Before the 21st birthday Matador party in Vegas this weekend Liz Phair has penned an excellent column for the Wall Street Journal discussing the rise of 90s nostalgia in indie rock that’s arguably better than her last three albums combined.
Noting that “many of the bands on the label and Matador staffers themselves came from well-educated, upper middle class backgrounds,” Phair said the label was intent on sticking it to the mainstream media using “late-stage Beatles malaise” in the form of preposterous assertions, intentionally vague and outlandish bios, with the hopes of renewing the focus on songs that had been lacking in publications like the all Street Journal since the 60s, commenting, “But forgive me, I sound like a member of a bygone generation, one of those bewhiskered hippies from the LSD era, bemoaning the straying spotlight and nostalgic for the past. Which I am.” Phairs honesty has to be appreciated, and while it’s still a concert, she notes that for the artists and label it’s more like a high school reunion.
For music fans who came to college age after the 1990s, it’s been a reoccurring theme to see 90s bands, be it the grunge stars who went platinum, the indie stars who defied them, and every white kid in between, mirror the nostalgia, burnout and inability to cope with changing music culture that is no less egregious than the things grunge-era music fans hated their parents for (see: Greenberg, Pavement backlash). Now, there’s an icon from that era who is echoing that sentiment, acknlowedging her flaws, and consigning herself to them in an editorial in one the most mainstream media publications imaginable. This is a good thing.