The 1990s: Two songs about being a fool

Whether or not anyone reads this blog, the one’s who “back into it by accident” will probably find music of the 90s as its heart beat. I was probably 6 when Ian Curtis died, 10 when the Talking Heads stopped making classic concept albums about buildings, but 14 and increasingly interested in music at the tail end of the 1980s when The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me sound tracked adolescence. So by the time 1992 rolled around, when exotic British sounds (like Stone Roses, PiL The The, or something like that) began to wax cold, American music seemed to break into thousands of enjoyable pieces. This is before My So-Called Life replaced The Wonder Years on television, and when heroine was in, before straight edge, Nitzer Ebb t-shirts in my highschool cafeteria, and independent music scenes in pretty much every major American city (where “kids” could get in the door): Hoboken (Yo La Tengo), Chapel Hill (Superchunk), Olympia (Unwound), Cleveland (Nine Inch Nails), the Bay area (Jawbreaker), Honolulu (J Church), and so on. Since the period can be described as one of “let down” phenomena, it is up to others to explain it. But for the two songs below, it is a quixotic disillusionment awakened, and love is the metaphor. Disillusioned products of the Reagan era/post Cold War democratic optimism? Post-Gulf War television/Post-pep rally soundtracked by country music trauma? Anyways, the stories of the time narrated in music, were quite nice to listen to, and reassuring to know it was good to be a fool.

Painful (1993)/ Yo La Tengo

“I was the fool beside you for too long” by Yo La Tengo”

I was the fool beside you,
I was the fool beside you,
I was the fool beside you
For too long
The things about you that would drive me wild
still drive me wild
But now in a different way

Foolish (1994)/Superchunk

“Like a Fool” by Superchunk

Like a fool

I dreamt you chased down the car
waving a sign that made no sense
I drifted in and out
I read the sign out loud

Like a fool

I held the letter stuck
On the end
Of a stick over the pool
And you dove in after trusting me
Trusting me

Like a fool

Driveway to driveway

I still have briars in my clothes
Did I lay you down in those?
The names on the stones were all erased
And I thought it was you that I had chased

Driveway to driveway drunk
I don’t remember this too well
Glad I have the scrapes to prove
Prove it was me who fell
And the names were all we knew
And the names were all erased

From stage to stage we flew
A drink in every hand
My hand on your heart had been replaced
And i thought it was you that I had chased

2 thoughts on “The 1990s: Two songs about being a fool

  1. Man- the wonder years! That takes me back! I was a kid watching that and really looked up to that boy and his sly take on US society (at least as I saw it then.) Liking the site!

  2. i hear that. i was sad when it ended, since it taught me how to be like Kevin Arnold. I really looked for a Winnie Cooper haha. Thanks for the commentary.

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