Friday, August 29, 2008

People were cooler in the early 90s

Today I caught "Video Yearbook" on FUSE, which is a tv showcase of videos from a particular year. It's extremely refreshing to still be able to see music videos on tv, and even moreso to see the kinds of videos kids from my generation remember staying up late to see in the wee hours of the morning on the original MTV, way back before the reality show invasion sapped every ounce of credibility from their once legendary lineup. The year featured on this episode was 1994, though viewers should know that not one video I saw was actually from 1994! Instead was a smattering of vintage greats from 1991-1993ish (in the twenty minutes or so I watched), and those videos taught me a lot about music filmography, including the recipe for the perfect encapsulization of what I'd like to think the parts of the early 90s I don't really remember were all about:
  • Neon
  • Funky dance moves
  • Big pants
  • Floppy hats
  • Giant sunglasses
  • Squiggly shapes
  • Cheap green-screen text
Example 1: TLC - "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg"

In the second video, we take the scene to the beach! Not everything mentioned above is in there, but plenty of neon, bikinis, funky dance moves, wacky haircuts and general zaniness abound.

Example 2: Wreckx-N-Effect - "Rumpshaker"

The other videos I saw were all of the grunge/post-grunge movement (Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, etc) so they don't merit discussion and barely even the mention I gave them. Hip hop is where it's at, and if current indie rock/hipster styling weren't such a diluted pastiche of what's in those videos, I'd want it to come back full force. For now I guess I'll just have to except the ironic embodiment that Williamsburg's finest are delivering, and use it to remember the golden years of identity confusion.

Anti-Bears: 4.8. 4.7 of those A-Bs are expressly allocated to the sunglasses in the TLC video.

Bears: 2.9. Those fucking hi-tops and cheap neon sunglasses that I saw all over Pitchfork Festival need to fucking go. Also it was kind of a bear when Left-eye died a few years back.

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