Radio: '90s Alternative

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by Stephanie Benson

Ah, the 1990s: slackers ruled Hollywood, losers dominated MTV, heroin was chic, Winona Ryder was still attracting rock stars and Jared Leto was Jordan Catalano. Discmans, pagers and AOL were all the rage; flannel shirts and pierced bellybuttons were the hallmark of cool. This was the decade that birthed the "alternative nation" -- a ragtag term meant to represent Generation X's most disenchanted. It was a time when the uncool became cool, and "alternative" quickly, and ironically, became mainstream.

The music of the decade reflected this disillusionment. The early '90s brought us the Seattle scene and grunge, starring Nirvana, Read more »

Ah, the 1990s: slackers ruled Hollywood, losers dominated MTV, heroin was chic, Winona Ryder was still attracting rock stars and Jared Leto was Jordan Catalano. Discmans, pagers and AOL were all the rage; flannel shirts and pierced bellybuttons were the hallmark of cool. This was the decade that birthed the "alternative nation" -- a ragtag term meant to represent Generation X's most disenchanted. It was a time when the uncool became cool, and "alternative" quickly, and ironically, became mainstream.

The music of the decade reflected this disillusionment. The early '90s brought us the Seattle scene and grunge, starring Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains; it also saw the rise of '80s college-rock stars like R.E.M. and the Pixies. Then came the Britpop battles between Blur and Oasis, Green Day's scrappy pop-punk, Weezer's witty geekdom, Smashing Pumpkins' dreamy angst, No Doubt's hot-girl ska, Björk's weirdo pop, Nine Inch Nails' and Marilyn Manson's industrial menace, and a whole lotta grrrl power from Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey, Liz Phair and Hole.

All of this was deemed "alternative," and it's all here -- along with plenty of one-hit wonders and indie rock gems -- on our '90s Alternative radio station. If you get inspired to start a zine, pierce your nose or start a mosh pit, we won't be held responsible.

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