I try not to make New Years resolutions. This year I made two promises to myself.
- I would make more of an effort to stretch my wings with things I enjoy. Sometimes I’ll be the only one that wants to go to those concerts. That’s OK. That shouldn’t stop me.
- I would embrace being a fangirl and write about things I’m super excited about in this blog. I may feel it’s a silly post and it’s rambly, but someone might learn about a new thing and learn they like it!
So, that said…
I’ve been fangirling over Blink 182.
I’ve been holding back fangirling publicly about this band. Avoiding talking about the great videos I’ve watched, how amazing the new album is or how they left in Travis saying “ah!” when he thought he screwed up the opening of the first song. (0:37 in)
So here’s your warning:
VIDEOS AND GIFS AND FANGIRLING THOUGHTS AHEAD.
In part I worried because for some stupid reason I actually worry how other people will see me and judge my taste in music. It’s also because I really, really adored the band when I was younger and told myself to stop liking them because it was “immature” and “not real music…” (Honestly, I thought listening to Linkin Park was cool, I knew nothing.)
In high school I would watch their music videos on Much Music (Canada’s MTV) and the interviews they would use to promote the Warped Tour. I fangirled before I knew what fangirling was because tattoos, guitars*, and cute guys being dorks were essentially the best group of things for me at that age (and to a point now if I’m honest). I’m pretty sure Tom DeLonge’s lip ring was the first lip ring I ever saw. I read that he did for the lip ring what Slash did for top hats. Lots of people got them after he did.
Their videos were always interesting. They made fun of cheesy boy band videos, gave away money, and did videos naked.
They bantered in interviews and on stage like good friends, something I would come to appreciate with NOFX as well. Banter is important. Their songs also had two things I required in a good song: clever and catchy.
Then grade eleven came and my priorities turned to grades and only listening to the music my boyfriend at the time wanted to listen to. I stopped watching Much Music as living in a small town in the Maritimes without access to a vehicle meant every mention of the Warped Tour was like a stab in my heart, reminding me I’d never get to go**. I heard music and I would recite lyrics, but the songs didn’t click. So I ignored music. That’s why I say I wasn’t into music as a kid, my heart wasn’t in it. -cue aww-
Fast forward to loving punk music in Edmonton and I get an email from Ticketmaster that Blink 182 were coming to Edmonton as part of their new album tour. They were still together?
2016 was not the year for stretching my wings. Here are the bullshit excuses I used as to why I didn’t get tickets:
– I didn’t know anything about their new album
– I hadn’t listened since I was a teenager ergo, I wouldn’t know any songs!
– I’d be at the back!
– They were too expensive! (They really weren’t)
Those are awful excuses. However, true to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon I happened upon Travis Barker’s autobiography “Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums” when I was looking at punk biographies. The book is fantastic, I didn’t know he had been in a plane crash or the extent of his injuries. It made me realize I knew NOTHING about him, just that he was the drummer for Blink.
The tales in the book about joining Blink and playing shows made me regret not going to the concert. Teenage me would have freaked out at the thought that she could have gone and didn’t. I thought maybe it was time to give it a listen? Spotify introduced me to the new album (and the stuff I had missed between Take off Your Pants and Jacket and now). I was surprised, the new album: California was great and it sounded grown up, while still sounding like the same band I loved so much when I was younger. It didn’t sound exactly the same, but my uneducated ear assumed it was just the 15 years difference.
Tumblr, however, broke the news that this wasn’t the same Blink 182 from my teenage years. The tags and some googling explained Tom DeLonge wasn’t in the band anymore, instead the spot was filled by Matt Skiba (of Alkaline Trio and recently of NOFX videos I had been watching as he’s friends with Fat Mike). I found myself upset about it. The band was the three of them, why didn’t they start ANOTHER band instead of going on with the same name. I knew about some of the ups and downs the band went through from Travis’s autobiography and the off-shoot bands had different names such as Boxcar Racer (Tom & Travis) with only two of the three members. It didn’t matter if they sounded good, it wasn’t the same. Then I had an epiphany – Katrina feels entitled to her opinion, but thankfully doesn’t express it to the world because she couldn’t tell the difference on the new album in the first place.
If you can see the similarities to the Doctor regenerating here: good.
Truth is, bands break up and reform and lose/gain members all the time. The way the band is now is pretty damn good. I’ve done some Youtube hunting and hearing Matt Skiba play songs from Enema of the State (my favourite of their albums), it’s easy for me to nitpick the mistakes or comment how he doesn’t sound like Tom. Just like Capaldi doesn’t talk about jelly babies the same way Baker did. It seems so obvious, of course he doesn’t, he’s a different person. The important thing is he seems to care about getting the songs right and the chemistry on stage is fantastic. Their music videos aren’t quite as crazy as they used to be, but this one is really good:
I’ll leave you with a live show I found and enjoyed, that has some talky bits in between songs. It’s professionally shot and you can see what I mean about Skiba doing his own thing and Mark checking in, which is something he did on stage with Tom too.
I just wish Skiba would walk away from the mic once in a while.
*It didn’t hurt that I had a huge crush on a guy who played guitar in my high school.
**There was one year it was in Woodstock or Fredericton, New Brunswick and it was the only time I ever considered ditching school and hitchhiking somewhere.
Title comes from an interview Matt Skiba did, where he said a song added “Turquoise Flavour”