After SXSW, the 90s don't seem so long ago.
It feels like just last week that Courtney Love and Thurston Moore were playing to capacity crowds, mopey Liz Phair-like drone rock was in and plaid was absolutely everywhere.
It feels like last week because it was. Vintage 1990s were all over Austin, with marquee shows by a reunited Hole and a punk collaboration featuring Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Mos Def was even on my flight home.
Beyond the retro acts at the festival, young acts in their mid- to late-20s are reaching back to high school for inspiration.
The Dum Dum Girls, one of the best acts I caught, filter their 60s influences through a 90s lo-fi drone, like an all-female Jesus and Mary Chain.
Surfer Blood, hype bandits from outside Miami, sound more like Weezer bassist Matt Sharp's the Rentals than like Weezer. True 90s emo-geeks.
But the grunge vibe came from all the plaid. I saw a group of guys walking single file, all wearing plaid, like the alt-army had been deployed to Austin.
Plaid was also a hit with women - even a plaid handbag. I also saw vintage lockets, cut-off shorts, floral dresses and general looks that might have won you a starring role in Reality Bites.
If this look is on its way back, expect it in a big way in Toronto, where the Gen X years seem forever in vogue.