T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Plaza on River Island
Friday, September 25, 2015
The 1990s were a decade that saw marketing became more segmented, as MTV gradually shifted away from music videos beginning in 1992 and radio splintered into narrower formats aimed at different niches. However, they are perhaps best known for grunge, gangsta rap, R&B, teen pop; eurodance, electronic dance music, the renewed popularity of punk rock mainly because of the band Green Day (which would also help create a new genre pop punk) and for being the decade that alternative rock became mainstream. U2 was one of the most popular 1990s bands, their groundbreaking Zoo TV and PopMart tours were the top selling tours of 1992 and 1997. Glam metal dies out through its own accord in the music mainstream by 1991. Grunge becomes popular in 1991 because of the success of Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger. Pop punk also becomes popular with such artists as Green Day, Blink-182, Weezer, Social Distortion, The Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and Rancid. Other successful alternative acts included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Gin Blossoms, Oasis, Blur, Soul Asylum, Third Eye Blind, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More, The Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Everclear, Bush, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, and Ween.
Alternative Rock and it's sub-genres Grunge and Pop Punk expand in popularity and ironically, explode into the mainstream during the 1990's. Major labels begin luring independent bands away from small record labels. These artists are resistant to the demands of big record companies and unwilling to change styles to reach a mass market audience. Nevertheless, many alternative bands, including REM, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Smiths and grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others find success with mainstream audiences.
Another alternative to radioplay and traditional mainstream success is the rise in Jam Bands influenced by the Grateful Dead. Noted for cross genre improvisation and extended jams, bands such as Phish, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, and Widespread Panic rely on album sales and live concerts. Heavy metal morphs into new sub-genres such as rap metal or rapcore, nu metal and industrial metal. Electronic music continues to change as well, with techno and house splitting into new styles including trance, drums & bass, trip-hop and eurodance.
In the 90's Hip-Hop continues to expand in influence and grow in diversity. With huge growth in sales, radio airplay and overall success for artists like NWA, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Salt n' Pepa, Ice T, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Tupac Shakur, Cypress Hill and many others.
Pop and teen-pop continue to appeal to a younger radio audience with the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Hanson and The Spice Girls having major success. Late in the decade female teen pop artists ascend with major hits by Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. Contemporary R&B also scores big on the pop charts especially for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, Toni Braxton, Lauryn Hill, and Boys II Men.
In the UK the term BritPop is coined as new bands Oasis and Blur battle for the top of the charts. Singer / Songwriters enjoy a resurgence especially for female artists like Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Jewel, Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow.
Advancements in computers and software allow for digital music creation and recording on home computers. The internet and sound compression allow for digital distribution of music, often bypassing the need for a major label album release.
The 1990s (pronounced "nineteen-nineties" and abbreviated as "Nineties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1990 and ended on December 31, 1999.
Culturally, the 1990s was characterized by the rise of multiculturalism and alternative media, which continued into the 2000s. Movements such as grunge, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world to young people during the decade, aided by then-new technology such as cable television and the World Wide Web.
A combination of factors, including the continued mass mobilization of capital markets through neoliberalism, the thawing of the decades-long Cold War, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of new media such as the Internet from the middle of the decade onwards, increasing skepticism towards government, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world and within countries. The dot-com bubble of 1997–2000 brought wealth to some entrepreneurs before its crash between 2000 and 2001.
New ethnic conflicts emerged in Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, the former two which led to the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, respectively. Signs of any resolution of tensions between Israel and the Arab world remained elusive despite the progress of the Oslo Accords, though The Troubles in Northern Ireland came to a standstill in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of violence.
1990s in fashion
The fashion in the 1990s was the genesis of a sweeping shift in the western world: the beginning of the adoption of tattoos, body piercings aside from ear piercing and to a lesser extent, other forms of body modification such as branding.
In the early 1990s, several late 1980s fashions remained very stylish among both sexes. However, the popularity of grunge and alternative rock music helped bring the simple, unkempt grunge look into the mainstream by 1994. The anti-conformist approach to fashion lead to the popularisation of the casual chic look; this included T-shirts, jeans, hoodies, and trainers, a trend which continued into the 2000s.
Overall, the 1990s saw a return to the minimalist fashion of the 1950s and 1970s, contrasted to the more elaborate and flashy trends of the 1980s. Additionally, fashion trends throughout the decade recycled styles from previous decades, notably the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Michael Jordan won SIX championships in the '90s. That fact alone made us believe that wearing Jordans gave us magic powers. (Also, they still do.) Each pair of Js released during this era was a banger. Every pop culture icon in the '90s rocked a pair. Undeniably the greatest trend of the '90s.
Computer Graphics were born. CGI or Computer Generated Imagery revolutionized the industry by gifting hits such as Jurassic Park, Independence Day and Men in Black where technology empowered the storytellers to create a believable fantasy world. The makers could depict almost anything on the screens now, their imagination being their only boundary. Two major genres from the Golden Age were revived in a big way in this decade. Disney and Pixar recreated the magic of animation movies with Toy Story while the romance genre was brought back to life by Titanic .
The 10 highest-grossing films of the decade are (in order from highest to lowest grossing):
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Jurassic Park
- Independence Day
- The Lion King
- Forrest Gump
- The Sixth Sense
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park
- Men in Black
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Theatre On The Hill is proud to present the Opening Night of Act 2 of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio. Thursday, 24 September at 1300 SLT. The performance lasts about an hour, and features favourite TOTH stars, with a special "cast of thousands" (actually, a dozen!) for the chorus.
Fidelio (originally named Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe; English: Leonore, or The Triumph of Married Love), Opus 72, is a German opera with spoken dialogue by Ludwig van Beethoven, his only opera. The German libretto was originally prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly and the work premiered at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 20 November 1805. The next year Stephan von Breuning helped shorten the three acts to two. After further work on the libretto by Georg Friedrich Treitschke a final version performed at the Kärntnertortheater on 23 May 1814. By convention both of the first two versions are referred to as Leonore.
The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named "Fidelio", rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison. Bouilly's scenario fits Beethoven's aesthetic and political outlook: a story of personal sacrifice, heroism and eventual triumph with its underlying struggle for liberty and justice mirroring contemporary political movements in Europe. Some notable moments in the opera include the "Prisoners' Chorus", an ode to freedom sung by a chorus of political prisoners, Florestan's vision of Leonore come as an angel to rescue him, and the scene in which the rescue finally takes place. The finale celebrates Leonore's bravery with alternating contributions of soloists and chorus.
The British Invasion occurred in the mid-'60s, when a wave of English rock & roll bands crossed over into the American market after the breakthrough success of the Beatles. Not all of the bands sounded similar -- they ranged from the hard rock of the Rolling Stones and the Kinks to the sweet pop of Gerry & the Pacemakers and Herman's Hermits.
DJ Anj had made a great set of tunes and here are my snapshots.