Pandora and Spotify are some of the best apps ever developed. The ability to have most music at the touch of your finger without paying for the rights is amazing. This has sucked up my phone data hardcore, but this week, Pandora delivered some old memories. I was a sucker for pop punk and post hardcore in the early 2000s, so my Pandora station based on Jimmy Eat World really helped encapsulate all of that scene. I began to feel nostalgic and fell down the wiki hole looking up old bands and old tracks. Thanks to The Stranger (Seattle’s best alternative weekly), I noticed the Ataris were playing at the Showbox. Apparently, they are playing a reunion tour of sorts with musicians from the So Long Astoria-era (an album that came out 11 years ago!). These two things made me feel so old, but also inspired this list.
1. “Hear You Me,” by Jimmy Eat World
Not the most well known song off of Bleed American, but my favorite. The drum part really drives Jim’s voice in this song. The guitars are definitely inspired by Sunny Day Real Estate and early ’90s emo.
2. “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Left, Right, Right, B, A, Start,” by the Ataris
Not from the aforementioned So Long Astoria, this song comes off my favorite Ataris album, End is Forever. Not only does this mention many late ’80s and early ’90s pop culture references (Karate Kid, “It Was A Good Day,” Clerks), the song title is a reference to the Konami code. Mostly though, this song reminds of me sophomore year of college and my good friends Naaman and Jamie.
3. “You’re So Last Summer,” by Taking Back Sunday
The most beautiful, dark, misogynistic lyrics are heard in this song. I was kind of obsessed with this band for all of a minute. Mostly because my Thursday love overtook any other post-hardcore band.
4. “Screaming Infidelities,” by Dashboard Confessional
This is probably the most famous song on this list. I had a huge crush on Chris Carrabba. He was the first guy I allowed myself to crush on. With his delightful cookie cutter, emotionally twinged lyrics, it made total sense I would love this band. I mean, I was 19 and confused and really wanting to love someone; I figured drowning myself in this music was the solution.
5. “Monkey Knife Fight,” by Minus the Bear
Another band I loved in college. This song’s title is inspired by a Simpsons episode. Mostly though, this song reminds me of smoking lots of reefer and driving at night with my great friend CM. We both discovered this band while visiting his brother and attending a theatre conference in Bellevue, WA. I cannot listen to this song and not think of that amazing week.
6. “Feb 15th (Happy Birthday To Me),” by Bright Eyes
An early rarity, one I found on Audiogalaxy. I absolutely fell in love with Conor Oberst, my second male musical crush. I do understand how accusations of pretentiousness can be leveled at him, but to me there is such a raw emotion that just makes me tingle.
7. “Leaving,” by The Starting Line
I just dig it. It is catchy as hell. The Starting Line is one band I wish that had gotten more love by people.
8. “What It Is To Burn,” by Finch
So yeah. Drive Thru Records was definitely the record company of my early adulthood. And this is another Drive Thru band. (This is the third on this list!) I met these guys at Warped Tour one summer and they were really cool. I always appreciated the lead singer’s voice; he nailed the scream sing thing.
9. “Hit or Miss (Original Version),” by A New Found Glory
Number four of Drive Thru bands. This is the original version of the song, which isn’t that different from its more famous version. This came from when the band still had the A in front of their name. Bonus points for Corey Feldman appearing in the video.
10. “For The Workforce, Drowning,” by Thursday
My favorite post-hardcore band. The opening track to this album inspired lots of Red Bull-fueled lyrical writing when it came out. War All The Time still cracks my top 30 favorite albums, not just for nostalgic reasons. I generally can still listen to it and enjoy it. Thursday’s working class aesthetic and personal/political lyrics really hit home with me. The album also includes a tribute to Matthew Sheppard, which for a straight band to include spoke volumes to me.
It’s funny. Even going through this list, I have started to fall down a musical rabbit hole again. I need to not do that! I can see that I listened to a lot of male artists to cover up my gender issues when I was a young adult. Thankfully, I have gotten over that.