In the pantheon of '90s stereotypes, the most iconic might be the Pacific Northwest grunge boy. The striped Cobain sweater, the flowing Chris Cornell mane, the enduring combo of a plaid flannel with a Doc Marten boot. All solid options, then and now.
But equally important were the rage-against-the-dying-light women of the time. Courtney Love in her babydoll dress tossing makeup compacts at Madonna, Kim Gordon’s effortless cooler-than-everyone attitude, and every freaking thing TLC wore culminated in an age of powerful women finally moving to the front.
In the midst of this came Alanis Morissette. The Canadian musician broke onto the scene in 1995 with her third record Jagged Little Pill. The former dance-pop singer who'd found middling success was now an instant icon: her waist-long locks and flowing white button up in the “You Outta Know” music video made sure of that. As she scandalously talked about oral sex in a theater and unfiltered, unabashed emotional pain, young women tractor-beamed towards her fearlessness.
As a 16-year-old girl when Alanis hit peak popularity, I can’t overstate how much she affected other teen girls I knew. People dumped their bad boyfriends, told their parents they’d wear what they want, and felt tough. Morissette was part of our permission to move from the sweet world of childhood and the Spice Girls to independent people who owned our bodies and our decisions. Since its release, the album has cemented its way into music history, winning four Grammys including Album of the Year and going on to sell 60 million copies.
2020 marks 25 years since Jagged Little Pill crashed into pop culture, and Morissette will take it out on the road with a 31-date North American tour that kicks off in Ridgefield on June 2. The tour announcement comes hot on the heels of the Broadway premiere of Jagged Little Pill, an Alanis jukebox musical written by Diablo Cody (with music and slightly new lyrics from Morissette) that received high marks from both the New York Times and Variety. Whether or not you make it to New York anytime soon, Morissette will bring the songs and all their raw emotions to the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater with can't-miss openers Garbage and Liz Phair—two more badass '90s women. (Give Exile in Guyville another spin if you haven’t lately.)
Tickets go on sale Friday, December 13. Chokers and Docs readily available now.
7 p.m. Tues, Jun 2, 2020, Sunlight Supply Amphitheater $40—75 (ticket price includes food and drink)