  34. I graduated from high school in the mid 90s. I wore lots of flannel shirts, doc martens, baby doll dresses, tiny shorts with body suits, prom dresses often had sequins. Fun times. I love the 90s on 9 channel on Sirius. Hearing Puff Daddy and the Notorious B.I.G. instantly makes me feel happy.

  35. I also briefly liked the Libertines. Fun junkie pop-rock. But that was over 10 years ago

  36. “But one thing I find fascinating about today’s kids is that they do not have any generational music tastes. I see that in my college students, as well as my kids friends. In the 90’s, my college students were all into Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, as could be expected. But my college students now listen to music from every era and do not seem to be attached to anything recent. They know as much about the Beatles as about current bands. ”

    they have love for the current bands and the old (or my age group does :)

    I think part of this is the digital music scene, itunes, youtube, streaming radio, sirius

  37. Radiohead is from the 90s too..

    And it depends on what rock you want… there’s also Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, Shinedown, 30 Seconds to Mars, Fall out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Imagine Dragons, AWOLNation, Lumineers, Walk the Moon,

    After 30 Seconds to Mars, the music becomes less hard rock and more mainstream.

    Beck just won a grammy, and Weezer still puts out new content. Both are on the alt rock station in heavy rotation around here

  38. Band of Horses is another fave of mine, Death Cab for Cutie, Houndmouth, Michael Franti , Florence & the Machine, Lissie

  39. Rhode – you have great taste!

    I finished City of Bones last night, need to pick up book #2

  40. Littlye tidbit – Bob Dylan played electric at the Newport Folk Fest in the 60s… Caused quite a ruckus. Jimmy Buffett returned the favor and played acoustic (and a Bob Dylan song!) when he was at NFF about 5 years ago.

  41. Those music fest pis bring back a lot of memories. As does seeing all the kids headed to Lollapalooza this weekend.

    @MM- I will give you that at Lolla there are some headliners that are pretty old even though the crowd is pretty young overall. I saw RHCP play Lolla in 1992 for God’s sake! And what is Third Eye Blind doing there?

    http://www.lollapalooza.com/lineup/

  42. I liked Arcade Fire for a time, but haven’t liked their recent sound. I liked the entire Gypsy punk movement (Gogol Bordello, also Devotchka, Firewater, and Balkan Beat Box). I love bhangra beat, but that is pretty 90’s/early 00’s too. Oh, and the goth/cabaret style exemplified by Dresden Dolls. But none of this is especially new.

  43. I started watching old episodes of Ally McBeal. I used to really like that show before it jumped the shark. I dressed that way too.

    I loved and still watch Seinfeld. I thought Frasier was really funny too

    I really enjoyed ER, but I probably stopped watching after a lot of the main characters left the show.

    For fun, Beverly Hills 90210 ran through the 90s. You can see all of the fashion from start to finish on that show because I I think it ran for 9 or 10 seasons starting in 1990.

    I was always at work in a suit during the 90s. I don’t even remember what I wore on the weekends.

    I used to listen to a lot of REM in the 90s.

  44. I see Sun Ra and Brian Wilson on that lineup. Not 90’s of course, but pre-90’s!!! Sufjan Stevens has been around forever too.

  45. Has anyone mentioned Family Matters? There is a meme that says 90’s nerd, 2010’s hipster (Steve Urkel)

  46. I used to watch TGIF lineup every week, Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World

  47. We watched some old episodes of Friends in the hotel last week. I know DD has started to watch old episodes of Seinfeld and Friends. We stopped watching Seinfeld with DD because we think that she’s still young. Some of it is inappropriate if you’re watching with a child. For example, trying to explain shrinkage.

  48. I’m pretty oblivious to fashion but I did notice the roller coaster operator wearing authentic 1980’s Guess stone washed jeans with the zippers on the calves a couple weeks ago. I wore my own stonewashed jean shorts with the loops for wearing two belts to stain the deck. They’re probably not a fashion statement anymore.

  49. “with the loops for wearing two belts”

    WCE- when were these popular, I don’t remember ever seeing them

  50. Abercrombie was very popular when I was in late high school. I used to save my money from my after school job and buy a shirt from there. I loved REM. You all are making me nostalgic.

