The Seattle sound that runs through my veins.
April 01, 2011
I hope ya'll have enjoyed the articles I've posted on RJ for some time. I have been working on this one for a while so hopefully it turns out OK.

Back in the 1990s, we had a genre come from the good state of Washington that grew into a trend, style, lyrics and culture. We all remember it and we may or may not have been so into it.


My own personal opinion though, I LOVE GRUNGE! We may not even know it but several things we see today developed from the 90s genre and trend like Starbucks for example. I will be discussing the values of coffee shops, shredded jeans, long hair, bands, moods, everything.

First is the wonderful, yet expensive Starbucks. It's coffee; crack juice; java; whatever you want to call it. This was a big thing in the 90s (from my POV). I just brought up the idea of Starbucks since everyone was flocking to them for the tall, Grande and venti cups of roasted nectar. The business in Seattle, Washington began in 1971 but went "country-wide" in 1987 in Illinois and British Columbia.

(Author's Note: I got the information/history off of Wikipedia for a quick search of it. So anything related to the history is credited back to Wikipedia.)

Everyone wanted to have the espresso or latte or just the basic black coffee with the insignia stamped on the cup. Japan got their Starbucks injection in 1996; U.K was 1998. So for those countries and those in between, started to get interested in drinking coffee. I know that Japanese are more into drinking tea and coffee was more of a western influence. Heard today they still drink tea more than coffee. I'm not saying Starbucks was necessarily apart of grunge but the idea of coffee and coffee houses were apart of grunge. You would lounge in shops, wafting the smell of roasted beans being grounded and brewed, listening to you CD collection of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, thinking of ways to write stories or music. (I will get to that later).

Coffee shops in general were a big rave in the 90s for poetic, lounge singers who wanted to make a buck or just to share their artistic mind. I am a poet myself and what coffee shops create as an atmosphere, entices the mind to create, sipping on your hot or cold coffee and taking in the people entering and exiting the shops. You get the feeling of inspiration of what colors a person wears, what their expression is when the coffee is in their hands; you have to create the sense of emotion into words.

Along with the coffee shops and your personal Tape player or CD player, you had the wonders of bands that were born into grunge. I'm just going to name a few of them and some songs but everyone will get the picture:

Seven Mary Three

"Cumbersome", "Water's Edge"

Pearl Jam

"Jeremy" "Black" "rearviewmirror" (song has been in my head for a week now)

Pearl Jam is a fabulous band and I hope their albums go far.


"Black Hole Sun" "Burden in My Hand" "Spoonman"

Stone Temple Pilots

"Creep" "Interstate Love Song" "Dead and Bloated"

Alice in Chains

"Rooster" "Down in A Hole" "Nutshell"

But above all the one band that stood out and got more attention that any other band and started in Seattle


By far and I know that some people agree, some don't and that's ok, that these guys began the Grunge era of rebelling and just engorging one's self into the music of guitar and absent-minded lyrics of Kurt Kobain, but yet understood them. From "Smells like Teen Spirit", "Polly", "Heart Shaped Box", "All Apologies", "About a Girl", "Come As You Are" and many other great songs! Rising in popularity through albums like Nevermind, In Utero andBleach.

Although kids and teens were banging their heads full of long greasy hair, it soon hung low with the blow of knowing Kurt's downfall and suicide. April of '94 became a dark month for all Grunge followers when we heard on MTV that Kurt died at the tender age of 27. Some say it was rigged, that he was murdered by Courtney or Dave; I just leave it as it is. Kurt was an amazing poet and damn-good songwriter. He will be labeled as a great Grunge leader in the early 90s.


Ahh, the distorted sounds of guitars, feedback, angst-filled lyrics.; it is a calling of mine ever since I was around 7. I rebelled from going to school, playing “hookie” with fake fevers, getting in trouble and sitting out in the hallway; sitting in the back of the bus, alone and up against the window. I'll always be Grunge, even though I may wear a dress once in a while and make-up.

Along with the genre in music, clothing was another mark into the early 90s. Mostly it was a "get up from a night of partying and continue the day wearing the same thing you wore last night" kinda thing with ripped jeans, flannel shirts, and long stringy hair with some whiskers to go with it.

I think it was more on the basis of being comfortable and not really caring about who thought you looked like a mess. It was the style, the way of saying "fuck the man" to anyone who came across the jeans and flannel shirts. Summer or winter, these close made a staple in the fashion shows and to the bum down the street. It was the fashion and honestly was really comfortable. Jeans were ripped on the butt, pocket, knees (mostly), up the sides. T-shirts were half dirty, stained, bleached, torn but we sure did wear them until we couldn't anymore. Girls (i.e. Courtney Love) didn't wear bras and over done the makeup and eyeliner.

I even still wear ripped jeans, chuck taylors, and faded t-shirts on a Saturday night to the local bar, while I drank Shinerbock and Guinness. Yum!!

With everything though, the fun does end. In the mid to late 90s, Grunge started to go into a Menopausal state of post-grunge with great bands as Bush, Cold and Candlebox, but didn't carry much of the roots and Brit-pop started to come into full circle (Blur). Grunge was put on the back burner as Blur started to hit mainstream with their hit "Song 2". From Wikipedia, Damon Albarn, from Blur, said "If punk was about getting rid of hippies, then I'm getting rid of Grunge." It seemed like only a matter of weeks and months before we saw the ending of such remember -able bands, times, and styles. Just like that. Poof! It was gone and the country soon moved on and got into the more up-beat styles of songs and the introduction of boy bands again (ha, ha). Some of the fans of Grunge still kept up with the music and the styles, until everyone thought it was "Nasty" or what I was told when I was 12 "gross". Whatever!

Now days, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden (now known as Audioslave) are producing records with another flare of music, trying to keep the roots of Grunge living in their music and lyrics. All the best to them! I've switched myself from straight legs to flares (thanks to the 70s making a come back in the late 90s), still wear my chucks and my flashy "Go directly to Jail" Monopoly shirt. Everyone knows when I'm in that mood because I'll sport my flare of Grunge.

Well as I've always said, I don't want to stretch it out; here comes your part. Tell me some of your memories of the Grunge era; styles you wore; what you listened/still listen to.

I lead you guys again into nostalgia, now it's your turn.

As an ending to this article, I leave you with some parting words:

"It is better to burn out than to fade away." -Kurt Kobain.

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