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.