As the world probably knows already – for they should – the Spice Girls are back in action and will be on tour in the States this December. New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are the lucky vixens that will be visited by these five fabulous ladies and I’ve already started planning on how I am going to find a way to get to one of those spots – one way or the other. Oh man, it seems as of late, I’ve really enjoyed looking back into those days of girl and boy bands and how much fun I had teaching the first graders on the playground how to do the dance the Spice Girls performed on my taped, Oprah Winfrey Show Spice Girls special-guest appearance. And God forbid, anyone else claimed the name of Ginger Spice, I reserved that honor for me and me only. So, as one might expect, my first pick is Spice, by none other than the girls that slashed through the boy band onslaught and gave all us 10-year-old girls a reason to spice up our lives … Some of my fondest memories are from VH1 videos, I lived for it. It’s where I learned my stuff. I remember watching Lauryn Hill play “Doo Wop (That Thing)” from the album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and thinking to my 11-year-old self, this lady knows – simple, but true. Hill paved the way for following generations of R&B/Neo-soul women, while also raising attention to social issues. And, she looked super-fly while doing so. Another song I distinctly remember from my earlier days was a song from The Pretender’s album, Last of the Independents. The song “I’ll Stand By You” immediately comes to mind. The Pretenders will always be, in my mind, one of the best rock bands – and this song takes all of their rock-edge to an even deeper soulful level. Amongst all the Seal, Tony Braxton, Brandy and Boyz II Men deals going on, a musician emerged that I’ll always prefer to call a 90’s musician, because that was when he was at his height in his fusion of funk, jazz and a little bit of folk-rock. Who else, but Beck. The 1996 album, Odelay, contains the hit “Where It’s At,” which carries the album into 90’s godliness, but of course with some help from the songs, “Devil’s Haircut” and “Novacane” the album becomes pure gold. I can not finish any ’90s discussion without the mention of “Lovefool” by the Cardigans from their First Band on the Moon album. Although, the sound of the Cardigans follows along the same lines of The Cranberries and Garbage – all three of which master the art of flowing melodies while backed up by the classic ’90s alternative rock.

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