Sunday!

Man, 1995 feels like just yesterday, right?

Well, when I think about that sort of thing, I immediately try to orient myself by thinking about “okay, what are the major pop culture landmarks of this time?”

Because if you just say something like “well, that would have been Bill Clinton, and, um, I was still in college and, um…” it can take you forever to get to the proper moment in time. But when you say “Oh, that was the year Jagged Little Pill came out” you can remember that tape being in the deck when you were driving around San Francisco with that one redhead which can make you remember standing in her bathroom while listening to The Jim Carroll Band and you suddenly remember a whole bunch of other things that were going on at the same time.

I bought a t-shirt with a Rider-Waite Fool on the front during that trip. It shrunk in the wash. We finally threw it away last year when we culled the closet.

See? Stuff like that never comes up when you start with “Okay, 1995 would have meant… um…”

Anyway, the big three albums from 1995, for me, were the aforementioned Jagged Little Pill (has it held up? I’m afraid to listen to it), The Bends (still holds up, it’s in my cd case in the car now! YES I STILL LISTEN TO CDS IN THE CAR), and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (doesn’t hold up half as well as Siamese Dream but there are a handful of little gems on there).

Now the MOVIES… ah, the movies. The big ones that I totally remember are Se7en (that silly little number being included in there!), 12 Monkeys (two numbers in the title!), and Babe.

Now, if you want to count Alien3 as Fincher’s “You have my curiosity” movie for me, Se7en was my “Now you have my attention”. I couldn’t believe the various tricks he was able to pull on me during that film (I mean above and beyond the tricks the script pulled on me). That one alone was enough to make me say “Okay, I’m going to see his next one.”

12 Monkeys was Terry Gilliam’s La Jetée (which I had not seen at the time but everyfreakinbody else in my circle had and all of my discussions about the movie afterwards focused on how awesome I thought it was and how derivative they thought it was). So most of my memories for that involve sitting in a Denny’s and smoking and arguing about the film. (This was back when you could smoke at Denny’s.)

Oh, and Babe. Babe is one of those movies that acts as a reminder to film critics that you just shouldn’t hand out 5 out of 5 star ratings unless you really, really mean it because a movie like Babe will show up and then you’ll remember that you gave 5 out of 5 to “Brothers McMullen” which, while it wasn’t bad, it certainly makes you think that you needed a different scale. Babe can be that once in a blue moon “6 out of 5 stars!” movie. Seriously, it was just that good.

And then when I talk about this sort of thing with my younger co-workers, they make jokes about “12 Monkeys? Wasn’t that one of those black and white movies?” and “Yeah, they play Alanis on the oldies station” and then they make me listen to Silento’s “Watch Me“.

Seriously. 1995 has no business being 20 years ago.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?

(Photo is “Movie Night“, taken by Ginny, used under a creative commons license.)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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48 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Other notable 1995 movies: Toy Story, Before Sunrise, Usual Suspects, Friday, Mallrats.

    Other notable 1995 albums: Timeless, Tri Repetae, Maxinquaye, Exit Planet Dust, Clouds Taste Metallic, Electr-O-Pura, What’s The Story Morning Glory, Different Class

    ***

    Man, Review is…kinda brutal this season.

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  2. Watched four series premiers on Prime or Hulu:

    Limitless: stupid, but entertaining.
    Minority Report: stupid, but Meagan Good.
    Muppets: stupid. So stupid I couldn’t make it through the episode. Jim Henson rolling in his grave stupid.
    The Player: always bet on black! Kinda fun; I’ll probably watch it weekly.

    Reread some favorites, too.

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  3. Let’s see… in 1995 I graduated from high school and started college. Mostly I listened to a lot of late-night radio that year, which meant something close to college-alternative back in PEI, and then a WHOLE lot of club music in Montreal. (I also *went* to clubs a lot my first year of college. Montreal weekends start on Thursday. So that means I also first started listening to a lot of live music acts that year… I’m pretty sure that’s the year I first saw Toots and the Maytals in concert.)