  51. second the Vampire Weekend vote

    Neutral Milk Hotel
    Fleet Foxes
    Cat Power

    From the 90’s — Coldplay, REM, TV on the Radio(?), Roxy Music, Aztec Camera

    Richard Thompson is still going strong, though the vocals are not the same without Linda.

  52. I was 45 in the mid 90s. I fell in love with Eddie Vedder when sang Masters of War at the 30th anniversary concert for Dylan, so even my one personal clearly 90s item is retro. My teenagers all had different musical tastes in that decade. The 80s are much more clearly defined in my mind in a pop culture sense. We got our first TV as a family in 83, so I had a thirst to satisfy.

    I have giant Polaroids of my children from 1987. My 13 year old is wearing Doc Martens and a Dead Kennedys T shirt. The kindergarten has a Ghostbusters lunchbox. And my poor girls are in coordinating Benetton sweaters.

  53. I am sorry guys, but REM was totally an 80’s band. They found their success through the college radio scene which was huge in the 80’s. Their first single was released in 1981. I consider them to be current with U2

  54. I asked the ‘saacster what he associates with the 90s–Fresh Prince. Seems solid to me.

    A current band I like is Alabama Shakes.

    Mooshi, acid rock did nothing for you? Anyway, it’s pretty funny that you went with the hugely popular folk music scene that had been going on for a while when you decided pop did nothing for you,.

  55. REM and U2 are definately 80s bands. Two of the very few concerts I went to in college.

  56. Coldplay

    I forgot he came in with the 90s. I associate him with the 2000s and 2010s.

    REM was another good one.

    Meme – I had Benneton barbie… We could never afford the clothes. What a treat for me when I went to Italy in HS. 16 year old me in an *actual* Benneton store on the Island of Capri. Still couldn’t afford the clothes.

  57. Ace Ventura may be my costume for this Halloween… And I have a desire to watch that again too. Movie weekend it is!

  58. Yes, their discography spans a very long time (81 to 11), but so does the Rolling Stones. REM was absolutely definitive for the 80’s. They were the poster band for the college radio scene. Their videos were constantly on MTV. Nowdays, I think of them, like the Stones, as from another era.

  59. As for why I chose purist folk – I was a kid, and looking to rebel. It was the era of Elton John, and Heart, and Wings. In my MS, no one had ever heard of Pete Seeger or Joan Baez or Buffy St Marie. That was enough for me.

    But once I discovered Patti Smith, whoosh, that was it for me. Goddess time.

  60. That’s like Nirvana forming into Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is a god.

    I’m trying to think of other bands that a member has gone on to have success in another band or solo…

    Nikki Sixx comes to mind.

  61. @MM – I forgot about Brian Wilson! He was a big draw.

    90210 was a silly show, but they were my age & grew up with them in a way. We watched the later years together all crammed into a dorm room with the people who had cable. Seinfeld is one of my favorite shows of all time. I liked Friends too, and that fashion in the early seasons is quintessentially late 90’s to me. Including the Rachel haircut which we all tried to emulate in college (and usually failed).

    MM – Is it when a band gets its start or when it is most successful? REM, The Cure and Depeche Mode were all active in the 80’s but really started filling arenas and selling multi-platinum records in the very late 80’s or early 90’s. REM’s first really big hit album was released in ’91 and all their biggest albums were in the 90’s (Monster, Out of Time, Automatic for the People). I do think of U2 as more 80’s than 90’s because they were so big in the 80’s. They were worldwide rock stars with Joshua Tree, and that was the heart of the 80’s.

  62. This is pretty entertaining. I guess it is how the 90’s will be remembered. On boomboxes: “It may be hard to find one of these, but thrift stores should have them in stock!” (I have one in my garage I could donate to the cause) The pictures of people dressing “90’s” really crack me up.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/candacelowry/essentials-for-throwing-a-totally-awesome-90s-party?utm_term=.omGmx9NDN#.rxXbml919

    Should I point out that Back to the Future was an 80’s movie? (see #4)

    What about 90’s movies? Silence of the Lambs. Forrest Gump (which was really incredible for its time with the special effects). I thought The English Patient was the most boring thing I had ever had to sit through, so I agreed with Elaine from Seinfeld on that one. I still love Fargo too.

