Rewind to 1990
By Everett True
Unlike most people, I don’t experience most of my music through other people’s filters. I prefer to seek it out for myself, or through trusted conduits: maybe start a magazine or something, and populate it with folk who still like the thrill of exploration. Unlike most people, however, I don’t like being unlike most people. So when the chance comes to feel part of the crowd I relish it.
Unlike most people (apologies for this lame hook, it’s late at night and I’m only really typing waiting for a download to finish and the party two streets away to subside) I’m not able to do this through television. Don’t taste television. Or through the radio. Don’t watch radio. Or through music websites whose traffic mainly comes through competition pages and streamed videos. Don’t feel Pitchfork. But today, after months featuring more illness and a new-born baby (importance reversed), I found myself back at the gym, health club, call it what you like, for me it’s an opportunity to run on the spot and watch the same music videos that (I would imagine) much of the rest of Australia is watching, if they watch music videos at all, which is dubious.
So. Today. Saturday, shortly after 9am. Max is the channel soundtracking the gym, health club centre, whatever. I’d actually finally gotten round to listening to The Book Of Mormon, as recommended by Scott Creney, and was thoroughly enjoying it, when my attention was distracted by THAT video of Sinead O’Connor. You know the video. There’s only one. I still can’t resist it. Not least because I had a dream recently where I and Sinead were making out – nothing else, what do you think this is? – but mainly because I can’t resist that video.
Straight after that, bam! One of my absolute favourite videos of the early 90s starts up, and you think I’m going to go back and listen to smart-ass Americans satirising dumb-ass Americans when I can watch Lady Miss Kier dance her dorky cool groove thang one more time? New York, right. Tell me it’s New York.
So I got to looking a little closer at the inevitable “chart rundown” Max were screening, and it turned out it was something called 1990 Rewind, or similar, and we’re into the final four. And there I was thinking, damn, 1990 was all right, when this number pops up – not a song I believe I’ve heard before but then I had a downer on Iggy Pop in the 90s (and 80s) (and 00s) (and 10s) so I wouldn’t have examined, and lo and behold he’s got his damn shirt off again and he’s singing, but – Bangs alive – when Kate Pierson’s middle, spoken word, section breaks through, I’m all a-tremble (that could’ve been cos I’d passed the 20-minute mark on the cross-trainer) and …
Fuck. I ain’t never gonna get past listening to the opening three songs of The Book Of Mormon.
So there I am, slightly perspiring, not wanting to end my work-out section because I’m digging this deep connection I have with fucking EVERYONE all of a sudden, and wondering what Number One could be, it sure as fuck won’t be Babes In Toyland though, when this shows up. Damn straight.
Damn. Damn. Damn. 1990 really was all right.
P.S. Just in case anyone’s thinking I’m trying to make a case for one year above another, in terms of popular (i.e. best-selling) music then no, it’s not that at all. I believe that every year is this fucking special, depending on whose filters you’re hearing it through. It’s just that I was really pleasantly surprised this morning and … ah look, my download’s almost finished. See ya.