This is such bullshit. I remember when remembering the #9tz wasn’t a monetized brand. It used be a much purer expression of a contemporary cultural landscape bereft of creativity, and an outsider’s cry for fleeting attention/approval on the internet via borrowed nostalgia. Remembering the #9tz used to mean something. It used to be about a small group of dedicated temporal curators with access to the internet and a working memory of the past twenty years of the same pop products as everyone else at their disposal, not just a joke that corporate America could sell back to us in a package deal. I don’t even know what it means to remember the #9tz anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I ever really remembered the #9tz in the first place.
“Under The Sun 2013”, a tour bringing together some of the most memorable pre-meme-#9tz-memes of the #9tz gets the entire concept of remembering the #9tz wrong in that it seems like it’s directed at people who were actually aware/cognizant/consuming pop-culture in the actual years between 1990-2000. The lineup brings together Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon, and Fastball, on one stage to play their gross old person music to gross old people, beginning on the 4th of July, the least #9tz of all holidays, in Socorro Texas, which sounds to me like the type of place where the #9tz never went away.
“‘Under The Sun’ = Fun in the Sun!” says Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth in the press release. “You bring your happy face and we’ll bring the party…”
“Number 1 songs from the Nineties, live? Check,” says Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath. “A giant party under the summer sun? Check. Five multi-platinum bands with quick changeovers? Check. It’s gonna be a bitchin’ summer.”
The fact that he had to use quick changeovers as a selling point there is kind of sad 🙁 Shit, I think I’m breaking character here. Hold on…
“Five bands, 10 guitars – too much fun,” says Gin Blossoms’ Jesse Valenzuela. “’Under The Sun’ will be spreading joy to 36 cities. If we don’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, we’re not gonna be amused!”
You know who else isn’t amused? Those of us who’ve spent the past few years remembering the #9tz long before it even became a thing. It doesn’t count as remembering the #9tz if you’ve been remembering it ever since it happened.
More details from the release: “Boasting cumulative sales of 25 million in the US alone, the five bands featured on ‘Under The Sun 2013’ stand tall among the biggest and brightest stars of the golden age of alternative pop rock ‘n’ roll.” Ugh, 25 million in sales? SELL OUTS. I remember when remembering the #9tz was about remembering things that people didn’t really remember all that well. Most of these bands still get played on the radio all the time. How can we remember them if they never even went away?