  63. Should I point out that Back to the Future was an 80’s movie? (see #4)
    Definitely 80’s but the 3rd one was 1990

  64. Ivy, the Cure and Depeche Mode were HUGE in the 80’s. In fact, I didn’t even know that Depeche Mode continued to play after that. I think that those two bands especially reflect the 80’s – big hair, eye makeup, synthesizers.

    Most bands, stylistically, reflect the era in when they first became successful. Not always, but usually. REM falls into that camp. They were all over the place in the mid to late 80s

    OTOH, Nirvana and Pearl Jam were totally of the 90’s

  65. 90s were the first decade of adulting for me. And of course you remember more fondly the music that played at college or high school parties than what you listened to on the radio while pulling an all-nighter to get a brief out. But that said, some 90s favorites for me were Matthew Sweet, Material Issue, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Bragg, and some of the folk and trad I was then discovering like Connie Dover and the Four Bitching Babes compilations. And of course I was still listening to some of the the artists who I’d liked in the 80s and were putting out new stuff, like the aforementioned Cure and REM, not to mention Elvis Costello.

    The Decembrists are great, as are many of the other bands that have been mentioned. And many of them have albums you can get free through Amazon Prime music — I’m pretty sure the Decembrists, Fleet Foxes, and Death Cab for Cutie all do — so they’re easy to try out!

    My daughter has been listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran lately, and he seems pretty decent. Plus I quite liked his cover of The Parting Glass:

  66. The Offspring. The scream 90s hard rock to me…

    Movies – Wayne’s World, Empire Records, Clueless, Shawshank Redemption, a ton of Disney movies (Aladdin comes to mind, but I’m sure there were a dozen or so); Robin Hood Men in Tights; The American President (it’s so scary how relevant that movie still is… but it’s Aaron Sorkin)

    I’m pretty sure the movies that get the most replay in our house are from the 90s.

  67. movies – Titanic, Office Space, Little Women, Ever After, Virgin Suicides,Clueless, Schindler’s List, The Matrix

  68. I went to HS and college in the 90s. I loved those clunky shoes – from Doc Martens to Steve Maddens to those platform flip flops. They were comfortable and made me look taller! I almost broke my ankle a few times in those flip flops though. I also loved the look of the slip dress with the little T-shirt underneath. I’m rocking that look in a lot of pics from college. I had the Demi Moore haircut (from Ghost). Those were my cute granola girl days. We watched a lot of Must See TV – Seinfeld, Friends, X-files, etc. and epic movies like Dances With Wolves, Titanic and Legends of the Fall. We listened to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and girly bands like the Cranberries, Indigo Girls, and Sarah McGlachlan. Ah memories.

  69. Some of it is inappropriate if you’re watching with a child. For example, trying to explain shrinkage.

    Assuming she’s old enough to know that males have different genitalia than females, what’s inappropriate about telling her that the male member shrinks when it gets cold? Now explaining what being the master of your domain is or what being sponge-worthy means might be a little more difficult.

    But then we let our kids watch Archer so we’re probably a bit more lax than many parents.

  70. girly bands like the Cranberries, Indigo Girls, and Sarah McGlachlan

    Oh, yeah, I liked all those too. And Jane Siberry.

  71. OMG! We totally stalked Perry Farrell one weekend in LA. We were so embarrassing.

  72. Hip hop, reggae, ska were big in our house in the early 90s Didn’t notice those genres mentioned in the listing above, but I didn’t read every post.

  73. Well, I can tell you that “Jawaiian” was a big fad in Hawaiian music, and I couldn’t stand it. Not that I object to reggae per se, but this was mostly bad reggae, and it was crowding out our local musical traditions for a while in the 90s. Happily it faded.

  74. ah 90s ska… I still have a soft spot for Reel Big Fish, Brian Setzer, etc. Though Brian Setzer is more from that 90s movement to reinvent swing (and gave us Cherry Poppin Daddies, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy).

    If anyone’s in the area, the CT casino, Mohegan Sun, does free shows in their Wolf Den. Lots of groups from our childhoods play there… always fun shows.

  75. Ska, like the Specials? That was big in the early 80’s, though I was never into it.

  76. I’m pretty sure Boiled in Lead is still around, and there are other bands that have sprung up in a similar style, like Flogging Molly. MM, are you also familiar with Great Big Sea, which I think appeared around the same time as Boiled in Lead?