    Tapewise I listened to a lot of mixes – a few soundtracks, particularly Batman Forever, but most of them were mixtapes a friend made for me, or a friend’s friend made and then my friend copied it for me *small sigh of wistfulness for the death of mixtape culture*. There were THREE DJs on my floor and one guy who really really liked Paul Oakenfold, so there was a lot of club music in the dorm, as well. (Also a lot of ecstasy, which we weren’t calling molly yet, and which I never tried, having had plenty of opportunity to observe the external showings of taking it. And even more pot, which I also didn’t try, for complicated reasons, but which I had plenty of opportunity to enjoy through second-hand smoke in close quarters….)

    1995 was the year I started listening to both Ani Difranco and the Indigo Girls. It was the year I became obsessed with Leonard Cohen. It was also the year that Ace of Bass and TLC were EVERYWHERE, all the time, and none of us minded.

    1995 was the year I first read Dune, after going to a boy I barely knew’s room late at night in September and asking him if he PLEASE had something wonderful to read because I couldn’t sleep. He handed over his copy of Dune and my night was immeasurably better. I never did get to know him, but I will always remember him fondly because of that book.

    1995 was the beginning of three years I spent without a television. (And of course the Internet I had access to, amazed by it though I was, couldn’t stream anything. I’m not sure I could’ve conceived of the Internet being a way to watch things – it took FOREVER to download even a small video file – although it turns out people WERE streaming, and even live-broadcasting, video back then.) Instead I watched old movies and the X-files and Mystery Science Theatre, projected on a sheet in the dorm lounge, which means that 1995 was the year I first saw Mad Max. (I also fell madly in love with the X-Files.) When I wanted to see something on the big screen, the easiest and most common method was a six-block walk over to the Cinema du Parc, which showed a random assortment of “art” movies and other movies that none of the boring mainstream theaters wanted to show. I remember seeing Mallrats there, in 1995, and Fresa y Chocolate (which took a couple years to make it out of Cuba, I guess). Sometimes I would spend the whole day watching movies. They had a punchcard that made it cost about 3 bucks a movie, at which point it really didn’t matter much what they were showing.

    *shakes head to clear it, returns to present*

    So I’m almost done with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Next up will probably be the 10th season of Bones, which arrives on Netflix at the end of this month. And of course Jaybird and I are still watching Person of Interest, which is still THE BEST.

    The best books I read this week were Uprooted and Shadowshaper – if you like up-close-and-personal fantasy that still has Epic Implications, I strongly recommend both of them.

    Comics-wise I’ve been reading Captain Marvel and the Flash, and thinking in an unfocused way about how Marvel and DC just *feel* different, beyond any actual analysis of their differences.

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  4. 1995 was my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. I remember watching my first indie movie (Hal Hartley’s Amateur) in the summer of 1995 at an art camp at Ithaca College. This was the start of my long journey to unbearable pretension. Amateur is a really good movie but some of the deadpan jokes don’t hold up. It is remarkable how much 1995 looks the same as 2015 and what has changed.

    I also started getting into indie rock around this time and started dreaming of cool record shops. There was one on Prince Street in Soho. I can’t remember the name. I can remember that a very cute Persian girl told me about the record shop and she was my first high school crush. I also remember that Tennis Dresses with choke collars were a look for a certain kind of indie girl and I hearted that look.

    I saw Black Mass yesterday which more or less ends in 1995. The movie was pretty good. I was not impressed with the guy who played the FBI stooge. I also question casting aristocratic Benedict Cumberbach as a Southie and the younger brother of Johnnie Depp. Something seemed off at Benedict’s attempt at a Southie accent.

    Another interesting thing the movie did was refuse to use age makeup on the actors even though it takes place over a 20 year span. So Whitey and Billy Bulger (Depp and Cumberbach) looked the same through out the movie. This was especially disconcerting on Billy Bulger for some reason.

    Actually hearing almost everyone try Southie/Boston accents was disconcerting from Kevin Bacon to Johnnie Depp to Benedict. They all sounded kind of off.

