Music

Remembering the Music of 1992…and Only 1992

There are probably dozens of options for streaming music nowadays. Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify appear to be the most popular. There’s also YouTube, which will automatically go into another suggested video. You could simply start up a Taylor Swift video, walk away and enjoy unlimited music while you do whatever it is that you do.

Decades stations on Pandora tend to play popular songs from that era, but there are many good ones that have been forgotten over time.

Enter ’92 Radio, where they only play music from 1992. Nothing from 1990 or 1995. Just 1992.

‘What’s so special about the music from 1992?’ you ask. Pfft. What’s not special about the music from 1992?

‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson showed us that true love is more than physical appearances. ‘Live and Learn’ by Joe Public taught us to ‘live and learn’ before our ‘bridges burn.’ Oh, and remember that band Def Leppard from the 80s? Well did you know they went on to crank out hits in the 90s, including the 1992 song ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ which is only the best song to get you pumped before a hockey game?

You’re welcome.

1992 was an awesome year. The United States lifted trade sanctions against China, Disney’s Aladdin was released in theaters, and Bill Clinton became president. (Say what you want about his affairs-he was good at his job.) It was an even better year for music. ‘Everything About You’ by Ugly Kid Joe perfectly summarized every break-up for the next 23 years of my life. Oh, and you know that song ‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj? She borrowed some lyrics and beats from a very famous 1992 song called ‘Baby Got Back.’ So yeah, 1992 was definitely a good year for music. So take a break from one of the dozens of music apps you’re running right now and go to ’92 Radio.

Music · Thoughts

Oh My 

It was 1990-something when my friend Sandy and I saw the band Green Day in concert. (A Google search didn’t yield the exact date.) I wasn’t even thirteen, that much I’m sure of. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, I was just a few months’ shy of hitting my teenage years. 

We played their album ‘Dookie’ incessantly, and by ‘play’ I mean put it in a cassette player, flip over side A and listen to side B which, in turn, would rewind Side A to the very beginning. 

There’s a now well-known hidden track at the very end called ‘All By Myself.’ At 12 I was fully aware of how babies were made, yet it took some explaining from a friend’s older sibling to educate me on what Billie Joe exactly meant. 

Ahem. 

I don’t think my parents knew about the song, because if they had I doubt they’d have let me attend their concert. 

We were right up front by the stage, off to the right, giving us a good view of the band. Billie Joe was hot, and it was just the beginning of the 90s grunge era. At the end of the set we waited to see if they’d reemerge. 

‘Oh my God!’ 

Sandy pointed to the side of the stage as she said this, and we saw Bille Joe looking right at us. He was on the ground right behind the gate, literally a few feet away. All of a sudden he pulled down his pants, flashed us, smiled and ran backstage. 

Her and I turned around to see if anyone else had seen it. Nope. 

That’s probably because it was dark back there and no one thinked to look. He’d caught our attention, shown us his thing (that was the object of his affection in that hidden track, not to mention most of the album) and left. 

‘Oh my’ was my only response, and we told everyone in school about it the following Monday. 

It was very inappropriate for him to flash two underage girls, but maybe he didn’t realize just how young we were. Regardless, the image of that small thing will forever be embedded in my mind whenever I hear their music. 

All By Myself 

Music · Thoughts

Sexual Awakening

Hearing about the birds and the bees is a far cry from a ‘sexual awakening.’ Oh sure, our parents sat us down and explained how babies were made. We even smugly told friends at sleepovers that we *knew* what adults did behind closed doors. But for women my age, we didn’t *get* it until *NSYNC came along, and some of us even forgot about it until New Kids On the Block reunited.

We were too young to feel ‘that way’ while dancing to NKOTB circa 1988, even though we believed that Joey McIntyre didn’t want us to leave him. Arguments over who the hottest member was during 4th grade lunch were common, and I firmly stood my ground that it was Jonathan Knight. (Jacky was wrong to think it was his brother, Jordan.) By the time middle school started, boy bands were a thing of the past. We were forced to look at classmates as potential suitors to the Sadie Hawkins dance instead of one of the Knight Brothers.

