Recently, the New York club owners who spawned the painfully misguided nostalgia chains Polly Esther's and Culture Club (focused on bad '70s and '80s nostalgia, respectively) broke new ground in questionable taste with the opening of NerveAna, New York's--that's right--first '90s nostalgia dance club. This abomination seems to merely put face to a much more troubling phenomenon--that of a greater '90s nostalgia wave beginning to creep awkwardly toward our comfortable decade.

Need proof? The clues can be found in this very paper, as week after week Portland is pummeled by a seemingly endless stream of the wave's least welcome riders: see recent appearances by Dishwalla, Collective Soul, Velvet Revolver, Better Than Ezra, and this week's mutual bidders--Lenny "Kojak" Kravitz and Audioslave. Whether you welcome it or not, the music industry seems to be happily preparing to drown us in the wistful memories of bands we never really liked in the first place. From, like, six years ago. And I, apparently, couldn't be happier.

It all started about a month ago with a two-week jaunt down the West Coast--my first such trip with the benefit of an iPod--loaded, somewhat inexplicably, with roughly two hours of Marilyn Manson. Over the course of the trip, my companion and I found ourselves consistently coming back to the Evil One, taking the opportunity to reminisce about the decade of our deflowering, and of our secretly mounting interest in alternative rock. Funny thing is, I never owned a Marilyn Manson record to begin with--neither had my passenger. Were we being taking in by some sort of '90s collective consciousness?

The rest of the trip was spent one-upping one another with our mutual bad taste in the music of the decade past--a competition that saw itself crossing the grayed lines between semi-respectable Altrock toward Adult Alternative on an uncomfortable number of occasions. And it's left a mark. Since then, I've been shamefully collecting some rather embarrassing, pre-2000 additions to my record collection--approaching record store counters like I'm buying pornography. What has happened to me? Am I the first victim of the impending global marketing conspiracy? Or am I just getting old?