9 @ 9 from 1999

Every once in a while, Misty and I happen to catch the “9 @ 9” on 103.5 BOB FM (Austin). As the name implies, at 9:00 PM they play nine songs from a select year. Tonight, it was 1999.

The year 1999 was rather eventful for me, and those events have been on my mind lately anyway. It was the year I enlisted (and separated) from the Air Force. My sister is currently in Army basic training. So it was interesting (and rather nice) to reminisce a little. Mainly about driving around in Biloxi, Miss., with my windows down listening to the radio. Or riding the base shuttle around and around and around while listening to my Walkman or the bus driver’s radio just for something to do. And, to a degree, the time in early and late 1999 when I was doing the same in Austin and its outlying areas. It also reminds me of the depths of my undiagnosed OCD and depression at the time.

You might imagine how throw-away lyrics (and songs) like this were so poignant to me at the time given the situation(s):

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change

Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets

You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

If not poignant, then reflecting my desire to escape from the military, strike out, be successful, be free. Something I highly doubt would be the case today, but was when I was eighteen. I know a little more, have lost a little more now.

And who would have thought the lyrics to Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” would actually apply to part of my later life, especially given I didn’t drink for at least most of 1999.

Anyway, here’s the full playlist for the night. The last one was the number one song on this day in 1999. Sad.

Eiffel 65 -Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Lit -My Own Worst Enemy
Tal Bachman -She’s So High
Fuel -Shimmer
Smash Mouth -All Star
Lou Bega -Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit…)
Foo Fighters -Learn To Fly
Len -Steal My Sunshine
Sugar Ray -Every Morning

On a side note, I was just asking Misty the other day what happened to such summer throw-away one- or two-hit wonders. Do they still exist? Or is it all Bieber and Clarkson now?

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