Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

100 Greatest Songs of the '90s

I have been working a lot lately, and one way I am making it slightly bearable is by leaving the office at night and working from home into the late night. Working from home has some real advantages, with the most obvious being that you can wear your pajamas and you can have the television on in the background.

What is difficult is finding the right show to watch. It can't be something that requires too much attention, otherwise work won't get done. So last night I was thrilled to flip the channels and find VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s." It's almost the ideal work-from-home show because it features music that makes you happy (or at least it makes me happy, most probably because it reminds me of my otherwise long-forgotten youth), but because the music is so familiar you don't have to pay any real attention to what's going on (and who wants to listen to the talking heads anyway?).

I didn't think there was any question about which song would be number 1, and I was right: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the Obvious Choice. I love the song, but even 13 years after Cobain's death (I actually had to stop typing for a few minutes after I did that math--it does not seem that long ago; perhaps more disturbing than the time that has passed is that I am beginning to say things like "it does not seem that long ago," which used to be the type of thing my mom said) I still have mixed feelings when I hear it. I'm taken back to my 16 year old self, so sad over Cobain's death and blaming his fame, and therefore the song, for his fate.

But there were also moments of joy during "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s." Like when I realized song number 14 was "Vision of Love." I honestly cannot remember the last time I heard that song. And you know what? It's pretty great! Actually, vintage Mariah is one of my guilty pleasures. A few months ago I was in CVS when "Without You" came on their music/speaker system thing, and then was interrupted (right at the really emotional "can't leeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiive," part), prompting me to stand in line, impatiently muttering "shut up, shut up, shut up, put Mariah back on."

Or when they played song number seven came on: "Hit Me Baby One More Time," because it allowed me to feel vindicated yet again. She was always so trashy! Really, the pigtails and white button-down tied just beneath her chest and the above-the-knee socks...there are people out there who are surprised that she doesn't have a quiet, normal life?

And then, song number 3. I wasn't expecting this one to make it so high on the list, but it is a classic. Yes, that's right: "I Want It That Way." How can one resist bopping around when this song comes on? I got so into watching the 45 second clip on VH1 that when the "don't wanna hear you say" part came on I actually shouted the words out loud. And my fist may have been pumped in the air. At 1:30 a.m. In my living room. While I'm supposed to be working.

So if I'm fist-pumping and rewinding to watch Mariah a second time and so inspired that I had to blog, I guess that means I am not getting as much work done as originally anticipated. But really, completely worth it.



Blogger Laura Holt said...

I love these kinds of shows! But . . . what's this critical talk about pig tails? They forecast a future of mental illness when worn with knee socks by a 16 year-old girl in a music video . . . so what do they foretell when seen on a 30 year-old woman in a mini skirt? I kid because I love.

12/22/2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger Sally-Anne said...

SWEET that "I Want it That Way" made the top three. I still think of us singing it in your car in Chicago whenever I hear it.

I caught some of the first few shows in this miniseries...I think I saw much of 100-80 and 80-60. The Dude and I were pleased to see one of our favorite singer-songwriters, Jonathan Coulton, as a talking head.

12/27/2007 1:51 PM  

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