A 17-year old girl who’s an ex-Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer is dressed up in a 13-year old’s schoolgirl uniform and cast in an instantaneously iconic music video. This same teen then releases three albums that would go on to sell 70 million copies, go on three world tours and have acting roles in three globally-released films by the time she was 21. If I then told you by the time this teen was 25 that this one-time child superstar of superstars would be shaving her head, living as a divorced single parent and “going crazy,” it could almost be expected. However, as she nears 35, and after nearly two decades of recording music, Britney Spears has evolved past being a girl, is now completely comfortable as a woman, and is impressively on her way to being a superstar yet again.

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For as much as we at Decades love to talk about how cool the ‘90s are, it’s this 2000s era pop priestess who likely deserves as much love as we give the ‘90s. To showcase just how cool Britney is, there’s a very real arc between Britney Spears and Elvis Presley that isn’t just tied to performing in Vegas. This linkage showcases just how massive of a star she is. Similar to Spears, Elvis did the following:

  • released three iconic albums and had roles in three films before his 21st birthday
  • had four consecutive #1 albums
  • after eight consecutive years of releases had a stress and pressure-induced recording hiatus
  • has an undeniable mystique attached to his career that is tied to a generation of kids and teenagers loving his visuals as much as they loved his music

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2016 finds Britney Spears releasing her ninth studio album Glory while also in the midst of her third year of her Las Vegas performance residency at Caesar’s Palace. What’s interesting is that for an artist that so many have believed to be in “decline,” let the record show that Spears has released four albums since 2007, done two limited tours, released perfumes via Elizabeth Arden, been active as a charity contributor and also is raising two children aged 10 and 12, respectively. Though her last Billboard #1 single was 2011’s “Hold It Against Me” and she’s removed from an era of having four consecutive number one albums, the idea that Spears ever “fell off” could be argued to be completely wrong. If anything, Britney’s the 21st century’s ultimate pop music survivor.

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Since Britney’s Vegas performances haven’t been publicly aired, her magnificent Elvis ‘68 Comeback Special-similar performance was recently alongside G-Eazy at MTV’s 2016 Video Music Awards. These are the same VMAs where in 2007, her performance of “Gimme More” signaled to the world that her life was in possibly falling apart in front of our eyes. Regarding her performance of “Make Me,” Billboard noted that it was a “subdued victory for Spears” that “checks off another box on her way to a revived career — not just as a pop superstar who once was, but as a pop superstar who still is.”

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In 2011, Entertainment Weekly summed up Britney Spears’ career as “an American institution, as deeply sacred and messed up as pro wrestling or the filibuster.” As well, when artists like Nicki Minaj say that Spears’ success drives them because “once you keep at whatever it is you’re doing, people may not like you, people may not love you, but they will have to respect you at the end of the day. And that respect is all that matters,” the need to see Britney Spears excel is not just an expectation, but a necessity.

At Decades, we’re proud of Britney’s ability to endure and excel. We’ll be playing tons of her music in celebration.

Thirty years ago, Burning Man was a festival associated with “radical self-expression” that took place in the shadow of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and ended with the ritualistic symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy-as-man. In 2016, Burning Man is a destination on Instagram near Reno, Nevada where from August 28-September 5, the likes of Paris Hilton and 70,000 of her friends partied on-board a jet-plane as art installation, Jack U played Billboard pop hits, and yes, they still burned a wooden man. Somewhere in the middle of this insanity there’s a lesson about what happens when underground things become mainstream fads because everyone loves a good, cool party that it seems like nobody else is attending.

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Burning Man has existed for 30 years, but it was ultimately the festival’s close alignment with mid-2000s leading indie-to-pop cultural staples of electronic music and festivals as communal experiences that arguably put it over-the-top. Over the past weekend, Burning Man’s attendance reached a 40% surge in the past five years. That’s roughly 70,000% growth in the festival’s 30-year history, so it’s probably as good of a time as any to sit down and consider how movements develop and when it’s time to start doing something new.

Getting angry about Burning Man “not being for the scene” anymore is arguably fruitless. From disco to old-school rap, scenes evolve over time, as people, places and economics “conspire” to open culture up to society-at-large. These evolutions welcome in people who bring their unique human backgrounds into what are ideally supposed to be “shared cultural spaces.” Whenever “sharing” occurs, there’s a balance that must be achieved. Of course, when that balance is between wealth and “free-thinking,” the idea that wealth allows for free-thinking to include so much of what we saw at Burning Man 2016, stories like that of a “fancy camp” founded by the son of a Russian billionaire being ransacked make sense.

