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I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Monday, February 13, 2006

An awful late 1990s mixtape that gives me that stomach-achey nostalgia feeling

Most of my college career (1996-2000) was spent working at The Spectator, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's student newspaper. I work for a newspaper now, and let me tell you something, kids: A grown-up newsroom doesn't compare to a student one. Student newsrooms are like second homes for staff members. They are far more hectic and exciting and exponentially dirtier. And you will always find a person or two to date if you hang out long enough. It is not unlike joining Fleetwood Mac.

One of the things I hated/loved about The Spectator was 100.7 FM "The Zone," Eau Claire's supremely awful Top 40 station. The radio was always playing in the newsroom, and "The Zone" was our soundtrack. Nobody liked "The Zone," and yet we could not turn it off. The station's insistence on playing the same 10 songs over and over mirrored our existence, where every week seemed like an endless loop of Wednesday and Sunday night deadlines. Good music would have seemed incongrous with the atmosphere of the newsroom.

The net result of this is my strange love of terrible late 90s radio hits. Most people shriek and turn the channel when Eagle Eye Cherry comes on. I, on the other hand, am reminded of my crush on Jamie the cute copy editor. Or the time our editor-in-chief put his naked buttcheeks on the window of the female sports editor's office. (Nope, don't think that would happen at The P-C.)

In tribute to student newspaper people everywhere, here is my playlist for the new double album, "Spectator Songs: Late '90s* Radio Hits Only a Student Journalist Could Love." Compile at your own risk.

* Some of these songs aren't technically from the late 1990s, but were played on "The Zone" on a regular basis in the late 1990s.

Disc One
"Semi-Charmed Life," Third Eye Blind
"Push," Matchbox 20
"Walking on the Sun," Smashmouth
"All For You," Sister Hazel
"Stay Tonight," Eagle Eye Cherry
"Sweat," Inner Circle
"Angel," Sarah McLachlan
"Rhythm is a Dancer," Snap
"Meet Virginia," Train
"Flag Pole Sitta," Harvey Danger
"Fly," Sugar Ray
"Hook," Blues Traveler
"Dammit," Blink-182
"You Get What You Give," The New Radicals
"We Like to Party," The Vengaboys
"Ready to Go," Republica
"Torn," Natalie Imbruglia

Disc Two
“Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” Baz Luhrmann
"Tubthumping," Chumbawumba
"The Freshmen," The Verve Pipe
"Blue," Eiffel 65
"Kiss Me," Sixpence None the Richer
"How Bizarre," OMC
"One Week," Barenaked Ladies
"Sex and Candy," Marcy Playground
“Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hands,” Primitive Radio Gods
"She's So High," Tal Bachman
"Missing," Everything But the Girl
"Take a Picture," Filter
"I Need to Know," Marc Anthony
"Livin' La Vida Loca," Ricky Martin
"Steal My Sunshine," Len
"Mambo No. 5," Lou Bega
"Summer Girls," LFO

7 Comments:

Anonymous lori said...

You forgot "Tubthumping."

9:27 AM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Your comment is hilarious, because in the shower this morning I thought, "I forgot Tubthumping."

I just added it and the Inner Circle song that's not "Bad Boys."

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Cheddar said...

Where's Skee-Lo's "I Wish"?

2:15 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Skee-Lo is too edgy for The Zone.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, but now i have that song in my head: "I wish i was a little bit taller..."

2:57 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

I hate that I could hum every song on that list.

6:41 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Ohmigod, that's college in MN too! Trips to Perkins at 2:00 a.m. to cram for a test or write the paper due at 8:00, radio blaring to stay awake.

I'd have to add "Foolish Games" -- Jewel. Reminds me of my crazy boyfriend of freshman year.

1:29 AM  

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