    Rhode, my favorite swing revival band was Squirrel Nut Zippers. All the hot jazz / swing style, plus that little bit of extra weirdness. Of course now that Andrew Bird has gone off on his own his style is more a lot of weirdness, with a bit of swing.

  77. MM, you were probably too busy working and shuttling kids, but Patti Smith had a free concert last week at Lincoln Center. I hope to catch another ’90s era performer that’s more my style next week when Dwight Yoakum performs there.

    During the 90s I was busy doing what many are you are doing now, juggling job and young kids. My style IIRC was suits with hefty shoulder pads. Seinfeld was probably the last TV series I ever watched regularly. Now my kids watch Seinfeld and Friends reruns.

  78. OK, what was I into musically in the 90’s? Well, I used to play fiddle around, and go to square dances. There was a whole clump of us around NYC in that era. This is a recent video – but not only is the music we played, but I played a lot with the banjo player in this clip

    I haven’t played in years :-(

  79. CoC, we wanted to go, but yeah, kid juggle got in the way. I saw her open for Bob Dylan once in the 90’s, and a few years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on Halloween. Back in the 70’s, who’d have thunk that she would end up playing at the Met?

  80. “curse of no DVR – you watched what was on”

    As I recall, VCRs were ubiquitous in the 90s.

  81. BTW, Mooshi, are you familiar with Hedningarna? Swedish / Finnish band doing a trad / rock / electronica mashup, started up around the same time as Boiled In Lead.

  82. “I started watching old episodes of Ally McBeal. I used to really like that show before it jumped the shark.”

    DS discovered Ally McBeal last summer and watched the entire series. I had him call me to watch the Angels and Blimps episode with him.

    BTW, isn’t the unisex somewhat prescient? Just what we need now.

  83. I have some Flogging Molly’s stuff. Of course, in that genre, my absolute favorite, from the late 80’s, was Camper Van Beethoven. Their reindition of O Death was just wonderful

    (hope this link works)

  84. “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has perhaps the best holiday album, though.”

    Nah, HM. Although she pre-dates the 90s, I’d have to go with Mahalia Jackson.

  85. PTM, the best of that group of bands was what I really meant. Best overall is so tied up with genre preference.

  86. I love Brave Combo. They’ve also got a great kids’ album, for those of you with younger kids!

  87. You’re right, that’s nice, MM. The Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhew version is great too if you’re not familiar with it:

  88. I spent most of the 90’s pregnant, so to me, 90’s fashion will always involve stirrup pants or sailor collars. Because pregnant women were still infants in the 90s.
    We are working our way through Frasier with DS3 this summer. That show is hilarious. I’m going to watch an Ally McBeal episode right now – I’d forgotten that show!

  89. “But one thing I find fascinating about today’s kids is that they do not have any generational music tastes. I see that in my college students, as well as my kids friends. In the 90’s, my college students were all into Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, as could be expected. But my college students now listen to music from every era and do not seem to be attached to anything recent.”

    That’s not what I see with my kids. They’re definitely listening to current stuff– I’m only familiar with artists like Adele, Sara Bareilles, and Lady Gaga because of my kids.

    DS is a bit eclectic and a lot a sponge, so he’s become quite familiar with the music I listen to, much of which is generational, and he’s added what he likes of it to his playlists. E.g., he was recently asking me about adding Al Green to a playlist.

    DD is much less into my music, and mostly listens to newer stuff, including a lot of K-pop.

  90. I saw Brave Combo a bunch of times live back in the 90’s. If I could have had any band for my wedding, I would have chosen them. Although we did quite nicely with a local polka band

  91. MM, this is a more obscure 90s favorite for me, and sadly they won’t be putting out any more albums, but are you familiar with the group Cafe Noir? I found a sampler of some of their stuff on YouTube. It seems to focus on the gypsy jazz part of their sound, but they weren’t purely that, and had a lot of original songs too:

  92. OT, I remember that neon colors were hot in the 90s. I really liked that, not just because I liked the colors, but because they were so practical for biking. I got a bunch of neon and neon-accented clothes to wear biking because it made more more visible and thus less likely to get run over.

    Those colors have come back recently, but this time I don’t think they’re going away. While I see a lot of DS’ friends wearing them, especially in sports (e.g., a lot of neon-highlighted shoes and neon shoelaces), and that trend may fade, I think those colors will live on on construction workers and senior citizens out for their morning walks.

