Where Did These Twenty Years Go? 1992! Before the Arthritis Set In!
Admittedly, I was never any good at drinking. But I clearly remember those around me doing it like professionals! They'd get up the next day, shake off the afternoon headache and get back to work! Their dedication was admirable. But they eventually gave in to societal pressures and started showing up for work, regularly, and some even found women to take them seriously.
Our lives may be more like something off The River these days, but we once all had time to make educated judgements on the value of the musicians listed below. Nowadays? Most of us just see the guy in the Black Keys with a cool guitar and figure he must be OK. Then we see him on the cover of Rolling Stone and figure he sucks.
This is where I come in, of course. As a professional, I'm paid to assess the value of today's music and people depend on me to speak the truth. My advice? Wait twenty years and see what I say about them in the inevitable blog: Where Did These Twenty More Years Go? 2012! Before The Removable Teeth!
25) Pavement -- Slanted and Enchanted: It really didn't help their cause that they were so loved by certain "alternative" magazines. Jaded and Overrated is what I remember people I trusted telling me. Then I cocked an ear and thought Yo La Tengo had a friend who liked The Fall. Some of the lyrics were smart and funny. So I filed them under Loudon Wainwright III.
24) The Lemonheads -- It's A Shame About Ray: The original album, without their cover of "Mrs. Robinson," lasted about a half-hour, which is still a perfect amount of time for an album that doesn't have a song over ten minutes on it. Dando came off like a stoner/ airhead in interviews and there was nothing particularly exciting about the album. But it was hummable and when you consider how many bands complicated this strategy in the 1990s, well, why not? It doesn't last long enough to hurt.
23) Various Artists -- Singles, Motion Picture Soundtrack: Cameron Crowe knew Seattle well, before the big money showed up to tear friendships apart. Why shouldn't he make a lighthearted movie that had an informed soundtrack? Crowe's always been a cock-eyed optimist! And he's always loved music. And he even moved Paul Westerberg's geography from Minneapolis to Seattle just so he could make sure nobody forgot about him.
22) Pantera -- Vulgar Display of Power: Phil "Snow In San" Anselmo is not somebody you want to argue with. This album is, according to senior metal experts, a seminal recording that no metal record collection should be without. My head, unfortunately, is made of wood and likely to splinter.