Joys of pop punk made music buffs

For someone who has attempted to play multiple instruments and failed, and couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it, music plays a huge part in my life and has for a long time. My first cassette tape was Hanson’s “Middle of Nowhere.” I was torn between Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, and my first concert was Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” tour. Those days got me into music, but it wasn’t until my discovery of pop punk I became the music buff I am today.

In middle school, I spent all of my allowance on CDs that were on sale at Target. I would shout along to Good Charlotte’s “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and my parents took away my Simple Plan CD when they heard “Addicted” coming from my room. It was in eighth grade I started expressing my opinions of George Bush… because Green Day’s “American Idiot” told me to.

My freshman year of high school is when “From Under the Cork Tree” by Fall Out Boy was released and I learned about the greatness of the Fueled By Ramen record label.

Instead of spending my money on Good Charlotte and Simple Plan CDs, I was spending my money on concerts my parents had to drive me to. I was a regular at St. Andrew’s Hall and the Magic Stick, and I fan-girled while trying to meet Cobra Starship (back when they still were pop punk) and The Academy Is… too many times to count.

Sure, pop punk bands didn’t have the deepest lyrics and their power chords weren’t particularly difficult to play, but there was just something so appealing about the genre, especially for high school kids. Most of the “real” punk bands either stopped existing in the ’80s or were singing about political things 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds didn’t care about or understand. Pop punk’s simple lyrics about teenage romance, boredom and dealing with friends and parents are what kids who bounced around and “moshed” in those pits could relate with.

That’s why we screamed along with them.

While at times I wish that I existed in the 1960s so I could dress like the people from Mad Men, I feel like I was a teenager at a great time. I was a teenager when all of these pop-punkers were at their peak, and I can’t think of a better way to have put off my algebra homework than waiting in line outside to see the Pink Spiders, or sweating my shutter shades off at Warped Tour.

A few months ago, I went to the Royal Oak Music Theater to see New Found Glory on their “Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour.” While I was pumped to hear their movie soundtrack covers and “My Friends Over You” live since I never got a chance to back in the day, it wasn’t as fulfilling as I expected it to be. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer a teenager, but since I can still listen to those albums and appreciate them for what they are, I think the real reason is that, contrary to NFG’s statement, pop punk is dead.

It’s upsetting, but it’s true. New Found Glory recently released “Radiosurgery,” and Blink-182 released “Neighborhoods.” But did anyone really like them? Did they leave as big of an impact as “Sticks and Stones” or “Enema of the State”? Versions of pop punk still exist, but with variations. Synthesizers and dance beats seem to be a popular replacement of power chords (remember my snarky comment about Cobra Starship earlier?).

As years go on, music changes, genres change. While it’s sad to see your favorite bands start to stink or break up, remember the good times you had with them. Think about when you were getting ready for one of your first dates listening to “First Date,” or singing along in your first car with your friends pulling out of the high school parking lot.

View the original post at the Eastern Echo.

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