A few months ago our web developer was fixing something on Chart Attack when he got a text message. "Uh oh," his phone exclaimed. "That's awesome," I said, appreciating his custom notification. Then I looked over at Ryan, our early-20's video producer, who was staring at me blankly. "I don't get it," he said. He had never used ICQ.
Ah, the dichotomous ebb and flow of nostalgia. If someone doesn't share your cultural reference point, there's no easier way to instantly feel a million years old. But if you find yourself in the collective pull of a childhood MuchMusic memory, you're instantly transported back to that time and place and instant messaging platform. It makes your minute, myopic condition feel universal. It's arguably even more powerful than present-day cultural relevancy. (It's also, arguably, more dangerous).
Hence, the collective "fuck yeah!' that surrounded this past weekend's Prozzäk reunion. The cartoon band, a novelty duo that captured Canada's lovelorn psyche and love of gimmicky dance pop for a few years in the late '90s and early '00s, got back together this weekend for a performance, Q&A, and autograph session at Toronto's Atomic Lollipop. The Ontario Science Centre convention, which bills itself as "Canada's premier geek festival," attracted Simon and Milo cosplayers, fans who entered a contest to come sing onstage with the band, and just generally more Prozzäk diehards than you realized were still out there.
Where geeky nostalgia goes, YouTube follows. Bet when I went searching for live video evidence of the Prozzäk reunion (naturally) I came up with an even bigger score than I was expecting: a new song!
You know what? Maybe it's the BuzzFeedification of culture, where "remember the '90s?" is never more than a click away, or maybe it's the sudden ironic vogue of shiny late-'90s dance pop forwarded by groups like PC Music, or maybe it's just the undeniable pop songcraft that always existed underneath the gimmicky, but this sounds surprisingly fresh. Yes, it elicits that same pang as that well-placed "uh oh" in the eternal "www.nevergetoveryou" but it also awakes a part of me that I didn't know existed: the part that openly pines for a new Prozzäk album.
And it looks like there's a chance that could happen. "It’s funny, because we got together recently in L.A., and every time we get together to make music, we make something," James Bryan McCollum a.k.a. Prozzäk's Milo told AUX. "Nothing’s done or released yet. But stay tuned."