1999

It's kind of appropriate that I didn't get this up yesterday- somehow me getting behind on this is the equivalent of my immaturity or general confusion and awkwardness in 1999.

Sorry, I'll catch up somehow.

I started 1999 with my two best friends, Nathan and Kyle. (note- I don't have good notes and this photo could be from New Years 1998)

We were wrapping up 8th grade, and on top of the world. I was listening to the Beastie Boys a lot, as well as the follow-up effort from Sugar Ray. Oh yeah, and also the Rugrats soundtrack. 

No biggie. 

The soundtrack was total garbage, and I never saw the movie, but I did hear the Mya / Blackstreet song "Take Me There" (the I want you back remix) on the radio and because this was about 6 months before mp3's were a thing, I had to buy the cd to get it. Except the remixed version wasn't on the cd, so I just had the soundtrack to a movie for preteens (and about toddlers) in my cd collection. There were some gems by Lisa Loeb and Busta Rhymes, but it was a real disappointment. 

And as the school year wound to a close, I found myself being pulled toward a polar opposite. 

Yes, Fred Durst and the boys of Limp Bizkit were on the scene (had been for some time at this point), and I apparently found something to value in their hateful noisy rap rock. I still can't deny that Faith is a great song- the original is great, and the cover works really well- but I can't look back fondly on much else. I was 14 years old, and surging with testosterone and generally feeling like I didn't fit in. Or maybe I was just an idiot. Either way, this stuff spoke to me. 

Fortunately, the Nu-Metal period of my life was shortlived. I can't pretend it was only this summer, but just as Limp Bizkit's followup to Three Dollar Bill, Ya'll was coming out, another stronger (and equally juvenile) album knocked them off of my charts and took complete control- Blink 182's "Enema of the State". 

This was the beginning of the era that took me mostly through high school- starting with pop-punk and slowly moving into exclusively bands that fit the punk / ska / emo genre. But that's still a few years out. For now, I think I can only say that the soft edge of this whiny adolescent music was pretty responsible for starting to move me away from the more angry and agressive music that a lot of my peers were into, and I'm thankful for that. Looking back through the posts I've already done, it's pretty clear I'm no stranger to the sensitive and lighter fare, so this also suited my personality quite a bit better.

This was the first summer that mp3's were a thing in my house. My parents weren't concerned about copyright laws, given the slim to nil chance that anyone was going to get caught, so they didn't mind that I spent a lot of my time seeking out downloads of all of the songs I no longer needed to buy $15 albums full of filler to get. I worked up an ingenious setup- running the family computer speakers into the mic input of a tape recorder, and making mp3 tapes of my music library. Songs I remember being on them are included in the playlist. 

Mostly my memories from this summer are a little hazy. I think I blur together 1998-2000 quite a bit, but I know this summer in particular I was playing a lot of baseball. I remember heading to the All-Star tournament in Ontario, where it was over 100 degrees and there were 5 or 6 of us packed into a hotel room. I was sleeping on the floor, and I snuggled up to the AC unit and put on the latest and greatest in pop singles:

The CD was mostly terrible- one followup single and a really weird song with Biz Markie. 

Also out this summer- the last Weird Al album I ever got, Running With Scissors. I never got too cool for Weird Al, but I was finding a lot more in music I could take seriously. My comedy tastes had exploded and I was spending every night watching Simpsons and SNL reruns, staying up late to watch Conan, renting every spoof movie the video store had, and reading books by Jack Handey. As a result, musical comedy took a backseat.

And then the summer was over, and it was time for high school.  Three albums define it for me. 

  • Rage Against The Machine- The Battle of Los Angeles.  Their final original album, and my real introduction to the band. I remember hanging out in the commons of the high school, passing around headphones with a couple of friends on our lunchbreak. 
  • Korn- Issues. Korn kind of snuck in to my catalog with Limp Bizkit. The singles were my main point of contact- Freak On A Leash, Got The Life, A.D.I.D.A.S, etc. Issues was the first (and only) album of theirs I got, and it wasn't very good but I listened to it a lot.
  • Third Eye Blind- Blue. The followup to one of my favorite albums of all time, and a near equal to me in quality. It's a bit more experimental in sound and scope, but it really fit the mood of that fall for me and where I was. If you're going to listen to one album that I've named so far from this year, please god make it this one. 

And then it was y2k. I ended the year like I started it, with my best buds. 

Up Next- A new millenium. 

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