As a greater drunk than I once opined, “time is a flat circle.” Nowhere is this idea—the idea that history is in a constant state of repeating itself—more apparent than in the world of pop culture. As the wheel of pop culture turns, the popular becomes passé and fades from memory, until such a time that it becomes cool again. More and more, it’s becoming apparent that this wheel has turned and that 2015 is set to become the most 90s year in nearly two decades.
Jimmy Fallon can’t seem to go a month without tickling our nostalgia bones; his Saved by the Bell and Fresh Prince sketches have become viral sensations for doing little more than reminding us of the glory that was the greatest decade of all time. Say what you will about Fallon and his comedy, it’s a symptom of something larger and, if you look around just a little bit, you see little reminders everywhere that the 90s are back, and they’re bigger than ever…
Primus and Dinosaur Jr. Are Touring Together
In what might be the most 90s announcement since the days of the Y2K fear, seminal 90s bands Primus and Dinosaur Jr. have joined forces for a massive nationwide tour. This is pretty big news for fans of the 90s alternative scene. While it’s true that both bands have been fairly active over the past few years, their joining of forces is reminiscent of the monster tours of the mid-90s—remember when Lollapalooza was a multi-city event? Both of these bands were powerhouses enough to draw crowds in their heyday, and bringing them together is a genius move that’s sure to fill every seat of every venue lucky enough to have booked them.
Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson Launch Co-Headlining Tour
Oh Jesus. The weight of this tour might just be heavy enough to rip a hole into the fabric of space-time and send us all catapulting back to the mid-90s, a time when Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson ruled the rock and roll airwaves. Neither band has exactly faded away at any point, true, but there was a point in time where you couldn’t turn on a rock station anywhere in the country without hearing “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and Manson’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” cover within an hour. No band quite encapsulates the varying feel of that decade like these two bands do. Pumpkins were the perfect band to lead rock and roll into the post-grunge era while Manson captured and enraged the imaginations of just about everyone during the same period. Their unlikely alliance is a coup for 90s nostalgists across the country, and already this is looking to be like one of the hottest tickets of the year.
Garth Brooks Has Returned
Garth Brooks did what few people have ever done when he quit the music life to better focus on being a father to his children. While many has-beens have made this claim over the years, Brooks bowed out while he was still at the top of his game, with six albums selling diamond, according to SoundScan tallies. Just recently, he overtook the King himself, Elvis, for number of albums sold and his stock is only continuing to rise. Make no mistake about: Garth Brooks is to the 90s what Michael Jackson was to the 80s. He was an unstoppable force of nature that changed the entire landscape of country music forever. Currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, Brooks is selling out venues and rocking crowds like it’s 1996 with multi night city runs being added continuously since his return in September 2014 with 11 shows at Rosemeont, IL.
New Failure Album
Failure is one of those bands that nobody paid attention to until it was already too late. After three phenomenal records, the band called it quits in 1997 and seemed forever doomed to be your favorite band’s favorite band. Thankfully—in no small part due to A Perfect Circle’s cover of “The Nurse Who Loved Me”—the band has seen a resurgence of popularity over the last decade, becoming a favorite of fans of spaced-out rock and roll. Last year, the band reformed and toured as the opening act for Tool before hitting the road on their own. While rumors were rampant about a new record, the band remained adamant that nothing was in the works. Until, of course, something was. The band’s latest record, The Heart is a Monster, is due out in June and the lead track, “Hot Traveler”, already sounds like no time has passed; it’s a monument to 90s space-rock that may as well be a portal back to their heyday.
X-Files Returns With New Season
Back in 1993, The X-Files was a revelation. Chris Carter’s show about unexplained mysteries and alien conspiracies changed the television game forever and even introduced the term “monster of the week” into the cultural lexicon. Despite a lackluster last few seasons, the series is fondly remembered and fans have been clamoring for something new for years. Now, 22 years after its premiere, the show is being resurrected for a 6 episode event sometime this year or next. While there’s no information about a premiere date for this mini-series, filming begins this summer and something like this is the stuff sweeps weeks are made of. One thing’s for sure though: No show on television defined the 90s quite like The X-Files did, and its comeback is indicative of a new wave of 90s fever.
‘Mr. Show’ Returns
The 90s were prime for fans of sketch comedy, with groups like The State and The Kids in the Hall defining a new breed of absurdist comedy for Gen Xers. This movement towards the bizarre culminated in Mr. Show with Bob and David. Though it only ran for a few years on HBO, Mr. Show was a high water moment for comedy and made stars out of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, as well as much of their supporting staff and writing crew, including Brian Posehn and Sarah Silverman. Despite its short lifespan, esteem for this sketch comedy show has only grown in recent years and fans have been demanding more. Well, the wait is over. Netflix announced this week that Odenkirk and Cross have signed on for a four-episode series titled With Bob and David. Though it may be missing the Mr. Show from its name, everything else promises to be a return to the same brand of absurdist humor popularized by 90s tastes and trends.
New ‘Twin Peaks’
They told us they’d see us in 25 years, but no one wanted to believe it. And yet, here we are, and that gum we like is coming back in style. David Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery captured the mind of a nation in ways that no television show had done before. Week in and week out, millions tuned in to find out more about the death of Laura Palmer as well as the strange citizens of the town she called home. Cancelled before its time, the world had longed since accepted the fact that we would never know for sure where the dark and twisted path of Twin Peaks was going to take us. Next year, however, Twin Peaks is getting resurrected as Showtime brings it back for a mini-series event. Twin Peaks is the show that effectively killed 80s style drama and ushered in a new era in story-telling; its return is only the most 90s thing to happen since the calendar changed to 2000.
Even ‘Coach’ Is Riding The Nostalgia Train
ABC’s Coach may not have changed any games or broke new ground, but it was one of the most popular sitcoms of the decade, earning 5 Golden Globe and 16 Emmy nominations during its 8 year run. Its legacy endures to this day in syndication and, to a vast swatch of the population, Craig T. Nelson will forever be associated with the character of Coach Hayden Fox. Inexplicably, it was announced this week that NBC would be bringing the show back for a 13 episode run, proving once and for all that 90s nostalgia knows no bounds.
The original Jurassic Park is one of those once-in-a-generation movies that changes the landscape and viewer expectations for all time. It was impossible to escape the impact of Jurassic Park when it was released and its influence continues to ripple through the world of the summer blockbuster. Dino-excitement is currently reaching new heights as we prepare for Jurassic World. Though the fourth movie in the series, by all appearances it seems as though Jurassic World is poised to take its place next to progenitor and reclaim the Jurassic series from the grips of B-movie cheesiness that has befallen it. One thing’s for sure though, we haven’t been this excited to see some sweet dinosaur action since the early 90s.
The Return of Grunge Chic
The uniform of any self-respecting 90s denizen consisted of some combination of flannel shirts, torn jeans, Doc Marten boots, and possibly Birkenstocks (depending on what kind of 90s kid you were). We of course cannot forget the sight of baggy beanies hunched over stringy, bleached blonde hair. To look back at the fashion trends of the 90s is to hold a mirror up to the fashion of today. Even a cursory glance at the crowd at any festival will prove that grunge chic and post-hippy fashion has settled once more onto our culture. We can only posit that in short-order we’ll see a revival in tie-dye and nu-hippy traditional wear.