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’90s Music Icons on ’90s Nostalgia

“I get sentimental over the music of the ’90s,” music critic Rob Sheffield writes in his memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape. Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I’m concerned the ’90s was the best era for music ever, even the stuff that I loathed at the time, even the stuff that gave me stomach cramps.” Considering the current fashion of reunion tours and cruises and the Internet-based obsession with the quirkiness of popular culture from two decades ago, Sheffield seems to be in the majority. But there are plenty of musical icons from the era who have more of a love-hate affair with the decade that brought them fame. Click through and read about how those icons look back on the ’90s: fondly, with derision, or somewhere in between.

kathleen hanna

Kathleen Hanna

“I do a lot of interviews and stuff where they ask me about it and I feel like the nostalgia is this happy thing where it’s like, ‘oh, I wish I lived in the ’90s, it would be so awesome! There was this community and it would be so great.’ My experience of it was that it was not that great, and a lot of people don’t know about the violence at shows and how much shit bands with women in them — especially explicitly feminist bands — took. And so when people are nostalgic about it, I’m like, oh, you want to go back to a time when if you were onstage and you said, ‘there’s a pro-choice rally happening,’ there could be a guy who’s yelling ‘shut up!’ while you were talking, and possibly had a knife in his jacket. And nobody would do anything about it. You know, and a lot of times girls just weren’t safe at shows. And I don’t know if they are now, I definitely know that at some shows they’re not. The nostalgia erases a lot of the negative things that happened and when I talk about that in lectures people are very shocked.” [via The Frisky / Bookforum]

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