Nostalgia for the ’90s is still at an all-time high. Not only do we have bands performing the freaking Trainspotting soundtrack and a full set as Garbage at our Halloween party next month, but the Mixtape series returns to Great Scott this Friday night for a party that celebrates only songs released in 1995. But while we’re all busy singing along to the Common People, it’s important to remember that the decade wasn’t all Britpop and Clinton and Nomar Garciaparra. There was a downside.
For me, personally, it was listening to No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom on an endless loop at my first job at a shithole Sam Goody tucked away into your standard Long Island strip mall (I’m still walking into “Spiderwebs”). For San Francisco art director and designer Brad Kayal, a former Bostonian who once drummed in 2000s proto-punk band the Information, there is still some severe emotional and psychological pain attached to the CVS playlist he endured on repeat during his time working at the convenience store nearly 20 years ago.
And now he’s faced the music by making a Spotify playlist, “cataloging all the saccharine pop hits that would play while I wasted my teen years for minimum wage at CVS in ’96 / ’97,” he writes online. “It’s a compilation that’s 95% PTSD and 5% Gin Blossoms and despite putting it together, I can’t actually listen to any of this.”
At 15 tracks, it packs a wallop: The Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen” takes us away immediately, followed by selections from Gin Blossoms, Jewel, Deep Blue Something, Collective Soul, Third Eye Blind, and others. We know we’ll be hearing at least one of those at tomorrow’s Mixtape party.
Stop giving yourself the “Run Around,” get properly psyched, and reclaim your “Semi-Charmed Life” via the Spotify playlist below.
And some details on the Mixtape party, in flyer form…