Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nostalgia Music

Whenever I feel like taking a step back from my life to get some perspective, when the present-tense is too much for the moment, I like to musically regress back a few years and listen to some songs that I'm so comfortable with it doesn't matter that they're not even remotely similar to what I like now.

The point isn't that the music is awesome. The point is to hide myself in an aural space where I'm comfortable and safe.

Here are some songs I still listen to when I wish I was just a stupid teenager with nothing serious to worry about but high school and puberty. (Not that it was ever really like that for me as a teenager, but the idea of it is what I'm wanting.)

Coheed And Cambria, Blood Red Summer

I love how all this band's music is based on a manga comic by the lead singer. Never actually read any of it, but the concept-album style is really appealing because it makes each new LP easier to listen to because of an over-arching thematic connection, despite obvious evolution in the musicality of the band.

Well, that, and they're SOOOOOO emo.

Armor For Sleep, Kind Of Perfect

This band has always been my hopeful/hopeless romantic outlet. All of their songs sound like yearning in the face of rejection. This particular song was important to me because in high school, whenever I had a crush on a girl I'd wish to become some innocuous object - like the Brave Little Toaster or something - just to be around them, even if it could never be anything else.

The Ataris, Broken Promise Ring

The Ataris are classic 90's alternative rock. I used to listen to these guys all the time, especially after my brother gave me the CD that this track is from.

Actually, the only part about this song I really like is the middle, which is basically the breakdown where it gets this reprieve from noise-pop-punk. The lyrics are so basic and true that even now I often repeat them in my head, remembering the emotions they brought - that they still bring.

Box Car Racer, I Feel So

The side project for two-thirds of Blink-182. Fortunately/unfortunately it only lasted for one album. I thought it was a lot better than their other stuff actually, but obviously the lack of pop-sensibilities and commercial viability was what killed it.

This song is sort of a "fuck-you" to the world, but at the same time makes me think of the singer screaming more because they can't do anything about it. This song is also from a concept-album, and is merely the start to a much longer musical narrative, which makes me sympathetic to the lyrics being so unresolved.

The Get Up Kids, I'll Catch You

[I apologize for the lameness of this video, but it was the best I could find on YouTube.]

Something to Write Home About - the album this song is from - was always one of my favorites. Not because any of the songs were particularly amazing, but because they all didn't completely suck. Most of the time, you buy an album and it's got two to three really good songs on it, one decent song, and the rest are all crap. This album has only two songs that I don't really like. The rest are easy to listen to over and over again.

In the morning, while riding my bike to school (yes, I rode a bike, BEFORE it was cool, because I didn't have my license, let alone a car) I'd pop this album in my CD-player and just repeat this song. Why? Because I saw so many girls fall down into a personal hell by their own idiocy and bad choices. At the time I was even MORE chivalrous than I am now - if that's possible - so I thought I could save them if only they could somehow see what a great guy I was, or whatever.

Hey, I was sixteen. Obviously I'd be fucking naive.

I will always love NUFAN. And this album is basically the best of their work. Two songs: Let It Slide, and Room 19 are my all time favorite songs. Even if you don't like emo-core music you can still appreciate this for taking you back to those days ditching class and sitting at the park with your friends, eating McDonald's while sharing bad music through your broken headphones.

This album is still a favorite of mine, if only because most albums dedicated to heart-break seem to fail because they showcase only one artist's interpretation of the feeling. This album has the whole emo spectrum. When I listen to it, a lot of the stuff feels dated, but in good way. Couldn't find any of the songs online to post, but you can still buy it on Amazon (of course) and if you like/liked this sort of music, you should definitely check it out.

Honestly, I've cooled down on my hatred of emo and emo-music since getting out of Orange County. Before I used to RAIL against emo-kids, cutting their wrists the wrong way and dressing in the same three-colors + too-skinny jeans, but now... iunno, I'm just over it.

Maybe it's because I remember being that age - instead of actually being it now - and can sympathize with all the insanity that comes along with the transition. (Though, I'd argue, my life was definitely more intense than theirs will ever be.) So, consequently, I've lost my irrational hatred and can enjoy the musical memorabilia without feeling embarrassed, or hypocritical.

Looking back, I was such a little emo-dude, and didn't even know it.

1 footnotes:

stephanie said...

Ahhh, Boxcar Racer. That was the first CD I played when I bought my first car when I was 17. Oh, such angsty memories.