I Wanna Be Nostalgic
For a non-nostalgic 90s nostalgia.
It’s 1994. I’m twelve years old, and music is – to my parents’ bewilderment – suddenly the only thing I care about. I’m searching out anything harsh, dissonant, and confrontational, and the louder it is the louder I want it to be. Of course there was plenty of Nirvana given that Cobain had just died, Green Day was just breaking out and exposing my sheltered suburban world to the sounds of the East Bay punk scene. But I was also trying to dig deeper into the sounds that had chewed away at the edges of the mainstream for years. Violent Femmes. The Pixies. Dead Milkmen.
I didn't have to dig particularly deep to find the Ramones. When I first heard “I Wanna Be Sedated,” it sounded just primitive enough to be quintessentially modern for me. When I looked at my friend’s CD collection after it played, I saw it was the first track on Ramones Mania, a compilation album released in 1988. The music video for the song was also released that year. Only later did I discover that the song had in fact…