Thursday, December 20, 2018

the Ice age

“I call it the lost generation, because from 2000 to 2017, nothing really defines that whole generation in pop culture. Like, how would you look back at 2000 to 2017 and remember anything? How would you see somebody wearing some gear and say, ‘Hey, that’s gotta be from 2014?’ There’s no music there, there’s no pop culture, there’s no fashion that defines the generation. I look at the Nineties like it’s the last truly great decade." -  Vanilla Ice

That's like a vernacular version of the Gospel according to K-Punk and Simonretromania being ventriloquized through Vanilla Ice's mouth there!

Ice is quoted in this piece by Rob Sheffield for Rolling Stone about Nineties revivalism, the Nineties nostalgia circuit that Ice and others are doing very nice business on, and decade-consciousness.

Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray also quoted on the Nineties:

“It was the last heyday of the music business. When you were a kid in your garage, you could pick up a guitar and dream of being part of that. I compare it to these young kids playing basketball, wanting to be in the NBA – then all of a sudden the NBA disappears, and the NFL disappears. Now people are still playing basketball, but it’s the local rec league; people are still playing football, but you gotta go find some guys and get some games together. The infrastructure of stardom is gone. So you look back on that – not just as a business, but romantically. ‘Boy, that was fun, going to Tower Records to see what’s new, watching MTV for a world premiere.'”

Sheffield lays on McGrath this idea of Nineties as the last proper Decade with a sense of itself c.f. first two decades of the 21st Century being Zeigeist-ly amorphous:
 “Right – what would you call it, the Noughties? The 2000s? No one knows what to call it. No one knows when it started or ended. It took a while for the stink of the Nineties to go away, because nothing replaced it. The industry imploded, so there weren’t new bands coming up. Name the last rock star. The top ten touring bands in Pollstar – it was still the Chili Peppers, it was still Soundgarden – God rest his soul, Chris Cornell – it was still the Dave Matthews Band. Nothing replaced the Nineties, even though the decade was over.”
This doesn't seem true to me, seems a bit of a self-serving fiction - there are plenty of definitively 21st Century pop stars, some of whom have taken on and taken over the old functions of rockstardom (excess, outrage, political statements, being taken seriously / taking themselves very seriously) ....  indeed Rockism is alive and well in pop itself, ironically (and boringly)... rock anthems of the 21st Century is a shrinking category, true... guitars are rarely heard in the Top 40, for sure....

As for the no-feel-to-2000s/2010s ... I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer to see if early-Noughties nostalgia kicks in. Won't be long now, if the 'stalgia is already settling in on the late Nineties, eve of Y2K moment.

YeahI wouldn't be surprised if a certain look (to clothes, hair) and feel 'n' finish to entertainment products will start to become apparent as we move into the future - something we couldn't put our finger on at the time, what with the welter of revivalism and pastiche

the clunkiness of an era becomes its charm

(although films and TV of the late Eighties and early Nineties often look really shit)