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  5. Whenever I’m exposed to the fact that 1995 was 20 years ago, I look back to my 21/22 year old self and how I had thought that 1975 was so long ago. Now I think back to 1975 and think how 40 years before that WWII hadn’t even happened yet. Time flies.

    Reading: I just finished Tony Judt’s “Burden of Responsibility” about Leon Blum, Camus, and Raymond Aron.

    Watching: I’m watching (slowly and via Netflix) the third American Horror Story. Like the other season (the first) I watched, it makes me feel kind of slimy to watch it. But I do.

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  6. Finished Richard North Patterson, moving on to Grisham (“The Confession”, which so far looks like a by-the-numbers innocent person on death row story).

    I’m thinking about listening to audiobook biographies of presidents (also, honorary president Alexander Hamilton), one by one, until I’ve gotten through them all (or at least all the dead ones). I assume I’d be needing to take breaks.

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  7. Seeing some Noel Coward at an outdoor playhouse tonight. Play should finish at just about the middle of lunar eclipse totality — and the forecast is for “partly cloudy.” Wish us luck (for the visibility — the Coward will play well as it always does).

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  8. In 1995 I was working a factory job, doing manual labor. Looking at my collection on Discogs, it looks like I was mostly listening to garage rock then: the Devil Dogs, the Muffs, the Gories, the Mummies, the Mono Men, Man or Astro Man, Flat Duo Jets, Oblivians, Link Wray, Charlie Feathers.

    The non-garage stuff would have been Stereolab, the Magnetic Fields (all the umbrellas in London), Space Needle, Royal Trux, Spiritualized.

    I don’t remember seeing a movie in 1995, didn’t have cable and didn’t have money and didn’t have friends.

    Good times.

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  9. I was just now watching one of my favorite 1995 films when I saw this thread: Rumble in the Bronx. I was doing a Jackie Chan movie marathon today (watched Supercop, Drunken Master, Legend of Drunken Master, and then Rumble) and this thread turned out to be timed perfectly.

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  10. In 1995, I was finishing up my first freshman year. The qualifier “first” should indicate how well that year went. My second freshman year, the next year, went much better.

    That was also the year, I believe, that I saw a Smashing Pumpkins concert. Garbage opened for them, which made quite a nice show. Still pretty memorable, all things considered.

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    • Garbage has held up very, very well. I still listen to the first and second CD’s in regular rotation, and it still sounds fresher and in many cases better than a lot of stuff being made today. I knew they were good back then, but only now in retrospect do I realize how amazingly good they were.

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      • They’ll be in Houston in a few weeks, doing a show. I’m trying to free up the time to make it.

        I had forgotten about them myself, until one of my Pandora stations (This one might as well be entilted ‘Female punk, rock, and pop singers I like”) threw up a Garbage song (Big Bad World, I think) and got enthusiastically thumbed up.

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  11. 1995 is more interesting to me because I was all done with school, admitted to the bar, practicing law full-time, and orienting myself in the real world. I stumbled a bit. My young lady companion on that visit to San Francisco was one example of that.

    But when you say “Oh, that was the year Jagged Little Pill came out” you can remember that tape being in the deck when you were driving around San Francisco with that one redhead which can make you remember standing in her bathroom while listening to The Jim Carroll Band and you suddenly remember a whole bunch of other things that were going on at the same time.

    She wasn’t a redhead, although she did dye it red for a short time, largely to please me. I wasn’t really making enough money to afford anything so dear as that weekend jaunt to San Francisco, but I did it anyway and she was good enough to help out with the expenses as she could afford and at some point I had to swallow my pride and let her or I might still be in Tracy washing dishes to make enough money to get home.

    Also, it wasn’t the Jim Carroll Band, it was Pearl Jam: “This Is Not For You.”

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  12. 1995 was still pre-internet for most of us. I was stationed in England and friend came back from being home on leave with a CD by Alanis Morrisette and insisted that we all had to hear it RIGHT NOW.

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