The year is 1996.  A young boy sits transfixed in front of the family home entertainment system with a finger on the cassette tape record button and an eye on the television.  The television is tuned to channel 29, MuchMusic, and the week’s top 30 countdown is about to begin.  “Rick the Temp” announces the first song, and as the opening chords sound, the boy jumps into action and presses ‘record’ in order to capture his favourite songs for the next week’s daily commute to school.  He steps back, job completed, and allows himself to relax until the end of the song requires him to stop recording, or until a tape deck malfunction necessitates the use of the mighty pencil to wind the cassette back up again.  Luckily, today the tape deck gods are not angry, and the boy finishes recording the entire countdown without incident.  He takes the tape out and admires his handiwork, oblivious to the fact that one day he will be compiling mixes for his social network as a music blogger of nominal acclaim.  He is also oblivious to what a blogger is, as blogs have not been invented yet.  And he has no social network.  Because it is 1996.  And he is twelve.

I recently came across some vintage MuchMusic countdown lists from early 1996, which gave me the opportunity to reflect on the kind of music I liked around that time.  Some of it was actually pretty good (Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Radiohead), some of it was terrible (not to be mentioned in the annals of this blog), and some of it was just plain ridiculous.  It is the videos from this last category that I have decided to showcase for you here today, primarily for entertainment and comedic value.  And now, without further ado:

Presidents of the United States of America – Peaches

I think it’s physically impossible for a twelve-year-old not to like this song.  It’s fun, catchy, about a delicious fruit, AND HAS NINJAS.  At the age of twelve, basically nothing is cooler than ninjas.  Actually, the same pretty well holds true at the age of twenty-six…

Coolio – 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)

I don’t even know where to begin on this one.  First of all, Coolio is probably one of the most ridiculous “artists” ever – just look at him, it’s indisputable.  It’s a near impossibility to take him seriously, even when he tries really hard and raps about Michelle Pfieffer.  Second of all, the premise of this video is absolutely absurd.  Coolio is late for a party, and on his way there, his car runs out of gas.  He then finds himself taking numerous ridiculous forms of transportation to attempt to get to the party, including a scooter, rowboat, open-cockpit airplane, parachute, and big wheel (the video is worth watching for this one alone).  In fact, this may qualify for most ridiculous music video ever made, except maybe for this one.

Spacehog – In the Meantime

This song is a bit different from the first two in that I think it’s legitimately pretty good.  However, the video is a bit ridiculous in a corny glam-rock way, and the ridic-factor has recently been upped with the revelation that this Ziggy Stardustesque, somewhat androgynous band is apparently back together.  That’s right, ladies and gentleman, Spacehog is reuniting, and are actually recording a new album.  Frankly I have no idea what to make of this – will they reinvent themselves?  Or will they merely make the same music and just call it indie-retro-glam this time around?  Only time will tell…

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past.  Perhaps my next installment will feature songs I loved when I was 15, and will allow me to trade-in the cassette player for a new Sony Discman that takes four AA batteries and is perpetually in danger of spontaneously combusting in my lap.

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