Ahh, 1996, a milestone year. The first flips phones were invented, Bill Clinton was reelected, Tupac was shot (or was he?), and America was introduced to a strange, new technology called the internet. This old school instructional video, converted from an old VHS tape, was what the average Joe needed to learn about connecting to the world wide web.
Sure it’s funny to sit back and laugh at the archaic nature of its tech jargon, but this video is also an interesting look at how far we have come. To think, I could be typing this article in raw HTML into a Netscape browser to publish onto a Geocities page. Yikes!
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 17th, 2016||No Comments »|
It’s been 20 years, but Twin Peaks is back in the media again. David Lynch’s bizarre crime series about a murder in a small logging town has been a cult hit since its 1991 debut. But now that’s it returning next year on Showtime, the media gets to obsess over the show again — in a more Internet-y way, of course.
I was too young to remember the original hoopla of Twin Peaks‘ 90s debut, and so I found this media roundup of interviews and news promos from 1991 to 1992 to be really interesting. People were just as perplexed by it then as they were today, but their most passionate obsession was with the show’s originality. In the ’90s television was dominated by sitcoms and crappy network crime dramas. A show like Twin Peaks blew everyone’s minds. “It’s SO unusual,” beamed Kathie Lee of Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee (before it was Live! With Kelly and Michael). Donahue — remember him? — even dedicated a cheesy whole show to the TV show, barking at the cast to explain the plot to him because he didn’t get it.
If you’re as amused by old stuff from the ’90s as I am, this playlist of more than 40 videos will keep you weirdly entertained today.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, October 8th, 2015||No Comments »|
The Smashing Pumpkin’s Tonight, Tonight, recorded nearly two decades ago, has a music video accompaniment that has managed to stand the test of time — which seems only fair, considering that its visual content serves as an ode to some of the earliest days of cinema, forever engraved in the history books.
If you have any interest in the history of filmmaking, then chances are you’re familiar with Georges Méliès’ masterpieces, A Trip to the Moon and Under the Seas. Reveling in this cinematic magic, The Smashing Pumpkins’ music video combines the two classics to produce a masterful recreation of the early days of cinema. Nearly a shot by shot reproduction of the two Méliès’ films, with the occasional tweaks (a woman goes to the moon this time around — it’s important to change with the times!), this video is a tip of the hat and then some. Eat your hearts out, cinephiles.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, March 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
Way before Alanis Morissette morphed into Jagged Little Pill-era Alanis, she was a Canadian teen pop star not unlike Robin Sparkles. She had big hair, performed in packed malls full of screaming teens with equally ridiculous hair, and sang sexually seductive tracks written by old men. Of course, we all know how this story ends–with Alanis taking control over her career and becoming an iconic singer-songwriter–but it’s interesting to see how it all began. Too Hot!, a 1991 documentary, goes behind the scenes of Alanis’s cheesy pop origins, splicing together interview clips, performances, and music videos. As a non-hardcore Alanis fan who was aware of pre-Jagged Little Pill Alanis but never witnessed it for myself, this is weird to watch. But hey, I guess we all gotta start somewhere.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, March 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Usually the first sign of blossoming maturity is when a teenager tapes a poster to their wall. There’s just something about the cultural artifact of rock swag that awakens our inner desire for self-expression, whether it be world tour t-shirts, promotion stickers, or of course, band posters.
In the coffee table book Swag: Rock Posters of the ’90s, author Spencer Drake compiles a collection of some of the best band poster art created over the past decade. Although all the posters feature ’90s artists, the posters themselves aren’t exactly old. The DIY approach to venue promotion has awakened a new burgeoning art scene of poster artists who create art for “imaginative” shows, either ones that took place in the past or even shows that never took place at all (Nirvana world tour with the Beastie Boys? Never happened). The collection is less like a time capsule and more like a celebration of the aesthetic of underground DIY art that’s being kept alive by a scene of talented artists.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, February 9th, 2015||No Comments »|
While most music lovers sneer at the Backstreet Boys, behind the band’s bubble-gum pop façade is actually a fascinating roller coaster ride of what it was truly like to be a “boy band” in the ‘90s. With the Backstreet Boys now all grown up and starting their own indie record label, they’re ready to reveal the ugly side of fame in their documentary Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of. The film will touch on topics like how their former manager Lou Pearlman swindled the band out of money and how the band originally struggled to make a name for themselves in America. But the main question the film asks is, “What happens when you’re a full grown man in a boy band?”
The Backstreet Boys take fans on a candid journey from their devastating fall from the top of the charts to their struggle to reinvent themselves as adults instead of fresh-faced youngsters. If you’ve ever made fun of BSB for being a “cheesy pop band,” then Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of will reveal the very human side of the adult men who fought so hard to “make it big,” only to be betrayed by both their manager and record label.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, January 6th, 2015||No Comments »|
Back in the early ’90s, there was no cooler place to be than Fantazia, a massive dance event in the U.K. that attracted thousands of ravers. But in case you’re wondering what an all-night bender of nonstop techno, drugs, and alcohol looks like, look no further than this old video taken the morning after Fantazia 1993. I’ve stumbled across this video sporadically over the years and I still find new things about it that make me laugh. However, nothing tops the guy/girl dancing duo who refuse to stop partying. The duo continue dancing in the parking lot as tired, hungover club kids stumble around them and into their cars. “When are you going to stop dancing?” the video crew asks the blonde girl. “Oh, I’m going to keep dancing forever,” she says. “Or at least until I can remember where I put my car.” I wish I could put these words on a T-shirt.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|