Why Not Party Like It’s 1991?

Sure, I can’t get “Call Me Maybe” out of my head, but remember “Layla”? Or “Tennessee”?

Miles run today: 4.5

Words written in novel so far: 11,186

Food-related social occasions planned for this weekend: 4 (yay!)

The year was 1991. It was a whole new fin de siecle… and we were doing it better than the last time. Music was angry and indignant, Earth Day was cool again, and I rocked a lot of flannel. A lot.

For Spring Break, my boyfriend and I rode back to Atlanta (6 1/2 hours) with a friend, picked up my parents’ car and drove 7 hours to Florida.

Two of my friends who went to University of Florida had the hook-up: the use of a house right on a stagnant pond lake that was far away from everything conveniently located in the middle of the state. We were thrilled.

We rode around in my friend’s big yellow car that we called The Banana, hitting both Disney World and Daytona Beach within a couple of days. We were wild and free, and no matter how much I told my friend to wear sunscreen, she was simultaneously goose-bumpy and sunburned on 75 percent of her body.

I was in training for being a mom even then. I might have muttered “I told you so” in the backseat. I mean, look at Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth; they weren’t scared of being ghostly white. It was a new era in skin tones.

Not yet owned, and in some cases, invented: cell phones, iPods, CD players in our cars. We listened to my friends’ mix tapes, a whole new world for me. Back in North Carolina, Garth Brooks was singing about friends in low places.

My friends had had a rough year: since the first week they were at college, a serial killer was on the loose who cut off girls’ heads and left them on bookshelves. No wonder they listened to things like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction.

Fast forward to a couple of nights ago, May 2012. A friend and neighbor of ours (full disclosure: age–early 40s) went to the Jane’s Addiction show. I was jealous; while I don’t know the Jane’s Addiction oeuvre, I dream about hearing the steel drums in the live version of “Jane Says” actually live.

Our friend had a great time. He said all the people there were oldies like us, but maybe young ‘uns just don’t get it.

Oh, the scathing review by the local music critic. He said Jane’s “is still partying like it’s 1991.” He wrote other less than flattering things that make me infer that perhaps he is not a fan.

I have one of Chris Cornell’s (of Soundgarden fame) newer songs, and when that album was released, it was panned because he was basically trying to be something he wasn’t. Something new, something different, something evolved.

It makes me wonder what Elvis would be doing today or why The Beatles aren’t getting back together to release a rap album.

When bands (or writers) try to stay true to themselves, it seems they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

Now… I’m going to go put on some flannel and listen to Arrested Development. Maybe I’ll even party like it’s 1991. You can laugh at me if you want to.

* All French terms in this blog post were looked up on Wikipedia because I can never remember exactly how to spell them or what they mean.

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