Hey, it’s OJ. Run, OJ, run…
Yes, my gherkins, this is the year the highest rated series of the year is the slow speed Bronco chase that everyone broke into regular programming for. And I was watching the NBA finals too.
It was a great diversion too because nobody noticed that the World Series was cancelled or there was some scandal called Whitewater. Why didn’t they call that Whitewatergate by the way? Everything else ends with gate, Koreagate, Monicagate, Gertiegate… wait, what did I do?
Michael Jackson got over his legal scare and married Elvis Presley’s daughter. And who thought it wouldn’t last? Some kid got caned in Thailand for stealing hubcaps or something like that. Boy, everyone is mean to bratty Americans. And then there is this ice skater named Tonya who likes to go clubbing. They let her in the Olympics anyway. Well, at least she didn’t dis Mickey Mouse like the person she went clubbing with (er, on?).
Michael Jordan is now playing baseball because he’s tired of basketball or something. He should have taken up golf. Did you know a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is called a Royale with Cheese? Actually it should be a Royale avec Fromage but maybe John Travolta doesn’t speak French. Don’t let Samuel L. Jackson quote bible scripture though, because… oops, too late.
A lot of people die this year, Jackie O. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Kurt Cob- , oh no, I think I’m going to cry…
Well, some voice on the computer is saying I got mail. I hope it isn’t the Dial a Porn bill. I swear that talking dog gets too excited sometimes. Anyway, here is my top twenty-five of 1994.
Event of the year: Newt Gingrich signs a Contract with America and instantly breaks it
Fad: Slow speed car chases while getting clubbed in the knee
Babe of the Year: Rosanne Arnold Barr (barf bags please)
Scandal of the Year: Bill Clinton announces he isn’t wearing underwear
Movie or TV show to barf to: The latest Police Academy ( was this 11 or 12?)
What we could have done without: Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley
Pet of the year: Tonya Harding
Other Tidbits: The Pentium is introduced, no one knows what a Pentium is, OJ falsely accused of murder, Nancy Kerrigan marries Mickey Mouse, OJ car chase preempted by the NBA Finals, The World Series is cancelled, no one likes baseball anyway, Kurt Cobain proclaimed a god by Kurt Loder, Jules Winnfield charged with mass murder by quoting scripture, President Clinton joins Guns n Roses, Woman sues Ronald McDonald for making bad coffee, he’s also seen in the kitchen with Wendy at parties, The Dancing Ito’s win on Star Search, Scientists discover that French Fries can make you fat, Jim Bakker released from prison, stars in Pulp Fiction, Tom Hanks concludes Hershey kisses are like a bunch of chocolates, Kramer breaks into Seinfeld’s apartment.
Musically this is the year indie starts to become a factor in my twenty-five. So here we go with 1994…
1) Guided By Voices- Bee Thousand
2) Sam Phillips- Martins and Bikinis
3) Magnetic Fields- The Charm of the Highway Strip
4) Portishead- Dummy
5) Johnny Cash- American Recordings
6) Sebadoh- Bakesale
7) Soundgarden- Superunknown
8) Nine Inch Nails- The Downward Spiral
9) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Let Love In
10) Manic Street Preachers- The Holy Bible
11) Stereolab- Mars Audiac Quintet
12) Built To Spill- There’s Nothing Wrong With Love
13) Blur- Parklife
14) Kristin Hersh- Hips and Makers
15) Velvet Crush- Teenage Symphonies To God
16) Jeff Buckley- Grace
17) Beck- Mellow Gold
18) REM- Monster
19) Beastie Boys- Ill Communication
20) Nirvana- Unplugged in New York
21) Liz Phair- Whip Smart
22) Auteurs- Now I’m a Cowboy
23) Pulp- His n Hers
24) Grant Lee Buffalo- Mighty Joe Moon
25) Rancid- Let’s Go
Guided by Voices with their quirky Bee Thousand tops my list this year. Bob Pollard and company will prove to be one of my top artists of the nineties and beyond. They edge past Sam Phillips with her beautiful Martinis and Bikinis. My surprise is at number three while Portishead and the first of Johnny Cash’s American Recordings albums round out the top five. Top ten highlights include Sebadoh, Soundgarden, who was all over the place in 94-95, and another great Nick Cave album. Other standouts in my top twenty-five include Stereolab, a great Big Star influenced Velvet Crush, a surprising debut album by Beck, and, of course, Nirvana’s great unplugged appearance from MTV.
Biggest Surprise- Magnetic Fields- The Charm of the Highway Strip.
Now I’ve heard parts of 69 Love Songs at this writing and expect that album to rate high on my 1999 list and indeed I like quite a bit of Stephen Merritt and his projects. Wasn’t sure this would be as high on this year’s charts though given he was more or less starting out here, but this album is as solid as I expect 69 Love Songs to be. It’s Lo-Fi at its finest and I ended up putting this gem in at number three.
Biggest Disappointment- The Pretenders- Last of the Independents.
In fairness, I was expecting to be turned off by this album. I’ll Stand By You is, to me, about as classic a song as My Heart Will Go On. Night In My Veins seemed to me like it was Chrissie Hynde going through the motions. As it turned out, the album isn’t quite as bad as I thought but it’s still pretty mediocre, and disappointing for a band that once played some of the best jangle pop out there. Sometimes, I wonder why she simply didn’t release the Pretenders as Chrissie Hynde since that’s what it really is. Anyway, this album is only fair at best.
Honorable Mention- Bad Religion- Stranger Than Fiction, Freedy Johnston- This Perfect World, Elvis Costello- Brutal Youth, Soul Coughing- Ruby Vroom, Stone Temple Pilots- Purple
Stinker of the Year- LaToya Jackson- From Nashville To You
Well, this is another way to get back at your brother, sing country. Yeah, Michael Jackson’s bad girl sister tries to do a country album. The problem is it’s not very country and it certainly isn’t soul. It isn’t even Paula Abdul. Good thing she made up with Michael before she found herself singing grunge badly.
Well we’re halfway through the nineties. Be ready for next time as we cover the best of 1995. See you then.