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Tag: Attack of the '90s (31-40 of 96)

VH1's '40 Greatest R&B Songs of the '90s': Bobby Brown, Ginuwine, Boyz II Men -- EXCLUSIVE

Despite Chris Rock’s protestations (“It’s just people singing over rap beats!”), R&B had a fruitful and vibrant decade from 1990 to 2000: The rise of New Jack Swing, the innovation of hip-hop soul, a bevy of breakout stars, and the ever expanding and collapsing boundaries of the genre.

To celebrate the Age of Irony’s best booty shakers and slow jams, VH1 is airing “40 Greatest R&B Songs of the ’90s” on Thursday night at 9 p.m. With the assistance of stars like Usher and Keith Sweat, the countdown special tips its hat to smashes like Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly,” and Bobby Brown’s immortal “Humpin’ Around.”

In fact, all three of those songs appear in the bottom 10 of the countdown. Check out entries 40 to 30 in an exclusive reveal below.

READ FULL STORY

Gene Ween ends Ween after 25 years, doesn't tell Dean Ween

For more than a quarter of a century, Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) have been operating on the fringes of the rock world as Ween, one of the weirdest cult bands to ever land on MTV.

Under the aliases Gene and Dean Ween, the pair built up a relatively small but rabid following, but went relatively quiet in recent years — the band hadn’t put out a new album since 2007’s La Cucaracha. Now, Freeman says the band will be permanently pushing up th’ little daisies.

“It’s time to move on,” Freeman told Rolling Stone. “I’m retiring Gene Ween. It’s been a long time. It was a good run.” He recently released his first solo album Marvelous Clouds and will continue to make music under his government name.

Unfortunately, this all came as a surprise to Melchiondo, who was apparently not aware that his lifelong musical project was being retired. “[It’s] news to me, all I can say for now I guess,” Melchiondo wrote on Ween’s Facebook page. There hasn’t been an official statement about the status of the band, and though it’s been five years since their last album, the pair played concerts together at the end of 2011.

In their heyday, Ween were embraced by the 120 Minutes generation that also made bands like the Butthole Surfers, Ass Ponys, They Might Be Giants, and Primus into semi-mainstream sensations. The ’90s turned out be their their most successful and productive period, cresting with 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese, 1996’s 12 Golden Country Greats, and 1997’s The Mollusk.

But they remained beloved by their core fans, and by several similarly oddball tastemakers in the mainstream as well: Their song “Ocean Man” appeared in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, and “The Rainbow” showed up on Chef Aid: The South Park AlbumREAD FULL STORY

Collective Soul's Dean Roland talks new tour and '90s nostalgia

In 1994, five guys from Georgia scored with a big-hooked rock song called “Shine.” The single rose up the old-fashioned way, finding major airplay on college radio and gradually bleeding into the mainstream. “Shine” ended up just missing the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it did send the group’s debut album Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid to double platinum status, despite the fact that it was a collection of barely mixed demos.

Seven albums and 18 years later, Collective Soul are still a band (though now a quartet), and just launched their first tour in four years. The focus of this run is their fourth album, 1999’s Dosage. We’ve seen plenty of ’90s nostalgia tours, many of which are centered around iconic albums. Those albums tend to be critical favorites or commercial juggernauts (or both), but Dosage is neither.

It was not the band’s biggest seller (that was 1995’s self-titled release) nor does it contain its biggest hit (“Shine” still holds that distinction). So why elevate it to legendary status? READ FULL STORY

On the tenth anniversary of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' death, TLC announces 'reunion' tour

A decade ago today, TLC rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the most volatile and outspoken member of the platinum R&B trio, passed away following a car accident in Honduras. She was 30 years old. Lopes left behind a legacy of controversy (in 1994, she famously set her NFL player boyfriend’s house on fire) and huge hits (TLC notched four number ones and sold 22 million albums in the nine years they were together).

Now TMZ is reporting that surviving members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas are planning a reunion tour that would incorporate Left Eye into the show via archival footage. It’s not the same as Dr. Dre resurrecting Tupac for a drop-in, but it does further the idea that death need not be the end of a performer’s on-stage life.