  93. HM, if you like gypsy jazz, you might be interested locally in the Hot Club of Hulaville.

  94. winemama, double belts were in during the early ’90’s while I was in high school. After 4 children, the shorts stayed up fine without the belts. :)

  95. Hour, I love sailor collars, always have! I’m pretty sure I had stirrup pants in the 80s, but they must’ve lasted a while; my little sister had a maternity pair when she was pregnant in 1999. I tried to borrow her mat. clothes when I was preggo a couple years later, but all of her pants had such narrow calves they looked like jodpurs. My sister is just a couple inches shorter than me, but enough to avoid the jockey look. She did say she liked the narrow calves look because “at least one part of me is skinny!” That was not something I thought of.

    Meme, I listened to a lot of reggae, both rock steady old stuff and new, in the 90s. That’s when I was living in Berlin with Somalis and we went out a lot, to reggae and African music concerts.

    DD, I was just explaining shrinkage the other day! Not sure how we came to that topic, but Florida boy had no idea that could happen. I thought it was funny.

    I do think that kids now listen to more variety of music than we did. The idea of Black radio station and white stations (referred to as “pop” or “rock”, never “white”) was still going strong when I was growing up, so bands like Earth, Wind, and Fire were referred to as “crossovers”. MM, were the niche scenes you were involved in all white? I don’t recall any music from the 440s, 40s, or 50s while I was growing up. It’s like a hard stop was inserted around the end of the 50s/early 60s, and none of us listened to anything before that. Kids now listen to music back to that wall too, but there is a lot more time between now and then, so they listen to a bigger variety.

  96. Finn, yes, I like them.

    MM, one more for you — Weepers Circus together with Bratsch:

  97. As I recall, VCRs were ubiquitous in the 90s.

    Yeah, but they were primarily used for renting movies. Very few people were time-shifting shows on a regular basis. It was such a pain in the ass to set the VCR and remember to swap tapes or get to the right spot to set them up. It was mainly for those times when it was unavoidable that you’d miss one of your favorite shows.

  98. I meant ska and reggae as performed by actual Jamaicans. My son still has turntables and a huge collection of albums. After moving on from punk in his early teens, he became a hip hop record mixer and deejay in that milieu with an alliterative handle of which the second name was Blanco, if you get my drift.

  99. I was so happy when Blockbuster opened on the upper east side. Those tiny mom and pops were always out of every new release.

    My DH said that when we first started dating that I told him that I wouldn’t take any calls between 9 and 10 on Monday nights because I had to watch Ally. I did have a VCR, but I had to be home to change the channel on my cable box etc. it was a whole production to program it when my cable company still had an old fashioned box.

    I also couldn’t speak to DH when I was using AOL because my phone line had to “dial” in so I could use the Internet.

  100. “Very few people were time-shifting shows on a regular basis. ”

    Perhaps that’s reflective of a difference between people you knew and people we knew.

    A lot of people we knew used VCRs to record and watch daytime shows. A lot of sports fans I knew recorded games even when they watched them live, so they could go back and review critical or controversial plays or just re-watch them later.

    Judging also by how many 10-packs of blank tapes I saw getting bought at Costco, I think a lot of VCRs were used for recording.

  101. Yeah, my friends often recorded soap operas so they could watch them in the evenings.

  102. Meme, ah. I never really followed reggae, though I had a lot of friends in college who were totally into that stuff. Silly me, I always assumed ska was kind of Brit-reggae. I looked it up on Wikipedia, where it basically says that ska was Jamaican in the 60’s, British oriented in the 70’s, and more international after that. Is that true?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ska

  103. None of these 1990’s fashion choices have anything on Henry VIII’s armor codpiece in Leeds. Mr WCE sent an even better shot than the one here.

  104. My sister and mom haad the VCR/TV set up to record Days of Our Lives for most of the 80s. Watching it when she came home from school each day was one of their bonding rituals.

  105. I was an early adopter on VHS recordings but it was not user friendly. And yes I remember the excitement when you could talk on the phone and use the computer at the same time, which also meant no more accidentally disconnecting the computer by picking up the phone at the wrong time.

  106. Judging also by how many 10-packs of blank tapes I saw getting bought at Costco, I think a lot of VCRs were used for recording.

