Song of the Day: “No Rain” by Blind Melon

Ah, the early nineties, when it was a generational statement to say you were bored. In the post-cocaine, post-yuppie world, many of the cultural heroes were shitheads in, or recently out of, school who didn’t know what do with their lives, and didn’t particularly care. Think Bart Simpson and Beavis and Butt-Head. Richard Linklater even made an era-defining movie called Slacker which took this mindset to its aesthetic and structural core: A story about aimless people told aimlessly.

Musically, this manifested itself as the widespread success of grunge, messy music about the dullness of life, peppered with grunts and borderline nonsense words. (“A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido. Hey!”)

But, to me, no song captures the early ‘90s slacker mindset quite like “No Rain.” I mean, look at the song’s central lyric: “All I can say is that my life is pretty plain.” Dreamy guitar jangles anchor a really lovely tune. It’s truly delightful and well-crafted, an expression of ennui transmuted as optimistic pop. The lyrics are tinged with depression, though perhaps that reading comes from the fact that Blind Melon’s lead singer died from a cocaine overdose in 1995.

The song also gained fame for its iconic music video of a tap-dancing girl in a bee costume who doesn’t quite fit in with her peers. Again, very 90’s.

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