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The 90s Revival Has To Stop Right Now

By Melissa Locker

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Now, I like Nirvana and Reality Bites and Fruit by the Foot as much as the next girl, but this month, The Great 90s Dryhump might have reached its breaking point.When the news broke that Mark McGrath was hosting a cruise featuring Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Gin Blossoms, Marcy Playground, Cracker, the Spin Doctors, and Vertical Horizon was announced, it was one of those moments that made you to punch the Internet in the face. 

Things this cruise means: Nightly shows where the Spin Doctors could break into a rap over an acoustic rendition of Sugar Ray’s “Every Morning” while Cracker plays wanky guitar solos at any moment. Q&A's with Ed from Collective Soul and Ed from Live. Acoustic performances. Surprise [shudder] "jam sessions."

While I was still reeling at the prospect of potential hookups with the bass player from the Verve Pipe (what happens on the cruise stays on the cruise, right?), my Kris Kross Google Alert went off with the news that the backwards-dressing kid rappers were reuniting for one night only. While there’s nothing wrong with a Kris Kross reunion per se, I was just about ready to put my foot through my computer. And then it happened: New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and 98 Degrees announced that they'd be making a record together. It appears that we're under a full frontal nostalgia assault from the 90s and our defenses have been neutralized by Mark-Paul Gosselaar sightings, Furbys, and Blossom marathons. 

Is that it, then? Is this the tipping point where we all give up on the idea that we live in the present and, instead, end up in a Baudrillardian feedback loop where we relive the 90s ad infinitum? Are we all going to sail the Mark McGrath and Friends cruise off into the 90s nostalgic sunset? I, for one, vote no. It’s a slippery slope from ironically listening to Collective Soul to doing the Macarena in line for tickets to an Eve’s Plum reunion show. 

There’s no doubt that there was a lot of great music from the saxophone-addled Bill Clinton era. From Nirvana to D’Angelo, Sonic Youth to Destiny’s Child. But for some reason, the advent of the Internet has roped us into a relentless mythologizing of the era that brought us funk-rock, rap-metal, pop-punk acts like Blink 182, and whatever the fuck Sarah McLachlan is. The truth is there was a lot of shit-tastic music in the 90s. For every Biggie, Tupac, and Dre out there cranking out albums destined for the canon, there were two bands like Hootie & the Blowfish, Linkin Park, Baha Men, and Creed making the aural equivalent of a flaming bag of dog poo.

It was the era of Brian Austin Green (aka Mr. Megan Fox) taking a break from Beverly Hills, 90210 to release a rap album featuring the Black Eyed Peas. If they posted it on Buzzfeed, you'd probably listen to it too. The 90s were a time when someone actually went to court to ensure that we could always listen to Aqua’s abhorrent "Barbie Girl” as often as we ironically wanted to. It’s the pre-YouTube era when someone actually greenlit and paid for Tom Green wailing, “I gotta get the poo off my bum!” The 90s don’t deserve your nostalgia. We are well rid of them.

The saddest part of the Mark McGrath and Friends Cruise isn’t that the Spin Doctors thought someone wanted them to get back together; it’s that many many people will throw down good money for this trip down memory lane. Money that could be spent buying the new Marnie Stern or Death Grips or DIIV or A$AP Rocky albums or, if you’re really determined to be cast adrift with musicians, the R. Kelly cruise. 

Know what the result of all this 90s fetishism will be? A Limp Bizkit reunion. Keep sharing those "Ten Best Moments from Saved by the Bell" posts on Facebook and eventually, Fred Durst will think it’s a good idea to stage a comeback tour, so you can shout along with him,”C’mon! The nookie! The nookie! C’mon! So you can take that cookie, and stick it up your YEAH!” while wearing a backwards baseball cap. And if he does get the band back together for some Beautiful Girls-ish Jonathan Demme-style reminiscing about the good old days and decides to go reunion tour on our asses, I'm going to burn down the Internet. 

You have been warned. 

 

Melissa Locker is not kidding, but you can follow her on Twitter - @woolyknickers

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