The lounge music fad in '90s London
Loved this, and couldn't help but hear Spoon's "The Fitted Shirt" in my head while reading it.
Another reason to add to the pile you've already listed re: appreciating mediocre malaise is that sometimes the reason people feel compelled to rebel against the mainstream, to "follow their dreams," to shake the dust of <insert normal thing here> off their feet, is that they've simply had it too good. Having never felt true war/terror and never lived on the knife's edge of survival, they have to fabricate terror for themselves. For a lot of people who have grown up under rough circumstances, and a lot of immigrants who've had to struggle, plain old boring middle class life where odd home improvement projects are your biggest worry is a luxury. This is why the current siren's song of "Quit your regular job and follow your dreams and open up that crystal and tarot reading shop!" doesn't work on me. I think I'm like...*just* self-aware enough to know that this regular middle-class life IS a great many people's ultimate dream. And I feel grateful to be annoyed about the small things I'm annoyed about on a daily basis.
And lest I take myself too seriously, also filed tangentially to all of this in my head (albeit with less sincerity and more camp): Depeche Mode's video for "It's No Good."
Lovely bit of writing!