    As you said, it’s probably the difference in the people we knew. The people I knew who did a lot of recording were recording movies they would watch multiple times and/or pass to their friends, or sporting events like you mentioned. It wasn’t anything close to how it is today with DVRs where I don’t even know what day most of my shows are on because I watch everything recorded.

  107. It was a common enough use of the VCR to give rise to a Supreme Court case about whether timeshifting violated copyright (answer: no), but yeah, it was too much of a pain to do on any kind of large scale. I remember in a college reunion year book (red book with everyone’s account of current address / spouse / kids / job plus optional write-up of what’s up, every 5 years) from maybe the late 90s some huge number of people focused their entry on how much they loved their new TIVO. Comparable to the number who wrote about their new baby.

  108. I remember VCRs as being pretty friendly WRT programming to record the same time every day or every week. The big deal was remembering to change/rewind the tape. It was quite common for someone to miss a show because they forgot to put in a blank tape, or to accidentally record over something.

    It also didn’t lend itself to recording all the shows you’d miss while you were on vacation. It was a welcome advance in technology, but I’m not sad to see it replaced. BTW, I just heard this week that the last VCR manufacturer will be ending production.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brittanyhodak/2016/07/23/rip-vhs-worlds-last-vcr-to-be-made-this-month/#5adb48aa70a2

  109. I remember VCRs as being pretty friendly WRT programming to record the same time every day or every week. The big deal was remembering to change/rewind the tape. It was quite common for someone to miss a show because they forgot to put in a blank tape, or to accidentally record over something.

    The programming one the early ones was pretty cumbersome but when they went to the on-screen programming it was quite a bit easier. We had one of the real early models where you had to tune in the channels you wanted with the little knobs.

  110. “We had one of the real early models where you had to tune in the channels you wanted with the little knobs.”

    Not only did mine have those knobs, it also had a wired remote control.

  111. Mooshi – yes, that is correct. ska in the 90s was not a jamaican product any longer. And my comment was as much about the specific missing genres in the Totebagger list as about my family’s taste. I had a techno/rave kid as well. I note Country was not discussed much, other than Bluegrass or old timey music (a passion of mine as well), and I know some posters like mainstream Country (Milo must be on vacation). As for crossover/multicultural, baby boomers enjoyed R&B in the 50s, Soul in the 60s, Disco in the 70s. The divide started in the 80s when rap/hip hop got too explicit/violent/sexist for crossover, but by the mid 90s there were accessible hip hop artists such as Fugees (they were my younger son’s faves) and a new generation of classic pop artists such as Destiny’s child. Of course, there was also that great SNL skit after Beyoncé’s superbowl performance…

  112. The reason I’m familiar with ska is that one of my kids played in a ska band during his teen years. I actually like the music. We sometimes attended his gigs, where I particularly enjoyed seeing young fans in frenzied circles skanking, the distinctive dance often associated with that genre. To bring this into one of our favorite topics, I’m convinced this particular extracurricular activity combined with his other more academic and conservative ones were instrumental in some favorable college acceptances. I think it helped him stand out.

    90s country brought us Billy Ray Cyrus and Achy Breaky Heart. lol. One of my favorites mainstream country artists from that era was Shania Twain. Catchy music, imo.

  113. At one point in history, TV Guide printed a code next to a TV show, and if you had the right kind of VCR, you could just punch in the code and the show would record. That was dead easy. That lasted a few years.

    I’m just going to sit here and listen to Rubber Soul and sulk about how young everyone else is.

  114. This might interest people who were talking about no-tuition college ideas for the US. It mentions how many courses are available in English in each country, but doesn’t say in what other languages classes are offered. I mention this because of how intimidated I am by a friend who is teaching in Norway. I saw the multi-lingual reading list for one of his classes and asked which he uses for teaching–it depends on the topic, but for most classes it’s a combo of English, French, and Swedish! https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/countries-where-a-college-degree-doesnt-cost-a-dim/

    DD, weren’t most VCRs in between those two, with those little blue LED numbers and up/down arrows to push to program then?

  115. Meme, true. By the 90s, ska was pretty closely identified with racist punks in white shirts and Doc Martens. But there were and are still Jamaican ska and reggae bands on tour!