Then came the Backstreet Boys.

Soon we were comparing Brian in Global History class to Nick Carter, because Nick didn’t give a crap about who we were, what we did or even if we killed someone so long as we loved him. It wasn’t the healthiest obsession, especially when Nick sang ‘am I sexual?’ and we screamed YEAH!, knowing damn well nothing would ever come of it. Not to mention that, despite being a teenager, we still didn’t fully ‘get’ sexuality.

Then came *NSYNC.

I was exercising in a hotel gym room during a summer vacation to North Carolina. While sweat dripped down my face, I watched as MTV actually aired music videos. A young man with the face of a trouble-seeking angel sat up on a bed, resting on his knees as wind blew in from the windows. His muscles flexed from under a tight white wife beater as he looked at the camera and sang:

‘It’s tearin’ up my heart when I’m with you…’ (For some reason, the official video is not available online in our country.)

Much to the horror of the guy working out next to me, I publicly announced my sexual awakening.

From that point on, I compared every guy I dated to Justin Timberlake. (Which in retrospect wasn’t fair, especially since had they compared me to Britney Spears I would have had a fit over their unrealistic expectations.) Needless to say I left my twenties thoroughly disappointed, and accepted the life of a spinster at 30.

During a wine-induced YouTube binge, they recommended I watch ‘Twisted/Sweet Dreams’ by Joey of NKOTB, circa 2008. Since he’d always had a baby face and I’ve always had a thing for older men, I almost didn’t click on it. But my Scorpio intuition forced me to hit the play button.

Mr. McIntyre grew up.

As he sang with exposed abs and pants that hung perfectly around his waist, all of those feelings I’d had on that treadmill 15 years ago came rushing back. ‘I can’t be a spinster knowing he’s out there!’ I thought.

Unfortunately for me, he’s now a married actor and father. I may not be a 7-year-old girl that will fight to the death over the hottest New Kid, or a 17-year-old teenager that wants to become Mrs. Justin Timberlake, but I am a 32-year-old woman who has just experienced her second sexual awakening. Thank you, Mr. McIntyre.

Music · Thoughts

Miley Cyrus

Along with millions of others watching the MTV VMAs this past Sunday night, my mouth just about hit the top of my wine glass when Miley Cyrus hit the stage. Not because she was being provocative. (She’s 20. It was bound to happen, folks.) But because she ruined what is arguably one of the best songs of the summer: ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke. 

In the original, unrated version, YouTube requires you sign in to view it due to topless women parading around Mr. Thicke. Some feminists practically choked on their burning bras, but others like myself actually got a kick out of it. It’s not degrading to women. It pokes fun at sexism. 

‘You don’t need no papers/that man is not your maker.’ 

Mr. Thicke joined Ms. Cyrus after she performed her new song, and that’s when it went downhill. Her ‘twerking’ was nothing short of an obnoxious attempt to shed her Disney skin. 

It’s now being said that those who were ‘offended’ by her gyrations and tongue wagging are part of the ‘geriatric generation.’ Wrong. Twerking can be done in a tasteful manner with a side of trash, and anyone who tunes into the VMAs expecting not to be shocked is an idiot. Ms. Cyrus gave it too much effort, plain and simple. She could have simply strutted around in her barely-there outfit and sang along with Mr. Thicke, but she decided to go overboard by rubbing the outside of her genitalia with a giant foam finger while sticking out her tongue every few seconds. 

Perhaps we’re all being a little too hard on Ms. Cyrus, though. Maybe we’d do the same thing if we grew up in the spotlight, were expected to be perfect and were suddenly given the chance to sing a tune that is about sex and nothing but sex. But still, she could have kept her tongue in her mouth and foam finger out of her no-no area.