Around the time OJ was acquitted I began college at a private liberal arts school in the lower midwest, a place where students who didn't get into Northwestern came to spend their parents' money on drugs. They also filled their dorm rooms with dubious tunes. Everyone was entitled; "If it doesn't feel good, why do it?" was our motto.
From that cesspool spawned significant followings for the following ten bands, all of whom seemed to come from Colorado. I've left off acts like Phish and Dave Matthews Band, because those groups have been terrorizing campuses for generations.
10. The Samples
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? Boulder
Are They Still Around? No.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? The faux reggae beats, the deepness, the self-empowerment themes. After a brief dalliance with the group's music, I decided I hated them so much that, when they played my school in 1997, I tossed a nearly full beer can at the stage -- 100 feet away -- and hit the bassist, briefly shutting down the show. That's a true story; you can look it up on Lexis-Nexis.
9. Rusted Root
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? They're from Pittsburgh, actually.
Are They Still Around? Yes. They'll be at the El Rey on April 8.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? Hippie brainwashing. The video above is some next level parody shit, straight out of Mr. Show.
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? They're from the UK.
Are They Still Around? Yeah. Wikipedia says they last year won an award for "Commitment to Scene" from the "UK Asian Music Awards," whatever any of that is.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? "Brimful of Asha" kind of holds up, actually. Maybe we weren't totally nuts back then. Although "everybody needs a bosom for a pillow" smacks of bad parenting.
7. Blues Traveler
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? They come from New Jersey. But they play Red Rocks Amphitheatre a lot, so there's that.
Are They Still Around? Dude, John Popper knows what side of his bread holds the butter.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? A sudden thirst for hacky-yet-virtuosic-sounding harmonica? The truth is, I have no idea how Blues Traveler became such a phenomenon. And make no mistake, they were absolutely huge, as big as Dave Matthews Band for sure. Horde fest was quite awesome for a few years; one summer I saw Neil Young, Beck, and Ween on the same stage.
6. String Cheese Incident
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? Telluride
Are They Still Around? Yes
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? As much fun as it is to hate on Phish, at least they clearly have a unified field theory of guitar noodling. ("Say what you like about the tenents of National Socialism...") I can't say I know much about String Cheese Incident, but in the video above they don't really seem to be trying. And their name is the reason I'm not entirely sorry Republicans are sometimes in power.
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? Dallas, Texas. All right so maybe all of these bands weren't from Colorado.
Are They Still Around? Apparently
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? Can't type. Just watched the above video. Being sick.
4. Freddy Jones Band
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? Chicago
Are They Still Around? Does it matter?
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? For some reason white people were then making a serious comeback in popular culture.
3. G Love and Special Sauce
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? Philadelphia
Are They Still Around? Yes
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? Kids who grew up on their parents' British invasion albums were now so far removed from the blues that they literally had no idea what it was.
2. The Verve Pipe
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? East Lansing, Michigan, which, let's be honest, is just Boulder East.
Are They Still Around? God help them.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? People really, really want to be sad. Even if they're got everything going for them. Plus, their song has the word "Freshman" in the title. Which is no longer politically correct but whatever.
1. Counting Crows
What Part Of Colorado Are They From? I know the group reps Berkeley but no one is more L.A. than Adam Duritz.
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Are They Still Around? Yep, and will be at Club Nokia on April 17.
What Made Them A Fixture of Late '90s Dorm Rooms? I don't know, man. Some of this shit is actually good. "Einstein On The Beach"? "Anna Begins"? "A Long December"? "Rain King"? Aww, fuck it. Maybe being an insecure, cavorting, privileged upper-middle class twerp wasn't so bad.