  116. At one point in history, TV Guide printed a code next to a TV show, and if you had the right kind of VCR, you could just punch in the code and the show would record. That was dead easy. That lasted a few years.

    I remember those. I never had one of the VCRs, though.

    DD, weren’t most VCRs in between those two, with those little blue LED numbers and up/down arrows to push to program then?

    Right, but they were still very cumbersome to program. There is a reason so many comedians made jokes about people having their VCRs flashing 12:00.

    What really killed VCRs for time shifting was the advent of digital cable boxes. Even “cable ready” VCRs couldn’t be used as tuners, and if you didn’t want to get one with an IR blaster, then you had to remember to put the cable box on the right channel, and you could only record that channel until you came home and changed it. That was right around when DVRs started coming out. We got one of the early Replay TV units, which was the competitor to Tivo, and IMO was a better product.

  117. “There is a reason so many comedians made jokes about people having their VCRs flashing 12:00.”

    Perhaps they can start making jokes about Subarus clocks.

    “What really killed VCRs for time shifting was the advent of digital cable boxes. Even “cable ready” VCRs couldn’t be used as tuners”

    That’s not my experience. We didn’t get a cable box until that became necessary for HDTV. I accumulated DVRs in which the play/record functionality was broken just so that I could use them as tuners in conjunction with older TVs with the rotary dials that only went up to channel 13 and didn’t have remote control.

    One of those VCRs that I got from a friend, without a manual, was pretty much impossible to set the clock. I remember finally figuring out the process, then writing it down and taping it to the VCR. Not long after that we moved, and in the process of unpacking, DW ripped that note off the VCR and threw it away. For the rest of its life, that VCR flashed 12:00.

    BTW, I think what killed VCRs was the combination of DVDs killing VHS for movie rentals, and DVRs killing it for time shifting and commercial skipping.

  118. Anon, thanks for the tip. I will suggest my kids join or form ska bands. :)

    Actually, I’m a bit disappointed that DS wasn’t able to continue with improv (comedy/acting improv, not musical improv) when he got to HS. He did in it MS and really enjoyed it, but had to choose between that and other ECs when he got to HS, after initially being one of a group of kids that established improv as a HS EC (a MS teacher set up and facilitated the MS improv club). Besides being something he enjoyed a lot, I thought it might also make him more interesting to college admissions officers.

  119. Somewhere around the late 90s/early 00s the cable companies began the shift to digital boxes, at least around here. That meant you had to set it up as “line-cable box-VCR-TV” instead of “line-vcr-cable box-TV”. This prevented you from watching one show while recording another, and had the previously mentioned issues of having the put the cable box on the channel you wanted to record.

    BTW, I think what killed VCRs was the combination of DVDs killing VHS for movie rentals, and DVRs killing it for time shifting and commercial skipping.

    DVDs were the bigger factor, because people used VCRs much more for movie rentals than time shifting. Most people didn’t even know they wanted time shifting until DVRs came out, and those didn’t gain widespread acceptance until the cable and satellite companies started making integrated boxes.

  120. “I’m just going to sit here and listen to Rubber Soul and sulk about how young everyone else is.”

    I just listened to this album at work yesterday! And then switched to the Glenn Miller channel on Pandora.

    Maybe I’m just an old soul… Or my family instilled a love of decades of music.

  121. The Natori “Feathers” underwire bra that someone posted about liking is on sale at Nordstrom’s for roughly half price.

  122. I read The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Flinchingly funny as one of the reviewers described it.

  123. I love a lot of older country music (Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash of course, and more, as well as alt-country (Bad Livers for example), but to my ear, current country music doesn’t sound like country. It just sounds like pop to me, the same as lots of “rock pop” acts.

  124. I can’t believe no one mentioned Garth Brooks. He was so popular early to mid-90’s. At least in my geographic area.

    I recently bought some black stirrup pants from Nordstrom Rack (on clearance, ~$10). I think they were more 80’s but I really like them. Guess that retro trend did not make a comeback…

  125. Too bad, I liked stirrup pants. They kept a nice line from hip to ankle.

  126. Garth Brooks just played two sold out shows at Yankee Stadium, so apparently his popularity is still going strong. His appeal crosses over to mainstream fans of various genres, from what I’ve seen first hand.