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There’s been recent discussion of moving the Burning Man Festival out of the Nevada desert because of festival taxes being levied by the state of Nevada. If Burning Man were still all about free-thinking hippies on a beach, that’d be a problem. However, confusing what Burning Man originally was with what it is right now is like comparing a McDonald’s Big Mac to a steak dinner at The Palm. In Burning Man 2016 being far more of the latter and less of the former, the idea of taxing the wealth-positive festival makes sense.

Here’s an intriguing solution. Maybe it’s time for the OG burners to head, as VICE suggested in 2015, to Utah. In June 2016, Burning Man’s organizers purchased the 3,800 square foot Fly Ranch in Washoe County, Nevada in order to build year-round Burning Man-style infrastructure. While for some this may seem like an ideal solution for those looking to get away from the growing crowd in Black Rock City, heading to Utah instead could be a winning plan.

In the 2015 Vice piece, Burning Man’s CEO Marian Goodell notes that the Nevada taxes has made the festival’s organizers “ look longingly towards Utah or any other state that might not have levied that.” However, when Goodell also notes, “[w]e have watched the change in the type of people that come to Burning Man, and we’re not gonna get in front of certain things and force issues. We are gonna nurture the process so we all get the best results. Burning Man is an experiment in temporary community, and we’re the stewards of that process,” is it also a nod to potentially taking things elsewhere? When she continues to note that at 2015’s festival may be the most important sign that times have changed and that the festival’s culture may need to evolve:

“I was one of the people who was awakened at 3 in the morning by the sound of thumping music. My trailer was vibrating! Several of us came out, shocked, and couldn’t understand, even though I’ve been doing this for 19 years. We got in the cart and went out and it was an tart car facing its speakers towards the camp. It was past the man and it woke me!”

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Again, in 2016, Burning Man was a destination on Instagram near Reno, Nevada where from August 28-September 5, the likes of Paris Hilton and 70,000 of her friends partied on-board a jet-plane as art installation, and ultimately, given how change occurs and things evolve, that’s okay. In looking to discover how to preserve a Burning Man that’s more about good music, good vibes and hanging out on a beach as a wooden man burns, maybe it’s time to think about Utah, and that’s okay, too.

Don’t think for a second that millions of viral Youtube video clips of people dancing a version of the Running Man dance to R & B hits, pop acts like Duran Duran and 98 Degrees reuniting and playing 20 tour dates in August 2016 alone, MTV program Daria resurfacing, Pokemon being the world’s most popular video game and Mariah Carey seductively posing on the cover of mainstream magazines are five unrelated events from the past three months. In fact, they’re connected by the fact that they prove that the 1990s and retro culture in general are incredibly popular right now. In presenting facts, figures and thinking about what the future may hold, we’ll get a sense of why love for the 1990s could possibly not be just a trend, but rather, the start of a phenomenon that lasts forever.

Photo via timeinc.net

Photo via timeinc.net

Recently, Viacom has swapped brands and concepts on it’s “classic” music channel. VH1 Classic is now MTV Classic, and is not just focusing on throwback content in general from the Viacom family of music networks. Instead, the new MTV Classic is specifically ‘90s focused, with MTV President Sean Atkins noting that “MTV’s [‘90s] programming vault is a music and pop culture goldmine with universal resonance.”

Photo via tinypic.com

Photo via tinypic.com

‘90s music reaching “goldmine” status should be obvious by now, but to break the trend down by simple numbers, overall music sales in the 1990s rose roughly 75%, while in the years since 2000, overall sales have dipped 64%. If you’re NOT looking for numbers as proof, ask yourself just how quickly you specifically downloaded and paid $20 for the Tidal app *just* to hear Prince’s feel-good hits from the 1990s after he unexpectedly passed away.  

Photo via telegraph.co.uk

Photo via telegraph.co.uk

Nostalgic feelings for the 1990s are not just limited to music. In 1996, the top five comedies on free television were watched in 54 million homes. Comparatively, in 2014, there were only three comedies in the top 30 TV programs on free television, and these programs were viewed by 27 million households. Clearly, while there’s certainly more broadcasting options than ever before, the ratings also show that people could easily want to watch ‘90s TV shows again. Need proof? 1996’s top-ranked comedy was Seinfeld, and famously, the streaming broadcast rights for the show were sold to Hulu last year for $160 million. That’s a lot of puffy shirts.

