This a short-run series of essays about rock ‘n’ roll from the 1990s, and what it was like growing up to certain bands from that era.

Why This?

It’s a fun way to explore iconic and lesser known 90s bands like Beck, Meat Puppets, Bad Brains, Jane’s Addiction, and Calexico while exploring what it was like coming of age during the time when underground music was dragged into the mainstream, MTV was king of the airwaves, people bought CDs, and Lollapalooza redifined what music festivals could be. My hope is that together these newsletters serve as chapters of a Substack version of a serialized book.

Why Am I?

I’m an Arizona native who moved to Portland, Oregon in 2000. I’ve written stories about music, travel, Japan, books, food, and my life for Harper’s, Saveur, Kenyon Review, The New York Times, The Dublin Review, and Paris Review Daily. My books include The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley, the music book This Is: Essays on Jazz, and the personal essay collection Everything We Don’t Know (which James Williamson from The Stooges blurbed!). I’ve worked at a bookstore, a tea shop, a university writing center, and spent five years as an editor at Longreads. I currently work as an editor and copywriter in marketing and remain devoted to burritos.

Subscribe to Alive in the Nineties

Music and life as a listener in the 1990s


Essayist, Journalist, Burritoist, written nonfiction stories for Harper's, The Atlantic, Kenyon Review, The Dublin Review, and The New York Times. My books include The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley and This Is: Essays on Jazz.