Grunge Music

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The 1990’s was a decade of a verity of different genres of music and a plethora of one hit wonders from across the board. However one of the main genres that was big and reached its peak in this decade was referred to as Grunge Music.

This Sub-genre of Alternative Rock appeared in the 1980’s in the American State of Washington, mainly in the city of Seattle, which is why it was sometimes referred to as the “Seattle Sound”. This subgenre took its inspirations from a combination of other genres such as heavy metal, indie rock and heavy punk genres.

Grunge, in the beginning was localised to one record label, this was called “Sub Pop” founded by two a men by the names of Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in the year of 1986. This record label is often credited with taking the first steps to popularizing grunge music and bringing to its peak in the 1990’s.

 

Nirvana's Nevermind Album Cover

 

The main band responsible for pushing grunge into mainstream music in the first half of the 1990’s was a band from Aberdeen, Washington called “Nirvana” who were signed to the record label “DGC Records” with the release of their “Nevermind” album which was released on the 24th of November 1991. This was mainly because of the first single they released off the album which has since become a cult classic, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. With that, the album rocketed past Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” album on the Billboard chart straight to number one in early 1992. To date, the album has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as having sold over ten million copies making it Ten Times Platinum.

After the success of their tours around the world, gaining air time on both radio and television airtime. Curt Cobain was found unconscious by Courtney Love on the hotel room floor in a hotel in Rome on March the 4th 1994. He was quickly rushed to hospital where doctors said he had a reaction to a combination of alcohol and prescription rohypnol. After this, the rest of the european tour was cancelled. In the weeks after, Cobain’s heroin addiction became worse. He was then admitted to rehab of which he ran away from, flew home to seattle and was found on the 8th of April 1994 in his home with a self inflicted shotgun wound to the face. To this day there is still speculation as to weather he killed himself or he was murdered by Courtney Love.

After the death of Cobain, Nirvana disbanded and drummer Dave Grohl later formed a new band, “Foo Fighters” which went onto kick start the “Post Grunge” sub genre of this decade and are still together to this day.

1990’s Film

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Miramax Films Company Logo

 

The 1990’s was the decade that saw a massive rise in independent cinema and the rise of now massive film studios such as “New Line Cinema”, “Miramax” and also “Lions Gate”. This is also the age that many massive films were  now being edited for the smaller screens as well as the cinema so that they can be sold on Video Cassette so that people can now watch the films in the comfort of their own homes instead of having to pay to see the film at the cinema, they pay once to see it as many times as they want at home, although the films were only released on video months after they were releases in the cinema, this was a big appeal for those that didnt have a massive income and could afford to take 4 kids to the cinema every time their was a new film released.

 

Example of someone demonstrating Motion Capture

 

The 1990’s also saw a rise in the standards of technologies in the film industry such as Motion Capture technology which is the process of capturing movement and converting it into a digital image. This was used to boost the animation industry as it was able to make movements of characters more realistic. By capturing the actions of humans and then converting it into animation gave animated films a smoother and more fluent. One of the disadvantages of this to small time film makers and also some big time film makers was access to this kind of approach because the hardware and the software for this was very expensive. This has eventually evolved over the years and into the new millennium into facial motion capture which records every detail on an actors face to make the animation as life like as possible. It has even been spanned out to video games to make the cutscenes more realistic, examples of this can be seen in “Resident Evil 5”

One of the other technologies that came into its own in the 1990’s was a technique called “Matte Painting”. This is a painted representation of a set, place or landscape that would give the illusion of somewhere that would be impossible to visit or build or somewhere that would be too expensive to visit and film at. Traditionally, Matte painting would have been created on large sheets of glass by artists using paints or pastels, but in the 1990’s they started to integrate it with digital composition to speed up the process and make it easier to edit it into the film.

1990’s Video Games

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The 1990’s was a big mile stone for the video game industry, It saw the change from “Raster Graphics” or sometimes known as “Gameboy Graphics” into the more advanced “3D Graphics” thus giving birth to a whole new generation of gaming as Genres like First Person Shooters or FPS for short came into their own with this new kind of technology.

In 1991, the Sega Megadrive became massively popular as Sega released their new friendly face “Sonic the Hedgehog” which fast became loved by one and all and rivaled Nintendos friendly face of “Mario” who originally debuted in 1983 in the game “Mario Bros.” and made his first 3D appearance in 1996 in “Super Mario 64” which was released on the “Nintendo 64” Console.

In December of 1994, Sony released their “Playstation” which was the first gaming console to use CD based media rather than Cartridge based media, this was a big step as nobody had ever thought of doing this before. By doing so changed the standard media format for gaming across the spectrum.

In 1997 a Japanese games developer named “Squaresoft” released one of the most well known most played and well loved RPG games that has thus far been created. This game was called “Final Fantasy VII” which to date has sold 9.8 million copies and ranks second in the best sold Playstation games, with other games in the series such as “Final Fantasy VIII” ranking fourth and “Final Fantasy IX” ranking seventh.

 

The USA Game Cover for Final Fantasy VII

 

This decade was important for gaming as it saw 4 generations of games consoles. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth generations of console, seeing some of the most intense improvements in gaming of the 20th century.

The Gulf War

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In this thread I will be doing some research into The Second Persian Gulf War. It was also known as the Kuwait War and by the Americans as “Operation Desert Storm”

Map of Kuwait and Surrounding Areas

The conflict was initiated on the 2nd of August 1990 when an Iraq force invaded Kuwait City over taking it and those that were not killed or taken hostage fled to neighbouring Saudi Arabia for refuge. On the 6th of August 1990, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia went seeking U.S Military assistance and by the 8th of August the initial U.S Air Fighter Planes arrived on Saudi Arabian soil.

Within hours of the invasion of Kuwait City, the UN Council passed “Resolution 660” which condemned the invasion and demanded that Iraqi troops withdraw from Kuwait. On the 29th of November 1990 the UN Security Council passed “Resolution 678” which gave the Iraqi forces a deadline of the 15th of January 1991 to withdraw and also authorised the order for the coalition forces to use “Any Means Necessary” to drive the Iraq forced out of Kuwait if they were not all gone by that date. The Coalition forces were a 34 nation strong, UN authorised, force lead by the United Kingdom and the United States.

After months of fighting and meetings of high-power consulates a ceasefire took effect as if 8AM on February the 28th of 1991.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gulf/cron/

Choose A Decade: 1990’s

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For the first Professional Practice project, I have chosen to study the 1990’s. For a start off it’s the decade I was born in, very nearly at the beginning of the decade aswell (1992), so ive seen most of the things that have happened. However this now gives me the chance to research them more in-depth and to find out the facts, figures and findings which lead to the advancements that I didn’t quite understand when I was growing up.

From my childhood there was a lot of things that I remember but didn’t realise how significant they were in the technological development of todays world.

There is so much to look at and study, from the amazing advancements into Video Games and in the media as a whole, the advances in computers, in television and in film.