Discussing music again, there’s also the idea to consider that for every modern day Drake and Kanye that become superstars, that we’re not comparatively creating the seemingly never-ending list of ‘90s rap stars that include Biggie, Tupac, LL Cool J, Puff Daddy, Busta Rhymes, Dre and Snoop, Meth and Red, and so many more.

Here’s a quick number to drive home that point. There’s a group of 11 artists who had #1 singles for 42% of the 1990s. By comparison, there’s 11 artists who have had #1 singles in the 2010s, but for 71% — or nearly twice as long. This definitely allows for fewer options to break through as superstars.

Photo via fasterlouder.com.au

Photo via fasterlouder.com.au

In 20 years, imagine say, Desiigner, going on a sold out tour like the 1990s-beloved 98 Degrees, “I Love The ‘90s” Tour participants Salt-N-Pepa, Kid ‘N Play, Vanilla Ice and Coolio, “90sFest” Tour headliners Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Spin Doctors, or say, current Billboard pop chart toppers Blink-182. It’s safe to say that a nostalgia tour where “Panda” and “Timmy Turner” are played on repeat probably will not happen.

Photo courtesy the318cottage.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy the318cottage.wordpress.com

What happens when fewer records sell, modern entertainment isn’t so entertaining, there are fewer current superstars and people want fun experiences more than ever before? People literally start doing the Running Man again. Exactly.

The ‘90s boom is not a joke. Instead, it’s a sign of things to come, and things that also may last forever. Now, imagine if there were a club, let’s say in Washington, DC,  where people could hear their favorite ‘90s tunes played all night long.

Decades is coming soon.

Between Moonrise and Trillectro, plus the recently passed Union BBQ, Thank You and Sweetlife Festivals, the DC area has recently been swept up in party fever. The Nation’s Capital also has a diversity of top-tier music-driven nightlife options available, too. However, when it comes to fashion options for these events, someone could make the very easy-to-make argument that it’s a 110% women-driven market. Previews and photo spreads rarely ever spend significant time highlighting unique and quality options for men. However, with this article, that’s about to change, and as well, it will be done with a local spin. If a guy who enjoys the incredible number of options available for entertainment, but also wants to stand out from the collared (or neon tee) shirt crowd, DC has some fantastic local fashion options worth considering.

 

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Photo courtesy www.hughandcrye.com

Hugh and Crye
3212 O St NW
(202) 250-3807

In visiting the Georgetown-based and gaining in national respect men’s fashion company, finely-tailored men’s clothing no longer has to be a boring and expensive situation. Off-the-rack dress shirts and blazers oftentimes fit uncomfortably or blouse up around the cuff and in the midsection. In many cases, if you’re heading out to VIP on the second level of Echostage or out to the Golden Triangle’s chic Barcode, you’re also likely spending a good amount of time attempting to be physically fit, so, having some gear that can showcase the effort you’ve put in at the gym is worthwhile. Shirts fit according to skinny fit, slim fit, athletic fit, or broad fit (with a number of separations in those size classes). Blazers are similar, and the company also has one-of-a-kind pocket squares, collar stays, tie pins and ties available, too.

 

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Photo courtesy transworld.net

Federal
2216 14th St NW
(202) 518-3375

The one fashion tip that every fashion-forward male should know is that every man needs a great pair of jeans. Whether the jeans are of the raw, slim-fitting Japanese selvedge variety, or just a great pair of well-constructed straight leg jeans, they’re important. From throwing on a v-neck t-shirt and partying with that epic soundsystem at 9:30 Club or putting on a collared shirt and jacket and heading to any one of the five levels of diverse sounds at Ultrabar, with the right pair of jeans, both events are possible. The classic hip-hop notion of baggy jeans being everywhere is largely done. Being able to wear jeans anywhere is now quite popular though, so having a pair that fit like khaki pants, but don’t make you feel like you’re at the 9-5 is important. Yes, the price is somewhat steep, but if you look at it as an investment in comfort wherever you’re heading when out for entertainment, it’s definitely worthwhile. 14th Street’s Federal specializes in this, and will definitely help you get the most out of the experience.

 

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Photo courtesy www.examiner.com

Dr. K’s Vintage
1534 U St NW
(240) 888-6284

It’s all about belts and shoes, plus accessories make the memorable man. Many of us are headed out on the town because it’s all about finding a significant other. If a man making this search, finding that one piece of clothing that – even in a dark nightclub or in front of a festival stage filled with tons of people – makes you stand out, is important. Four blocks away from indie-friendly locales U Street Music Hall and Tropicalia, Dr. K’s Vintage specializes in rare and hard-to-find vintage clothing, but it’s the enormous array of shoes, belts and belt buckles that makes them stand out. Thinking that it might be time for a new and much more swagged out belt buckle? It’s often said that you can look at a man’s shoes to get a sense of who he is as a person. Wanting to make a funky statement? Maybe it’s a military-style boot? What about a unique oxford that’s 40-years old and absolutely not on the market. If wanting that ever-so-slight edge, this place is definitely worth the time.

 

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Photo courtesy www.dimemag.com

Cmonwealth
1781 Florida Ave. NW
(202) 265-1155

Sneakers. Yes, while frowned upon by many night spots, there’s still going to be that occasional night that calls for dressing down and letting it all hang out. Whether that means a sweaty and wild night of Moombahton Massive at U Street Music Hall, Steve Aoki tossing cakes and dropping bass bombs at Merriweather Post Pavilion, or just heading out for a not-so-fashion serious night on the town in general, by considering your feet in all of this, there’s still a way to sneak in a little bit of flair. Cmonwealth’s existed in Adams Morgan for quite some time, and the one thing they’ve always gotten right is understanding footwear. Sneaker fashion oftentimes tends to get a little out of hand in color and style, but in hand-selecting what ends up in the store, Cmonwealth ensures that you’re certain to find something not too wild, but just crazy enough to spruce up any outfit.

 

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Photo courtesy www.gallivant.com


Redeem

1810 14th St NW
(202) 332-7447

Okay, so none of the other places on this list suit your fancy. You’re that one guy that we all know who thinks that DC isn’t Brooklyn or LA, but are impressed by the plethora of big name dance festivals being booked at cavernous suburban venues like Pimlico Race Course and Jiffy Lube Live. Fashion is your “thing,” too, and you think that DC is so corporate and government drab. Well, let me tell you about 14th Street’s Redeem and help you understand that you’re totally wrong. You’re looking for rare and indie clothes, right? Well, Redeem has a variety of rising American and international independent brands, and local designers, too. Do you hate that moment of reading your favorite fashion blog but knowing that there’s absolutely no way that any DC store is going to know about what you’re talking about? That’s absolutely not the case here. If you’re looking for couture, but at the same time ever-so-slightly cost-conscious, this is the shop for you.

Five Dining Options on 14th Street NW

By Marcus Dowling in Lifestyle, Whats hot in DC Nightlife
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 2:18pm. (Updated: 7/10/14 at 2:19pm) Add comments

As with any city in the midst of an economic boom period, big business comes to town in a major way and completely changes the landscape. For Washington, DC, this has affected two major areas, food and entertainment. Insofar as entertainment, new options are popping up all over town, and in the suburbs, too. However, as far as food, there may be no finer area at-present than traveling down Northwest DC’s 14th Street strip. If preparing for a night on the town anywhere in DC, 14th Street is a great central location to consider taking a date or friends, and enjoying an incredible meal before an exciting evening in the Nation’s Capital. Unsure of where to head? Well, here’s a list of five of 14th Street’s best options.

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Photo courtesy cityeats.com

Ghibellina

1610 14th St. NW
202-803-2389

An Italian Gastro pub, Ghibellina features Tuscan-style cuisine, which basically amounts to classy Italian takes on pizza, pasta, vegetable dishes and desserts. If looking for &Pizza or Olive Garden, this is a clear step above. Upon entering the restaurant, you’re greeted by the bar and a bar-style seating area facing directly out onto 14th Street. That, alongside the exposed brick and beams, plus the candlelit atmosphere gives the space a warm, inviting ambience. Food is best ordered here to be shared by the entire table (like pizza) or in a manner similar to tapas, meaning that smaller plates that can be conveniently shared, too.

Worth ordering: Quattro Formaggi – A pizza featuring buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, grana padano and pecorino romano cheese, as well as pickled hot peppers, garlic, basil, oregano.

 

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Photo courtesy dc.thedrinknation.com

 

El Centro, D.F.