  127. This conversation reminded me of this piece from the NYT in 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/magazine/streaming-music-has-left-me-adrift.html?_r=0

    “If you liked the New York City squat-punk band Choking Victim, it was a sign you had flipped through enough records and endured enough party conversations to hear about Choking Victim. The bands you listened to conveyed not just the particular elements of culture you liked but also how much you cared about culture itself.
    Like blasted pecs or a little rhinestone flag pin, esoteric taste in music is an indicator of values. Under the heel of the major-label system in the early ’90s, indie taste meant more than liking weird bands. To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” and therefore to assert a certain kind of life.”

    I very much remember defining myself (and others) by music tastes – but the flattening of the music catalog has really changed that. I have loved Vance Joy for a long time, before anyone had heard of them – not because of the interesting music stores I visit, or my very cultured friends. I “discovered” them on my Pandora Monsters and Men station. For people who feel like “none of the music is special”, I think it is because none of the music reveals to the world how very special the listener is for having chose it.

  128. I have a Camry Hybrid. Who else has a hybrid of some kind? I was looking at new Camry hybrids, and man there’s a big price difference between standard and hybrid. And this time there’s no off-setting tax credit. Hm. Can’t decide how attached I am to hybrids.

  129. Rocky and others mourning the passing and non-resurrection of stirrup pants, could it be that innovations in fabric have made the stirrup unnecessary? I know what you mean about the line from hip to ankle, but if the pants were just a teensy bit short, that line was ridiculously straight as the pants were taut all the way down. Compare to http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/hue-glen-plaid-trouser-leggings/4323235

    Ada, that does a good job explaining why people can act so superior about their music.

  130. Speaking of signaling devices, I got my Disney credit card as mentioned recently, for the rewards. I chose yoda, because it seemed better than a princess card. It didn’t cross my mind how many yoda conversations I would be having with sales people.

  131. RMS – we have a Camry Hybrid too. How big is the price difference and gas mileage? I hate filling up my car – one chore I put off doing until I’m running on fumes.

  132. tcmama, it’s a little hard to compare, but it looks like about a $7K difference. And I’m not sure what the true MPG is on the regular one, because I don’t trust those estimates. It’s true, I hate filling up the car too.

  133. Rocky & TCM –

    I read in the current Time magazine (Olympics Preview) last night that the difference in price of a hybrid vs gas is $3000 and that for the typical driver the annual savings will be about $400/yr, which probably assumes 15,000 miles/year. So a rough breakeven is 7.5 years or 100,000 miles, if someone wants to do the environmentally friendly thing.

  134. Shoot. Sorry I missed this one – came of age in the 90s and love me some grunge fashion. :)

  135. VCRs like others said, we used our VCR to record sports events, movies and shows, but it wasn’t as easy to use as DVR is. had to remember a tape and I can’t tell you how many times something got recorded over

  136. “Meme, true. By the 90s, ska was pretty closely identified with racist punks in white shirts and Doc Martens. But there were and are still Jamaican ska and reggae bands on tour!”

    ska wasn’t really my thing, but I don’t associate it with racists

  137. In the late 90’s, I had a Time Warner cable box where you could set a show to “record”. Then the box would change the tuner to that channel so that your VCR in the in-line set up DD describes would record on the VCR. I used this method all the time to record things on the VCR. I was a heavy VCR user until TiVo came out. I got one of the first versions of TiVo. I still miss it – the interface and options were far superior to the integrated cable/satelite box DVR’s.

    Maybe the hard core ska was associated with skinheads or something, but that’s not what I remember. The Mighty Mightly Bosstones were mainstream enough to be on the Clueless soundtrack!

    I think the mainstream gangsta rap was huge in the 90’s too. Dr Dre, Tupac, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Biggy, etc. We listened to all of that. Practically every suburban white kid had The Chronic in their CD collection.

  138. Wine and Ivy, my recollection (in Berlin) of ska in the 90s is that there was old- school ska that the
    Caribbeans and Africans listened to, and the racist kind. I think the author of this article protests too much, and in saying “most” were not racist, she’s admitting that some were. I’ve never been really into any music scene; I just remember who my friends avoided. Every once in a while, one of them would get beaten up, and they’d all avoid anyone who resembled the attacker from then on. But that, and this article, are across the ocean.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/19/opinion/l-true-skinheads-are-not-the-racist-thugs-of-media-fame-829412.html

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