Following Lopes’ death, Watkins and Thomas finished the group’s final album 3D without her. Though it was unclear whether or not the group would have stayed together had Left Eye survived the car crash; in a notorious statement published in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, she challenged her other two bandmates (plus producer Dallas Austin) to a showdown where the victor would be decided by album sales.

“I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas to an album entitled The Challenge, a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums,” she wrote. READ FULL STORY

Record Store Day 2012 preview: The best vinyl, the coolest stores

RECORD-STORE-DAY

Today, thousands of fastidious collectors are waking up way too early for a Saturday, standing  in silly lines with their brethren, and diving deep into crates to pay premium bank for the privilege of owning a handful of the dozens of exclusive vinyl releases being put out as part of the sixth annual Record Store Day.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Launched in 2007, Record Store Day celebrates the independent music shop, an institution that has been under attack since well before the Internet threatened to dismantle the music business. Really, it’s a day to celebrate the relative resilience of these little shingles that could. After all, they survived the format wars, outlived massive chains like Tower Records and Virgin Megastore, and stuck out the first wave of file sharing (Napster, Gnutella, and the like).

With vinyl sales surging and interest in sprawling music discovery zones like Amoeba Records steadily growing, it’s a good time to be a fan of black discs that go around and around and around. This year’s exclusive Record Store Day features the release of several dozen exclusive pieces of vinyl, which may or may not be available at your local emporium (it pays to hit up more than one spot, if only to observe the crowds at each location). READ FULL STORY

Soundgarden's new 'Avengers' single 'Live to Rise' -- their first in 16 years -- available as free download today

The last time Soundgarden wrote and recorded a new song together, Bill Clinton was president and Independence Day was the top-grossing movie at the multiplex. (“Black Rain,” the “new” song from the band’s 2010 release Telephantasm, doesn’t count, since it dates all the way back to the Badmotorfinger era.)

But that was 1996. Since another relic from that year is suddenly walking around again, why wouldn’t the newly-revived Soundgarden get back together for a new single for the soundtrack to the all-superheroes-on-deck action flick The Avengers?

That very thing exists now. “Live to Rise” has been floating around the Internet for a minute, but now it has been officially released and will be available for free on iTunes starting today until next Tuesday, April 24.

So has anything changed in the 16 years between original Soundgarden compositions? READ FULL STORY

What is the most '90s movie soundtrack of all time?

Last weekend, I stumbled across my new favorite blog on the Internet.

It’s written by a dude named Chris who is on an ongoing quest to decide which film released between 1990 and 1999 is the most ’90s movie of all time. He uses a handful of rotating criteria, like whether or not the plot of the film could be executed using today’s technology and social customs, the extreme ’90s-ness of the fashion, the use of outdated technology (like pagers and gigantic laptops), and whether the stars of the film are inextricably linked to the decade.

“The Quest” has been going on for a year, but I was so enamored of the idea that I ran through dozens of posts in a single afternoon, internally debating the merits of the scoring system and trying to decide whether or not Angelina Jolie is tethered to any particular era (and even if she isn’t, Hackers is still a paragon of ’90s-ness).

Top scoring entries so far include Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (major points based on the impossibility of the plot in today’s technological landscape), Clueless (obvious nods to several different levels of fashion as well as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones), and Encino Man (a winner just based on the presence of Pauly Shore, perhaps the most ’90s a person has ever been).

That walk down memory lane appealed to me not only because I have so many personal memories tied up in movies like Happy Gilmore, Mallrats, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but also because ’90s film soundtracks are about the only compact discs I still buy.

Whenever I’m in a used record store (especially in a city I’ve never visited), my first stop is always the soundtracks, where incredible relics like Twister and Batman Forever live in permanently unloved rotation. I’ve amassed a pretty thorough collection that acts as a remarkable summation of the times — especially the ones that were clearly curated to appeal to fans of the associated movies (and the ones that weren’t are even more mind-blowing).

So naturally, I started thinking: What ’90s movie soundtrack is the most ’90s? READ FULL STORY

Greg Dulli on curating All Tomorrow's Parties, getting the Afghan Whigs back together, and why Louis C.K. is like a pretty girl

Greg Dulli has spent the first decade and a half of the 21st century as the mastermind behind the Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins, dressing up after-hours reveries in blues riffage, goth leanings, and tales of love gone awry. But that footprint began back in the ’90s with the Afghan Whigs, his cultishly-adored group of funk-loving, soul-stealing rockers from Cincinnati.

That band called it quits nearly 15 years ago, and now Dulli has reconstituted the group, which will make its grand return at this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey—an event that Dulli also happens to be curating.

In addition to the Whigs, his eclectic lineup includes the Roots, stand-up comic Louis C.K., Sharon Van Etten, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and frequent collaborator Mark Lanegan. We spoke with Dulli about the reunion, the festival, and the haze of the ’90s.

EW: Which came first: The reunion or the call to curate All Tomorrow’s Parties?
Dulli: The best way I can describe it is that it was sort of a perfect storm of events. I did an acoustic tour a year and a half ago and John Curley, my dear friend and bass player in the Whigs, joined me for the show in Cincinnati, which we’ve done before when I pass through there. But then, I asked him, “Do you want to come up to Chicago and play?” He came up to Chicago and people freaked out. I finished up that tour on the west coast and I called him and I was like, “Hey man, do you want to do the west coast with me?” And he said yes. That was a great time. At that point, we began to play a few more Whigs songs in the show and I really enjoyed it. I rediscovered some songs that I had forgotten about and how much I enjoyed playing them. Then, when the Twilights tour last spring, we played Minneapolis where [Afghan Whigs guitarist] Rick [McCollum] lives. I had lunch with Rick. I hadn’t seen Rick in three or four years. We didn’t even talk about playing together but we had a really nice time at lunch. Then, he came to the gig and hung out. We were never at odds anyway so we didn’t have to get over any animosity. There were no hatchets to be buried. So when [All Tomorrow’s Parties founder] Barry Hogan came around this last time was like, “Hey, do you want to?” I’m like, “Maybe.” My stance had just softened on the hardline and it seemed like if we were ever going to do it, this seemed like the right time to do it.

This can’t be the first time somebody has floated that idea. READ FULL STORY

Fiona Apple returns to the stage with new songs at SXSW

It’s been over 15 years since the lovely angst of Fiona Apple’s debut album Tidal swept through the pop world and made her both an instant sensation and a lightning rod (see: this video) for controversy.

Since then the singer has moved in — and more often, out — of the public sphere, weathering both personal heartbreak and professional woe while wending her way to another album with a really long title, due this spring.

Apple has hardly been onstage since she toured for Extraordinary Machine in 2007, making her set at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, as part of South by Southwest, a pretty high-stakes coming-out party. And accordingly, her early-evening set attracted a massive throng of curious onlookers, most of whom seemed to have a tremendous amount of emotional baggage tied up in Apple’s early work.

So is the old Fiona back for good? READ FULL STORY

Marilyn Manson returns with new single 'No Reflection': Is he still scary?

Marilyn Manson is back with a new album called Born Villain, and the first single “No Reflection” just dug itself out of a shallow grave to walk the Earth.

Manson hasn’t been gone for very long (the band’s last album, The High End of Low, came out in 2009), but it has been a while since he has been a significant part of the pop culture conversation. The last time the group’s titular singer made a big impact was with 2003’s The Golden Age of Grotesque, and even then it seemed like the seams were showing and the decline was inevitable (though it should be noted that The Golden Age of Grotesque is wildly underrated, with a number of never-were anthems like “Ka-Boom Ka-Boom”).

There was also a moment when the video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses” looked like the return of scandalous Manson, but it was processed by the online news machine in a day and pretty much never heard from again. Considering the relatively small venues booked on Marilyn Manson’s upcoming tour, they seem closer to becoming the door-to-door fear factory once lampooned in The Onion.

But is “No Reflection” the way back for Manson, both the band and the man? The guitars are still loud, the beat still propulsive, and the chorus pretty melodic. Give it a listen below. READ FULL STORY

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