Being on a road trip from Albuquerque, New Mexico, down to the deep end of South Texas with four friends affords people time to kill on meaningless things. One way we came up with to consume the hours was figuring out the algorithm of music selection on the Li thium radio station playlist, which is on Sirius radio and focuses on ’90s Alternative and Grunge Rock.
After 16 hours driving up to Albuquerque, we felt secure that we were catching on to a certain rhythm. One thing made it easy to figure out the algorithm on the way up: It was a commemoration to Nirvana that day, so every hour they would play a Nirvana song. So we just had to figure out what other bands would get air time from Nirvana tune to Nirvana tune. The classics immediately were evident: Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots, and Foo Fighters. Then they started mixing it up with a few unpredictable ones like Lenny Kravits, No Doubt, The Cranberries, Sublime, and several others.
It wasn’t a totally easy game to master, but if you stuck to the classics, you pretty much had a good chance of predicting the next song on the playlist. Needless to say, I lost the game. But what I noted was the difference between then and now. Am I the old guy reminiscing about the “good old days” and how everything was better back in the ’90s? Or is it that today’s music, for the most part, stinks? There are a few cool bands out there. Cage the Elephant, Kings of Leon, Silversun Pick ups, and others. But the truth is, they hardly rock like bands in the ’90s did. It seems today’s music has substituted a more folksy sound in place of the awesome guitar riffs of two decades ago. It’s either that or the complete opposite where there is little talent and a lot of shock value. (Does anyone know how to twerk?).
The point is, as one chat room member put it: “The ’90s has Grunge and half-decent pop singers. [The] 00s have crappy indie and nu-metal bands with talentless pop singers.” The 2010s don’t seem to differ on this aspect. This speaks to something. Are there any bands today that will be timeless like Nirvana? Or is it all formulaic and soulless? We are waiting, 2010s!