Respectable Street Pumps Up the Jam With '90s Homecoming Party | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Respectable Street Pumps Up the Jam With '90s Homecoming Party

Super Cheesy 90's Homecoming
Respectable Street, West Palm Beach
Sunday, September 4, 2011

Better than:
An evening spent watching a marathon of '90s family programming.

View a slide show of the event here.

Traditionally, homecoming is an event that welcomes back alumni and former residents of a school. The same was true of this party, which provided a warm welcome for '90s O.G.s and wannabes alike. While usually centered around athletics like football, partygoers got their exercise done through enthusiastic, nostalgic dance.

The party's title may ring familiar for those who attended the Super Cheesy '80s Prom back in June. The latticed, floral entryway that was used then was also put to use, creating an odd mirroring of the two. After passing, one would find that the interior of Respectables was much less decorated, virtually void of the glitz and glamor that '80s prom is known for. This was not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as the '90s itself was substantially less extravagant than the preceding decade.

The evening's soundtrack was provided by Respectables' resident DJs, J.J. Contramus, Danxiety, Marvellous Kendall, and Allan Bowron, who each spun a yarn of mixed variety, touching on the plethora of musical stylings that that era was known for.

Early in the evening, the dance floor filled as dancers pulsed to the thumping beats of Technotronic, who succeeded in pumping up the jam. A series of other '90s dance songs followed, which may have taken some off guard as they remembered that a lot of these songs were very repetitive, with some extended mixes lasting more than six minutes. Others, however, embraced it, moving until coated in a wet layer of sweat.

Another mainstay of music in the '90s included hip-hop and R&B. While not of the gangster variety of say, Wu-Tang Clan or N.W.A., DJs chose more accessible songs like Skee Lo's "I Wish" and Freaknasty's "Da Dip." To tone down the vibe, songs like R. Kelly's "Bump N' Grind" and Blackstreet's "No Diggity" were chosen, which made way for some serious close-quartered grindage.

Although a lot of excellent tunes came from this time, a lot of garbage came as well. Partygoers balked and laughed heartily as they continued to gyrate and thrust when musicians like the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and other varieties of bubble-gum pop were played. Other vibe-killers came in the form of grunge-rock and heavy metal. While still good to listen to, it doesn't do well for a dance party. On the patio, other blunders were made in the form of third-generation ska, radio-punk, '90s swing revival, and nü-metal. Although those in attendance did sing loudly as "November Rain" belted through the speakers, each doing their own impression of Slash's gnarly guitar solo from the music video. Sadly, this was not nearly as epic as the abandoned-church-in-the-desert setting but just as entertaining. While the music was silly, revelers embraced it, bouncing emphatically as they sung every word, even to songs they may normally be bashful to admit knowledge of, such as Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta."

A large part of any event like this involves dressing up. Most women went with floral dresses coupled with large black combat boots, or silly-looking hats with flowers attached, akin to the kind worn by Blossom's Six. Men in attendance typically went for the grunge, hesher look, sporting flannel shirts, backward baseball caps, and tennis shoes. Dotted throughout the crowd, though, one could spot characters from memorable movies of the time, with more than a few Vincent Vegas, Mia Wallaces, and even a Jules Winnfield, who embraced the role by going in full blackface! A bold move indeed. The atmosphere, however, was not without its share of overalls, tube tops, Zubaz, Axl Roses, ripped stockings, and backpacks.

Crtic's Notebook:

Best dressed:
With at least four Vincent Vegas circulating, one who carried around a briefcase partially opened with a beam of flickering light emitting from inside stood out from the bunch. Accessorizing is key.

Overheard on the dance floor: As an attractive young woman danced, clearly intoxicated, she threw her arms to the air and asked, "Why did the '90s ever have to end?!"

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Ryan Burk

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