Monday, December 28, 2009

Children of the 90s Travel Mix Tape Part Two: Flight Edition

I just can't seem to stay in one place for more than a few days at a time over this holiday season. I'm flying off again, this time for a work trip. Don't worry, though: I've got you covered. I know the pain of 90s withdrawal, so I've lined up some good classic posts for the coming week. No nostalgia detox necessary. You're welcome.

As I've mentioned, my iPod is full of 90s goodies. A flight playlist is tricky, though; it requires songs that you enjoy listening that you can both a) potentially sleep through and b) resist the urge to sing along. It can be a painstaking endeavor, but I think I've got my 90s flight playlist down to a near-science. Again, I must ask you to try your best to suspend judgment. Some of these songs are notoriously uncool to admit to, but I'm willing to put my already not-so-cool reputation on the line in the name of quality nostalgia. I thank you in advance for repressing your laughter.

You Get What You Give (New Radicals)

So much for keeping promises. This song has already failed my 90s flight playlist litmus test on one count: it is pretty fun to sing along to. The only part I really know goes something like, "Fashion shoot with Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson...(*mumbling along, pretending to know words*)...we'll kick your ass in!" Okay, okay, I guess I don't know it quite as well as I'd thought.

Bittersweet Symphony (Verve)

If you're a true 90s aficionado, you'll recognize this as the song played toward the end of Cruel Intentions. For some unknown reason, I've always had a soft spot for that movie. It's like the original Gossip Girl. I think I'm just digging myself deeper into your merciless judgment now, so I'll just cut it off there. This is a great song, though, regardless of your feelings on Cruel Intentions.

Stay (Lisa Loeb)

Very artists can boast a number one hit without even signing onto a record label. Lisa Loeb was definitely among the lucky unsigned, with her 1994 debut single "Stay (I Missed You) skyrocketing to the top Billboard spot upon its release. The song was featured in Reality Bites, which just makes it all the more 90s. And really, how can you resist Loeb's quirky charm and schoolmarmish glasses?

Linger (Cranberries)

I've loved the Cranberries ever since I heard Clueless's Elton lament hisdistress at losing his copy of the CD. True Story.

Till I Hear it From You (Gin Blossoms)

If there's one thing the 90s music scene could really dish, it was soft alt-rock. Like many of my old favorites, its nostalgic claim is tied to its placement in one of my then-favorite movies. The single was featured in Empire Records, the soundtrack to which I listened to endlessly on repeat for many of my later elementary school years. For a flight, though, I'd definitely have to pick this over "Sugar High".

Undone: The Sweater Song (Weezer)

Some of you might lament my blatant omission of Weezer's "Buddy Holly" in favor of the arguably inferior "Undone: The Sweater Song", but you're just going to have to deal. You've got to like a song that can construct a solid mental visual like this one does.

Loser (Beck)

Looking back, this song was a little dark for us kids to be singing along to in the 90s. At least the chorus is. I didn't really know any of the words then and I don't really know any of the words now, but it's always enjoyable nonetheless.

Only Wanna Be With You (Hootie and the Blowfish)

Here's where the embarrassing part comes in. It's truly painfully unhip to admit you like Hootie and the Blowfish. This song is so catchy, though, I'm willing to brave the judgment of my far cooler peers.

Wonderwall (Oasis)

Growing up, this would always be one of those songs that kid who was barely mediocre at guitar would take on at a bonfire or group gathering. It's rumored that Liam Gallagher actually hates this song, but I'm going to respectfully disagree. It has a certain charm.

Killing Me Softly (The Fugees)

This song has been covered by dozens of artists, but Lauryn Hill's vocals managed to make this version stick. If you're going to do a cover, do it right.

Peaches (The Presidents of the United States of America)

There are all sorts of theories floating around on what exactly these peaches might symbolize, but the band's lead singer claims its content is totally innocent. It's definitely on the quirky side, but it has that unique alternative 90s appeal.

Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)

How can you not have loved this music video? You must have at least briefly coveted that hat. It's just so fuzzy and geometric. A winning chapeau combination.

Criminal (Fiona Apple)

As Fiona Apple's first major hit, "Criminal" introduced most of us to her unique vocal stylings. We may not have always agreed with her 1997 MTV VMA outburst against conformity, but she has a sort of idiosyncratic charm that grows on you with repeated listening.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Deep Blue Something)

As far as one-hit wonders go, this tune had some staying power. I still hear it on the radio from time to time. It constantly reminds me that I have yet to see Breakfast at Tiffany's, which must be worth a watch based on the fact that it brought the couple in this song together. Actually, I heard they really wanted to write it about Roman Holiday but it didn't fit well, lyrically, so maybe I'm actually covered on this one.

Like I said, it can be a tough balance to find a song to which you can simultaneously enjoy listening and fall asleep, but most of these do it for me. A few of them might make me want to turn my iPod screen-down on my folding tray table to ward off wandering and undoubtedly judgmental eyes, but they're worthy of 90s love nonetheless.


Mr. Condescending said...

Man those song definitely take me right back to the 90's, well done! I definitely think of the ending scene in cruel intentions when I hear bittersweet symphony too, they couldn't have picked a better song!

The virtual insanity video I agree was awesome, with the moving floors.

I hope others comment some more 90's songs.

I say no long trip is complete without Interstate love song, stone temple pilots.

Sadako said...

Empire Records! Gin blossoms! Nostaaaaaaaaaaalgia.

And Criminal, who could forget that? Man, I wish MTV and VH1 still played videos.

Shannon said...

Thank you so much for posting the Jamiroquai video! I love Jamiroquai and that video is so simple but so totally awesome.

I love Bittersweet Symphony as well. It's always included on my road trip mixes.

Mr. Condescending said...

Hah I'm reading on my bb so I had no clue you had videos on here!

Melanie's Randomness said...

Have some safe trips!! Omg I love that New Radicals song, & Jamiroqui & Lisa Loeb..& Omg I gotta get these songs onto my computer. I miss them!!

{ L } said...

Oh! What a fun idea for a blog. I'm a 90s girl! :) These songs really brought me back to a GOOD place...especially Hootie and the blowfish...Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Loved this whole post, but just wanted to point out that Bittersweet Symphony is by the Verve, not the Verve Pipe. Two different groups, same decade.

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