What your favorite mid-‘90s/early-’00s post-grunge radio hit says about you
The most confusing era of music reveals some hard truths
Third Eye Blind “Semi-Charmed Life”
You’ve been underappreciated your whole life. You’ve had many near brushes with fame, but these opportunities never work out because the world ultimately doesn’t “get” you. You wouldn’t ever admit to facing adversity, yet you feel your life is defined by it. Your music and film opinions are always the best. You write phrases like “just circling back” in emails, which started off ironically, but now you just use it regularly.
New Radicals “You Get What You Give”
California Pizza Kitchen is your favorite restaurant. When describing the BBQ chicken pizza, you punctuate each quality by saying “mama mia”—not as an exclamation, but in a deadpan and kind of dead-inside voice. Few things grind your gears like people who talk shit on the frozen CPKs that you can buy at the supermarket. Sure, they’re not as good as the kind served in restaurants, but you’d like to see someone else try mass producing something so delicious! “Not as easy as it looks, huh!?” There’s a good chance that you’re eating a pesto pizza at this very minute.
Matchbox Twenty “Push”
You fancy yourself a movie connoisseur, but really haven’t kept up on movies since 2000. You boycott The Oscars every year and watch Dancer in the Dark or Boogie Nights instead. When people talk about going to the movie theaters, you say, “You know they make all their money on concessions, right?” like it’s some fucking insider secret, and then you always finish with, “That’s how they get you.”
Shawn Mullins “Lullaby”
If you’re not already in jail, you should be.
Len “Steal My Sunshine”
You can only broach difficult subjects by speaking through your pet. “The dog says he doesn’t like you spending so much time on Instagram.” “The cat thinks you may be drinking too much.” You’ve even given your pet a voice, which you increasingly rely on in social situations. It sounds like a toddler. One time, you accidentally used The Voice while on the phone with your cable provider, and suffice it to say, you didn’t get a better rate on your internet package.
Lifehouse “Hanging by a Moment”
It’s not that you don’t believe in God, but you just want to keep your mind open to other possibilities. Spirituality isn’t just about organized religion, man. Who’s to say you can’t worship bees? Bees are very spiritual creatures—almost as spiritual as aliens. Oh yeah, you also believe in aliens.
Barenaked Ladies “One Week”
Yit’s been... one week since you’ve felt any emotion resembling joy. You buy things from Amazon that you don’t need, and then when they come, you can’t imagine your life without them. You wish your Alexa was a better conversationalist. There’s a good chance that you’re Jeff Bezos.
Goo Goo Dolls “Iris”
You cry at commercials. You consistently announce that you’re giving up social media, but always come back after a few months. You call Twitter a “hellsite.” You just feel things way more than the average person! Some people would describe you as an “empath”—mainly because you constantly tell them that’s what you are. You’re also scared of unhoused people and it bugs you when people are on unemployment and other “government handouts.” You pronounce espresso “expresso.”
Hole “Celebrity Skin”
If you identify as male, your worst fear is coming off as sexist. You quickly like every post that dabbles in light-hearted misandry—nodding tight-lipped while saying, “mmhm” as you heart a tweet with some variation of “men are trash.” We are, we are, you think. You amplify the art of women, but only the ones that you find attractive. However, if you identify as a woman or nonbinary, this is your favorite song on the list only because there’s nothing from Live Through This.
Rob Zombie “Dragula”
You once googled “best way to kill somebody”—just out of curiosity, you insist.
Lenny Kravitz “Fly Away”
You like porn. Like, really, like porn. You often write angry emails to Pornhub moderators when descriptions don’t match the content. “This said there were going to be three creampies!” you type, furiously. “I only see two!”
Semisonic “Closing Time”
You’ve led a fairly successful life. You have a good job, good friends, and enough savings to ensure a few months of financial security if you happen to get laid off. But after a few drinks, you’re prone to bust out your senior high school yearbook to read the autographs etched inside. There’s one from Heather. “H.A.G.S.” it reads. There’s another from Kevin: “Let’s hang out sometime” followed by his phone number. You’ve spent your entire adult life wondering if you did, indeed, H.A.G.S. And why didn’t you ever call Kevin? He seemed like a good person. What if you called him now? No, no, you think. That would be weird. You dial his number anyway, and then immediately end the call before it can ring. A tear falls out of your eye and creates a little dark spot in the yearbook.
Harvey Danger “Flagpole Sitta”
YOU FUCKING LOVE SUGAR! You’re always asking for SUGAR! “SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR!” you say when asked what you like in your coffee. “WHERE’S THE SUGAR??” you ask when there is no sugar. Your voice is usually hoarse from screaming.
Eve 6 “Inside Out”
You’re scarred from that one time you accidentally got locked inside a Chuck E. Cheese overnight. At first, you were excited, but then you noticed that wherever you walked, the animatronic mouse’s eyes followed you. You ended up hiding in the ballpit all night, and swear you could hear someone—or something—giggling in a far corner. You haven’t been inside a Chuck E. Cheese since, which sucks because you used to really like their buffet.
3 Doors Down “Kryptonite”
You have two tattoos: A Mickey Mouse on one bicep and a Blue Lives Matter flag on the other.
Wheatus “Teenage Dirtbag”
You only have one regret in life, but it’s a big one: you never got to compete on Double Dare. You spend your downtime imagining what it would have been like to get splashed, splattered or submerged in that green goo. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? You’ve written to the Nickelodeon corporation so many times asking for a barrel of it that they issued a restraining order against you. One time you tried to make your own Double Dare goo and ended up in the hospital.
Here’s a playlist of all the songs in case you need to hear them for some reason.
Sundance Film Festival starts tomorrow (Jan. 20) and runs through January 30th, and I’m stoked. Once again, the entire festival is streaming, and while it sucks to wonder if we’ll ever be able to have nice things again, Sundance at home was very fun and it’s cool to be able to participate in something that’s traditionally exclusive and expensive. Yay accessibility! Even though I’m not super “knowledgeable,” “cultured” or “very” “smart” when it comes to film, I have some knowledge and experience of decoding the Sundance catalog to determine what will be good, which I wrote about for PACIFIC Magazine. Hope you enjoy!
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Julia Dixon Evans edited this post. Thanks, Julia. Go follow her on Twitter.