Digital Culture

A question for the InterWeb

For all my readers out there…this morning found me driving to work and searching my iPod for some early-90’s music to rock to during my hour drive. I had just gotten Soul Asylum’s first album (Grave Dancer’s Union) a couple of weeks ago, and had forgotten large portions of it, even though it was a staple of my ’91-’95 undergraduate career.

So I ask you: What are the essentially early to mid-90’s must have albums? Quirky stuff included…On my iPod I currently have:

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
Soul Asylum

and the requisite biggies like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

What SHOULD I have that just screams NINETIES! A few that I’m thinking of adding to my collection include: Screaming Trees, Spin Doctors…help me out here, people.

EDIT: I know that many of you were like…6 during the 90’s (yes, I’m looking at you, Trish). Humor me.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

6 replies on “A question for the InterWeb”

Well, let’s see. I’d just graduated from HS in 1990 so spent half the decade drunk in college and another half learning that I had to pay my own rent and hopping from city to city. What music do I remember? Definitely the Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul. The Spin Doctors. Deep Blue Something because I loved “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Somewhere in that decade I saw the Counting Crows in concert. I also saw one of U2s concerts – there is always a U2 album, no matter what decade you are in. (This is because Bono is my rock and roll god.) Blind Melon’s “No Rain” with the video of the bumblebee girl. Embarassingly, I also recall C&C Music Factory, Prince’s Diamonds & Pearls, and some angsty ballad by Extreme. It’s possible Van Hagar, er, Van Halen also had some hits in there because I recall trekking to Louisville for that concert. (When you’re trapped in a sleepy Ky town, you take what you can get. We went to a Van Halen concert.)

Which reminds me, and is completely off-topic, but my dad & I are trying rather hard to convince my sports-oriented (as opposed to academic oriented) sisters to go to Morehead next year. I want them out of Northern Ky and on their own. Any thoughts on how I could sell them on Morehead? They already decided against my alma mater (Ky Wesleyan).

remember, the 90s was a whole decade. some of us were both 10 and 20 years old during the nineties. like me. subsequently the bands i’m about to list will surely seem skewed towards the latter half of the nineties. you know, during which time i was in both high school (94-98) and college (98…)!

better than ezra
goo goo dolls
green day!
our lady peace
sarah mclachlan
seven mary three
smashing pumpkins
the nixons
third eye blind
tori amos

ps. some of these singers/bands i still really love, but these were the ones that most “screamed” 90s to me. others, like weezer, existed predominantly in the 90s, but don’t scream 90s in the same way that better than ezra or candlebox do.

I actually first discovered music I would listen to in the early ’90’s, amazingly enough. That would be middle and high school for those who are ancient enough to forget how old I am ;). A lot of the bands have been mentioned but here’s a few extra that spring to mind.

Soundgarden definitely. Mid nineties was Dave Matthews Under the Table and Dreaming and No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. The U2 album was Achtung Baby that I remember (’cause Pop was crap), and then there was, of course, Alice in Chains. Can’t forget them, even though Layne Staley died after grunge was over and forgotten.

We’ve got tons of Live, tons of Gin Blossoms. Those have always been staples in our on-the-road listening and have never faded away. Also Toad the Wet Sprocket when we want something very mellow. Another band that I loved was 10,000 Maniacs. I still like Natalie Merchant ok, but not nearly as much as I loved the band with her as the lead.

Social Distorion, if you want to go back to, say ’88-199X range. The Fuckin’ Breeders, Buffalo Tom, Urge Overkill, Blues Traveler, Paul Westerberg (solo stuff and the last Replacements album), Seven mary 3, Widespread Panic, Sarah Mclaughlin, and Sonic Youth.

I hated Sonic Youth. Dont forget Pavement , too. Pavement was nerd rock at it’s height.

Leave a Reply to Trish Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *