Time marches ever onward. Popular music flows along with the rivers of change, and once-great bands soon find themselves in the annals of history – memories within the eras of the past. But when we look back upon these storied pasts, do we rediscover our favorite classics and find the youth of this new age lacking? Were bands from the 90’s better than the bands of today, or are our memories more intoxicating than the actual songs?

Let’s face it, the ‘90s had Vanilla Ice, and it still needs to apologize for that.

In all seriousness, the point of this article is both to look back and see what happened to those we used to love. For example, N’Sync — what happened to all those guys, anyway? Where are the people who crafted the music of our childhood, teendom, college years? Has Vanilla Ice learned the error of his ways and become a monk as atonement? Let’s find out, shall we?

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet’s back, alright. Around the ‘00s, they seemed to just disappear into the ether, never to be heard from again (until we heard from them again). They started releasing albums once more in 2007 with “Unbreakable.” Their most recent album came out in 2019, “DNA.” So, hey, those boys are still hanging around those backstreets!

Spice Girls

There was a moment in time when five young women set the pop music industry on fire. They educated the young lads on what they should do if they wished to be their lovers and prodded the deepest parts of our minds with the fundamental human question: “Who Do You Think You Are?” But alas, the spice, much like the hot kick it gives to a meal, was short-lived. In 2001 they disbanded, and they never really got back together again, not really. They would go on to collaborate on a few disparate projects, a tour or two, but that was about it. More or less, they went off to do their own successful things, like birds leaving the nest or the spice rack.

MC Hammer

Aaahhh yes, the untouchable man, the craftsman of rap, the wearer of the low-hanging pants. His days of making music were quite fruitful (it wasn’t just that one song: He’s released ten albums throughout the entirety of his career). But those days are presumably done. Now, he’s a spokesperson in ads for things like Command Strips.

N’Sync

Hey, if you’re looking for more N’Sync, at least one of those guys is still banging out the tunes. While the Backstreet Boys reunited and continued their fated journey across the streets, N’Sync has more or less said their final farewells, with the last major reunion being a one-off in 2018.

Destiny’s Child

Well, we know where Beyonce went. But what about the other two? How are Rowland and Williams? Though Beyonce obviously stole the world’s attention, the rest of this sparkling group have done pretty well for themselves as well. You might know Rowland from her role in “Empire,” and Williams got to be in “Chicago” in 2010.

Nirvana

Erm, yeah, Nirvana isn’t a thing anymore. So rest in peace, Kurt. However, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the band disappeared. Dave Grohl, the gentleman of rock, is still making music in Foo Fighters. It’s a good thing the drummer for Nirvana is still around! Still here, and still making music! Foo Fighters would be considered by most actually to be a 00’s band, but that’s because they rose to fame around that time. However, technically, they did start in the ‘90s.

Vanilla Ice

You knew this was coming. Alright, Ice, it’s time. Your hour of judgment is at hand. Where are you now, and what have you done?

Are you the host of a home improvement show called “The Vanilla Ice Project”?

Huh. Okay. Unexpected, but okay. Good for you, Ice.

 

Well, there you have it. We could’ve gone into more bands, but the line has to be drawn somewhere, or we’d be here all day. If you weren’t already aware, there were a ton of bands in the ’90s. We could’ve talked about how Boyz II Men is still around and kicking, how Lauryn Hill had a fling with tax evasion before going back to performing at small venues, or how 98 Degrees was the boy band who did “Because of You,” and we’d all go “oooohhhh okay I do know them.” But we won’t.

Summer is here, and everyone is invited. In this beautiful and warm summer weather, health and wellness are worth celebrating, so let us go out and explore the great opportunities. Always stay safe and responsible, and remember to respect the environment.

The following are summer activities you can do, regardless of whether you continue to maintain social distancing.

Chasing down an ice cream truck

There is nothing better than a cone of vanilla soft serve in hot weather except for maybe a waffle cone filled with pralines and cream. So this summer, chase the ice cream truck with your friends as it slowly drives through your neighborhood. This is easily one of the best memories of childhood which you can relive this year.

Hiking

Hiking is a great way to stay active and spend quality time with your loved ones. However, depending on the popularity of the trail you choose, you may still be able to keep your distance from others. Exploring the wonderful outdoors is a great way to reconnect with nature and get lots of vitamin D from the sun.

Camping

Whether you are a veteran or camping for the first time, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with a select group of people. However, it’s important to note that certain campsite reservation requirements and security arrangements may have changed. Unfortunately, this last year has left nothing untouched, and campsites may have different rules and regulations.

Fishing

Fishing is unique because it is a versatile, enjoyable activity both in groups and alone, on the ocean or a river. If you are a newbie, go on down to the water under the guidance of a more experienced person. Remember to wear a life jacket if you’re going to be in water waist-deep or higher.

Picking Berries

Summer is the berry season. Picking locally grown produce is a great way to pass the time. Strawberries are pretty much always in season from late spring to early fall, but others have specific seasons. For example, in early summer, you have blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, and elderberries. Those last through the summer, except boysenberries, and in late summer, huckleberries, cranberries, marionberries, mulberries, and raspberries are in season. Bonus: you can also get the deliciousness, antioxidants, and all the nutrients that fresh berries provide.

Visit your local Drive-in

The drive-in is a summer staple, relatively unaffected by the global pandemic. Some drive-ins have seen a resurgence in popularity with the recent lockdowns. Get your family in the car and go out to support your local business. If you are still uncomfortable going out and about, watching a movie at the drive-in is an easy place to start.

Picnic

A picnic in the park, or even your own backyard, is a great way to take a day off and get some fresh air. Alternatively, a picnic is a great way to enjoy the warm weather with the family with the reopening of the parks. So take a blanket, put your food in a reusable glass or plastic container, choose a partly shaded or sunny place, and enjoy a good time in nature.

If you use disposable food containers for packaging food, be sure to dispose of them properly according to the regulations of your city, from black plastic containers, Styrofoam takeaways to milk and juice cartons.

Water Fights

In the hot summer, a water balloon fight is a great activity. However, while balloons may pose a risk to local flora and fauna, you can use alternatives. For example, a safer alternative you can use is to tie sponges together in the shape of crocheted balls or balloons to make them reusable.

Cup to the cup water race

This game requires two buckets, a player queue, a reusable cup, and some water. Players queue in a line, in front of the first player, is a water bucket. Behind the last player is an empty bucket.

The first player fetches water from the bucket. Then, they pass the cup to the player behind without turning their body. Next, the team hands the cup over their head to the person behind them until the last person can pour it all into the empty bucket behind them. The team that fills the first bucket of water first wins.

To increase the difficulty, for example, if an adult is playing this type of water game, the players can wear a blindfold.

Going to the Beach

On particularly hot days, going to the beach is a great way to cool off. Whether you’ve got the ocean on your doorstep or a local watering hole you love, playing in the surf and sand can be cooling and relaxing. There you can build a castle on the beach or swim in the ocean. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and remember to stay hydrated.