…Summer. And you just got back from school. You turn on the TV, tune into MTV and you hear those sounds and see those sights…
The day instantly got better, brighter, more beautiful. You just had to smile, turn the volume up, kick up your shoes and just groove along for a bit.
Beck – Loser [Mellow Gold] | 1994 | Alternative/Lo-Fi
No matter how much into goth I was and am, grunge/alternative/indie were as big a part of those years for me as the darker shades for music. And Beck… Well, Beck was special. He had the boyish looks and a nearly innocent kind of charisma coupled with some of the most fucked-up lyrics you’ll ever read. In a good sense. Coupled with the pretty much always awesome music and composition, those lyrics set themselves into your head and made you think about that stuff when you watched the clouds go by under a clear-blue sky.
And Loser? By the ever-dead gods… Loser was the song for a generation. I’d be hard-pressed to chose any single song from thee 00’s which had such an impact across so many sub-cultures and cliques. I don’t think that there was a single kid at my school who didn’t love this song. Goths, Metalheads, Rockers, Punks, the emerging Techno crowd… Loser was just… Them. Us. Everybody.
It was surreal and weird and fucked up, but at the same time it was upbeat, it made you think, it made you grin and smile and laugh about all the shit that was wrong with you. And it made you able to share those moments with others. Friends and complete strangers alike. Whenever there was a party or someone got one of their post-boombox-boombox out and played that song, there were knowing grins thrown all over the place when all the people joined in the chorus.
“I’m a loser baby… So why don’t you kill me?”
Those were the words of Generation X. Post-Cobain, even, for that added “ironic” & dark touch.
And even though I’m a bit too young to fully fit, I’m a Gen-X’er too, by association and weird preference for age-inappropriate music alone. When you add my outlook on the world, I’m a near-perfect fit. Gen X got (and still gets) much crap. But they’re still people I find perfectly likeable and lovable. And, damn, fuck the current Hipster movement. We had a fucked-up sense of fashion long before they came along and took the 00’s as their decade.
Washed-out/acid-treated Jeans, loose T-Shirts, chains, flannel shirts hung loosely over our torsos, often buttoned non-symmetrically and Doc Marten’s boots. Add some disheveled hair, glasses, dreadlocks and the hottest girls you can imagine… Those were the people rocking out to Beck, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and all the other greats of this musical era. Whenever I watch the first two seasons of Buffy (and listen to the magnificent soundtrack via their school’s club/bar hangout) I get utterly sentimental. I miss the style, and the people.
That’s my song for today.
Listen to it, and feel good. Sing along with the chorus, and feel better.
Fuck the world and what others think of you. It’s you who counts.
Enjoy that wonderful, perfect, golden-autumn Saturday night!