The nineties were a dark time for popular music, a quagmire of overproduced hard rock whitewashed with the term "alternative" to make the masses believe there was something new. Little did they realize that kids raised on this stuff would eventually see it for what it was and rise up to destroy it.
AlternaBlast al·ter·na·blast - verb - To Destroy, mangle and fuck up nineties alternative, chin, & butt rock with the express purpose of exposing the saccharine mess that lies at its very core.
Ryan Kuen (aka Balloony Tunes) is one of the leaders of the movement, and his YouTube channel is filled with video after video of him wrecking the foundations of nineties radio. I asked him about the origins of the blasts. "Well, a few years ago Big John and I would be driving home from shows on I-90 and we would entertain each other by singing the stupidest parts of the stupidest songs we grew up on. Things just spiraled out of control from there." From this sprang Hot Air Balloon Ride, Kuen's collaboration with the aforementioned Big John, otherwise known as John Elliot of Cleveland's Emeralds. Elliot's take on it is this: "Hey man, these bands damaged us when we were kids, this is just a way of us burning some sage to clear out the demons they left behind."
The first AlternaBlast I heard was Hot Air Balloon Ride's Oktoberfest, issued on Deception Island in 2007. I asked label head Chris Madak his thoughts. "You have to remember that this is completely misanthropic, the opposite of the hypnagogic pop idea of misty eyed crawling back into the womb. This is more of a Back to the Future as Terminator, going back in time to exact revenge."
So with no more further ado, my top 5 AlternaBlast videos -
Smash Mouth - "All Star" or "Dumbass play the fuckin video" - Lifephaser
Pearl Jam - Vowel Movement - BalloonyTunes
Korn Megablast - Lifephaser
Limp Bizkit Fred Durst Megablast - BalloonyTunes
Hot Air Balloon Ride STRAIGHT NOISE BANGER #2
Bonus - Grease - BalloonyTunes (Although technically not an AlternaBlast I commissioned this for a piece I wrote about the esoteric nature of the opening credits to the movie Grease.)
So hey, hope you dug my first post for WFMU, I look forward to posting my second one soon with either a list of my top five botanicas in Brooklyn or an essay about the ancient wisdom hidden in the headlines of the New York Post.