Tag Archives: alternative rock

Alternative Rock Battle: 90s vs. Today


It’s been a long few days at work, so I apologize for not updating the blog. Right now I’m sitting in the DMV because these clowns didn’t file the right paperwork when I was in a few months ago so I have to do it again. I’m No. D317 and we’re up to D309. This could take awhile and I’m using this time to update my progress with the Pandora challenge.

I also didn’t update the blog last week because there wasn’t really much to update. I ran on Monday, took Tuesday off and planned to run the rest of the week. But a work emergency had me working a 12-hour day on Wednesday, 10 hours on Thursday and left me dead tired on Friday.

I did manage to run Saturday and Sunday, a 4 mile run followed by a 5 miler. Since I had a rough week and just wanted something familiar, I chose 90s Alternative for Saturday and Today’s Alternative for Sunday and compared the two. Which decade has the better alt rock? Let’s find out.

Nirvana — “Come As You Are” vs. Foster the People — “Pumped Up Kicks”

These were the first two songs played on the runs, and it brings up an interesting debate. On the 90s side, we have one of the biggest rock bands in the decade despite the fact that it stopped producing music early in the 90s. Today’s Alternative counters with a band that isn’t a big name necessarily but has one of the biggest hits in the past three years.

I know there are a lot of Nirvana fans out there, and I’m one of them WE’RE UP TO D310 but I have to give this one to Foster the People. “Come As You Are” by far isn’t Nirvana’s biggest hit. It’s probably No. 3 or 4 on the Nevermind album. “Pumped Up Kicks” is the biggest song Foster the People have and probably will ever have. For that alone, point goes to Today’s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 0
Today’s Alternative: 1


Stone Temple Pilots — “Interstate Love Song” vs. The Lumineers — “Ho Hey”

This is an easy decision here. Stone Temple Pilots wins this one going away.

“Hey Ho” is a fine song for a movie trailer, but it’s unbearable to hear on the radio or in this case on a run. WE’RE UP TO D312. WE’RE ROLLING NOW. It’s slow and whiny, which I’ll come to find out is the MO for Today’s Alternative music.

No one can argue with Stone Temple Pilot’s impact on rock and its energetic D314! sound. “Interstate Love Song” isn’t their hardest song, but it’s one of their most popular, and for good reason.

Point goes to 90s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 1
Today’s Alternative: 1


Red Hot Chili Peppers — “Under the Bridge” vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers — “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

Holy crap I hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I mean, I absolutely cannot stand to hear any song by that band. They’re total crap in my opinion, and there’s only one song by them that I can tolerate, and that’s “Under the Bridge.”

The reason I can tolerate this song is because in high school when we’d travel to away track meets, we’d break out in an acapella rendition of “Under the Bridge.” It wasn’t good, but it passed the time and ticked off our coach.

Any other RHCP song that isn’t “Under the Bridge,” including “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” automatically loses.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 2
Today’s Alternative: 1

Tonic — “If You Could Only See” vs. Linkin Park— “Burn It To The Ground”

This is an interesting matchup. Linkin Park’s high energy, up-tempo song against Tonic’s slower, but with more ranges song. Each one is a strong song on its own and each one makes a decent running song, so it’s hard to compare the two.

Like every tough decision I make in life, I make a sports analogy and use past results to figure out a winner. “Burn It To The Ground” is a faster, stronger song with punishing, bruising notes. Similar to an SEC football team (You may already know where I’m going with this). “If You Could Only See” has substance and some star parts that will do damage when in the right set, but the depth isn’t there. Similar to a Pac-12 football team.

So SEC football vs. Pac-12 football. I believe we all remember what happened in 2011 when LSU faced Oregon. The Ducks put up a good fight, but they couldn’t sustain the LSU depth and punch. LSU won, and so, too, does Linkin Park.

Point to Today’s Alternative.

90s Alternative: 2
Today’s Alternative: 2


Nirvana — “Heart-Shaped Box” vs. Mumford & Sons — “I Will Wait”

Like I said before, I’m a Nirvana fan. Not a huge one like many people I know, but I did have a Kurt Cobain poster in my freshman dorm room (Mostly because my roommate said I needed a poster of something to get rid of the dirty wall color).

“Heart-Shaped Box” is also my favorite Nirvana song of all time. Many die-hard fans despise this song because it’s essentially a love song to Courtney Love, but I think it’s great.

Mumford & Sons is dying for me. Very quickly, too. I liked the band when they first became popular around 2009, but there’s only so much “Little Lion Man” you can hear before you agree that they really fucked it up this time. D317! YES! BRB! Add that every song Mumford & Sons has sounds the same, and we’re going on four years of hearing basically the same song.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 3
Today’s Alternative: 2


Smashing Pumpkins — “1979” vs. Capital Cities — “Safe and Sound”

It’s an elimination game for Today’s Alternative in this best-of-seven series, so this is a big matchup. Unfortunately for them, 90s Alternative comes out with its best performance up to date.

You can beat The Smashing Pumpkins, but you can’t beat “1979.” It’s by far the best song on the Melancholy and Infinite Sadness double album, and that’s including “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” This album had a big impact on me growing up. I dreamed about getting older so I could ride in the back seat of my friends car because of this song.

“Safe and Sound” is a good song, but there’s no question which song wins here. Despite “1979” being slow for a running song, it still dominates.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 4
Today’s Alternative: 2

Third Eye Blind — “Semi-Charmed Life” vs. Imagine Dragons — “Radioactive”

The match is over, but we still have one more song to go, so let’s do it anyway. Although, again, it’s not pretty for Today’s Alternative.

Nothing, and I mean absolutely, nothing can beat “Semi-Charmed Life.” The song first appeared on the 90s Hits station in my first Pandora challenge post, and I was happy to see it return for the 90s Alternative.

“Radioactive” is good, but holy crap it’s overplayed. Everyone needs to stop playing it on the radio and for the love of God stop making sports montage with this song in the background.

Point 90s Alternative

90s Alternative: 5
Today’s Alternative: 2

90s Alternative dominates the faceoff. I liked Today’s Alternative, but it’s sound doesn’t compare to the 90s Alternative sound. Today’s sound is slower, whinier, more depressing compared to the 90s (and the 90s had two songs sung by a guy who blew his head off!).

Am I getting old and thinking they just don’t make good music like they used to? Perhaps. But I will still love the 90s.

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