Ah, the '90s! Record-label budgets were big, MTV played music videos, and alternative rock bands walked the earth like druggy-eyed, flannel-clad gods. But dig this, Generation X—that teenager next to you in line for funnel cake wasn't even alive when punk broke! Where's your precious irony now, huh? Anyway, as a nostalgia trip for us soon-to-be-geriatrics and a primer for those too young to care, The Stranger's Bumbershoot Guide has charted the careers of this year's big acts of alt yore: Beck, Superchunk, Stone Temple Pilots, the Offspring, and Sweet Water. May their rises and falls be a lesson to you, Paramore.
Superchunk release their "Loser," "Slack Motherfucker," found Merge Records.
Stone Temple Pilots form under the equally bad names Swing and Mighty Joe Young, cutting their teeth playing in San Diego—area strip clubs.
The Offspring meet outside a Social Distortion concert, form band with their high-school janitor, Noodles, release vinyl-only self-titled album.
Sweet Water meet at Seattle private K-12, the Bush School.
Beck takes up busking.
Superchunk release self-titled debut on Matador Records.
Superchunk's self-titled debut sparks a bidding war; the band opt not to sign to a major, releasing No Pocky for Kitty on Matador.
Stone Temple Pilots sign to Atlantic, release Core, become famously known as "that band that sound like Pearl Jam that aren't Pearl Jam."
The Offspring sign to Epitaph, release Ignition, open for No Doubt.
Beck's "Slack Motherfucker," "Loser" sparks major-label bidding war.
Sweet Water release self-titled album.
Superchunk release On the Mouth.
STP tour with Rage Against the Machine, Megadeth.
The Offspring release Smash, score breakthrough hits with "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Gotta Get Away."
Beck releases Dust Brothers—produced major label debut Mellow Gold, shores up cred with folky K Records album One Foot in the Grave.
Superchunk release their fourth album and first on Merge, Foolish, an album that explored the breakup of singer Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance's romantic relationship while tempering the band's sound with slower tempos and cleaner production; critics say, "Not hyper enough."
STP release Purple at number one on the album charts, land "Big Empty" on The Crow soundtrack.
Sweet Water release Superfriends, score minor/regional alt-rock radio hits with "Superstar" and "Feed Yourself."
Beck releases career-confirming album Odelay.
STP release brick Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, cancel tour due to Weiland's drug habit.
Superchunk release Indoor Living, shoot hilarious music video for the excellent single "Watery Hands" with David Cross and Janeane Garofalo.
The Offspring sign to Columbia records, release Ixnay on the Hombre.
STP release No. 4, Weiland sentenced to a year in prison for violating probation.
Beck releases Mutations amid contract disputes with Geffen and Bong Load Records.
Superchunk release Come Pick Me Up.
Beck wins Grammy for Best Alternative Performance, releases delightful sex-funk oddity Midnite Vultures. (8)
The Offspring perform at post- apocalyptic rape-a-torium Woodstock '99 along with Limp Bizkit, Korn, Kid Rock, and Creed.
Sweet Water go on hiatus.
The Offspring attempt to release new album for free download but are foiled by their major label, begin selling Napster T-shirts via their website.
Superchunk release Here's to Shutting Up.
Beck releases Sea Change.
Stone Temple Pilots break up following an altercation between Weiland and guitarist Dean DeLeo; Weiland joins Slash-sporting "super" group Velvet Revolver, celebrates by getting in drunk-driving accident.
The Offspring release Splinter.
Beck releases The Information.
Sweet Water return from hiatus for a pair of shows at the Crocodile Cafe.
Superchunk record "Misfits & Mistakes" for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, vocals by Meatwad.
Weiland arrested for DUI, enters rehab.
Sweet Water tour with Stone Temple Pilots.
Beck releases Danger Mouse—produced Modern Guilt.
The Offspring release Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.
Weiland leaves Velvet Revolver, publicly feuds with Slash; STP announce tour.
Superchunk perform live at three South Carolina Barack Obama rallies, presumably just to warm up for Bumbershoot.
Click on the thumbnail to see the full-size image.