1819 14th St. NW
(202) 328-3131

Let’s say it’s your roommate’s birthday, and instead of having a DC nightlife evening of heading to a bar and requesting her favorite song over and over again (and the DJ not even appearing to pay attention), you want something more. Let me suggest the Tequileria at El Centro as an idea. In the restaurant’s underground space, mixologists craft Latin cocktails and can pour from 200 tequilas and mezcals in doing so. While tasting rare alcoholic beverages, also enjoy a dining menu including traditional fare like tacos and enchiladas, but also a native Mexican menu that is wide a deep, with both vegetarian and meat-based dishes.

Worth ordering: Jalisco Shrimp & Crab Enchiladas – Outside of the obvious, the enchiladas come topped with oaxaca cheese, corn and crema fresca, plus are served with fresh plantains and cilantro rice.

 

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Photo courtesy zagat.com

Ted’s Bulletin

1818 14th St NW
(202) 265-8337

So, you’re a little bit older, and your parents are in town, but your friends are still are coming out with you for the evening. Yes, 14th Street even has options for you, too. Ted’s Bulletin blends art-deco décor with a menu that is equal parts delicious and ridiculous. Traditional American with a twist is the key here, with beer-battered fish, steaks, breakfast all day, and yes, homemade pop tarts as well. If looking for a quality meal that is tasty and top-notch without the bells and whistles of other 14th Street locations, Ted’s is ideal.

Worth ordering: “The Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito” – Sirloin steak, scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar cheese and green chile sauce, served with hash browns.

 

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Photo courtesy borderstan.com

Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW
(202) 332-3333

Possibly one of the most physically attractive restaurants along 14th Street, French dining option Le Diplomate features an extraordinarily simple, yet well-delivered take on French cuisine. Appetizers include roasted sweetbreads, onion soup au gratin, steak tartare and and escargots, while entrees include steak frites, trout amandine, beef bourguignon and duck leg and breast confit. With multiple specialty cocktails featured on the menu as well, this is quite possibly one of the few locales in the area that has Euro-centric cuisine delivered without too much innovation.

Worth ordering: Steak Frites – Pan roasted hanger steak served with maître d’ butter and a side of pommes frites.

 

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Photo courtesy borderstan.com

Rice

1608 14th St NW
(202) 234-2400

For as many newly opened restaurants continue to reach the 14th Street area, “fine Thai” cuisine space Rice continues to deliver quality food, excellent indoor and outdoor atmosphere and a diverse menu that offers a unique dining experience. Pumpkin empanadas at a “Thai” restaurant? Absolutely, and they’re crisp, moist and unforgettable. The menu is separated into “Rice specialties, (aka newly invented Thai fusion cuisine)” as well as “Authentic Thai” and “Healthy Green.” If headed out with a crew with diverse tastes, dietary restrictions or just adventurous eaters, this is a quality choice.

Worth ordering: Spicy duck, stir-fried with Thai herbs and crispy wild ginger

Dining Area

Toro Toro, a new upscale Latin Restaurant/ Lounge will impress you with: delicious Latin Cuisine, a reasonably priced happy hour menu, diverse selections of Latin beers and spirits, refreshing nightlife DJ sets and a genuine VIP feel.

Why Valentine’s Day is the Most Annoying Holiday

By Peach in Get in Style, Lifestyle
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 1:11am. (Updated: 2/24/14 at 11:22am) Add comments
Valentine's Day Conspiracy Theory

Valentine’s Day is one of those BS holidays. What is so romantic about this holiday anyways? Let’s find out.

10 Things Everyone is Sick of Seeing Posted on Facebook During a Snow Storm

By Peach in Get in Style, Lifestyle
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 3:20pm. (Updated: 2/27/14 at 5:39pm) Add comments
the snow posts are coming

Snow sucks, winter sucks, blah blah blah…you know what sucks even more? -These annoying posts that litter Facebook and Twitter during these polar blasts.

Drunkest City

So it’s cold as sh*t outside all over the Northeast, duh, it’s called winter. Every Facebook post is whining about how cold it is, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t leave.

7 Ways to Stay Warm during the Winter Storm

By Ben Lek in Get in Style, Lifestyle
Sunday, January 5, 2014, 5:58am. (Updated: 1/29/14 at 3:24pm) Add comments
weather-ice-storm-1jsgp4j

Winter Storm Ion is ready to unleash its will on us this upcoming week. Here’s a quick guide on how to stay warm during the coldest week we will have since the 1990’s.

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