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1997 was a pretty good year. It was the year I met (and was soon engaged to) the girl who would eventually become my wife, and it was also a big year for toys. I was actually working for Walmart at the time, and I remember the original Tamagotchi craze like it was yesterday. It came in an era when Tickle Me Elmo and Pokemon were also possible subjects to the infamous "Do you have _____?" that retail workers were getting slammed with on a daily basis. Now, in an era where toys like Hatchimals encourage kids to nurture electronic pets, the return of 1997's digital pet looms, with the 20th Anniversary Edition of the original Tamagotchi set for release on November 5, 2017 in limited quantities via Bandai America. But, like other recent retro comebacks (NES Classic and such), this Tamagotchi is a miniature version of the original device.

This Back-to-School Fashion Showcase is presented in partnership with Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Back-to-School season can be a double-edged sword for people - loving it on one hand, while dreading it on another. Personally, I always loved shopping for new clothes and supplies each year, but as parents, my wife and I feel that the season comes earlier than it did back when we were kids. The Rock Daughters™ get out of school in June, start summer academy right away (no break) and when that wraps at the end of the month, we're already at July and the Back-to-School ads are already showing up in the mailbox. By the end of August, school is back in session and the girls need to be ready to rock the halls... and they're doing it in-style with some new clothes that we discovered during a recent trip to Woodfield Mall - the largest and most-visited mall in Illinois, located just west of Chicago in suburban Schaumburg. Truth be told, I don't know how much attention (if any) my parents paid to fashion trends when we were little, and I know that by my own High School years I wasn't necessarily the most fashionable lad (I'm still not), but it's weird to think that we're now old enough that the trends from our High School years are back in vogue. In the 80s, it was always the 50s/60s that seemed nostalgic... the 70s in the 90s, the 80s in the 00s. Now that 20-year cycle has come into this decade, and #90sRedux is one of the hottest things going. Kids are going back-to-school this fall in what looks like the must-haves circa 1994 - the year that I graduated from High School! Factor in the #OffBeat music-inspired mix and the #ModernUtility trend, and you've got what's essentially my favorite fashion season ever, because what's old is new again (and I'm old?). If we're gonna go throwback, we're also gonna need a proper playlist, so I've curated one on Spotify.

Published in Fashion
Thursday, November 20 2014 23:06

Preview: VH1 Goes Back to 1995 with HINDSIGHT

Now this is interesting... VH1 has HINDSIGHT, a new (thankfully) scripted series making it's debut on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT. What piqued my interest? Time travel and the 1990s. That was a great decade (met my wife in '97), so the prospect of seeing a new series set in that period is appealing to me, if only for a nostalgia trip. The extended first-look (embedded below) features music from the SPIN DOCTORS, ACE OF BASE, HADDAWAY and EMF, while containing nods to THE BLACK CROWES, SNOOP DOGGY DOGG and FRIENDS. Check it out...

NETFLIXOn January 1, 2015, NETFLIX is bringing you some FRIENDS. That's right, all ten seasons of the hit NBC series will be available for streaming right off the bat. I remember the primitive days, where I had to buy these bulky, DVD Box Sets of FRIENDS for my wife, who was a huge fan and couldn't deal with just the constant television reruns. Alas, instant commercial-free streaming is a glorious thing. This morning, Netflix made it all official with a special music video featuring Gunther and The Rembrandts, filmed live at the Central Perk pop-up store in NYC. Check it out...

Oh, the late-1990s were such a strange place, indeed. In 1997, the same year I met the girl who would eventually become my wife and the mother of my children, the Coca-Cola Company unleashed their citrus-tinged SURGE as a competitor to reigning "extreme" beverage, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. The commercials were the epitome of late 90s culture - embracing a mix of the "Nu-Metal" look and extreme sports lifestyle (including cross-promo with WCW Nitro) while bearing a soundtrack featuring artists like Fatboy Slim. I drank more than a few cans and bottles of SURGE in that time, but by 2003, SURGE was done. Now, thanks to a grassroots effort known as the SURGE Movement, the beverage is back - available in a first-of-its-kind deal, exclusively through Amazon.

Published in Food and Drink

I was lucky to see NIRVANA on their IN UTERO Tour when it came through Davenport, Iowa on October 22, 1993. I also remember catching their famed LIVE AND LOUD performance when it initially aired on MTV in an amended, New Year's Eve presentation, and being bummed to learn that what they presented was not even half of the full show. Now, 20 years later, that LIVE AND LOUD performance will be seen in it's entirety when it arrives on DVD next Tuesday (pre-order via Walmart), alongside a massive IN UTERO reissue collection (full details posted here). Get a taste with NIRVANA's performances of "Scentless Apprentice" (one of my favorites) and "Heart-Shaped Box" below....

Published in Music for Grownups
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