15 nuggets in awkward music history

I’d say that I first started to seriously get into music in 2002. Aside from being raised in a fairly musical household, this was the time when I really began to carve out what my personal tastes were and was kind of able to establish a relationship between what I was listening to and what I was feeling. The albums I listened to roughly between 2002 and 2009 accompanied the typical awkward, confusing, and just fucking weird transitions during that time, and that strangely means a lot to me. Looking back, some of my musical choices may seem embarrassing.. but in a way, I almost feel grateful for them. For me, they sort of signify that life has changed-they remind me that life hasn’t just been stagnant. Or at least I hope it hasn’t. Let’s revisit this magical time.

Avril Lavigne – “Too Much To Ask” (2002)

I was super team Avril for a while, but then the whole “anti-avril” thing started happening and I JUST WANTED TO BE COOL SO BAD so I started hating her too. But secretly still loved her. This probably makes a lot more sense if you understand what kind of person I was at 12 (I owned a pair of UFO pants), but the main point is that ‘Let Go’ meant a lot to me at the time, and I will forever respect that. This album really does pin point the whole pre-teen angst thing.  And seriously though, this song rules, and “you chose weed over me you’re so lame” makes me laugh a little.

Motion City Soundtrack – “My Favorite Accident” (2003)

I kind of love it when songs stir up old feelings. It’s exciting. This one definitely does that, and it also makes question my choices for past crushes.

Matchbook Romance – “My Eyes Burn” (2003)

This song is not very good. But I know every word.

Story Of The Year – “Until The Day I Die” (2003)

MY HANDS ARE AT YOUR THROAT, AND I THINK I HATE YOU! Shit, I wish I was old enough in 2003 to go to concerts. I would have gone to a Story Of The Year show for sure. (My first concert was Lily Allen in sophomore year of high school. I split a six-pack with two other people in my bedroom and it was real). “Anthem Of Our Dying Day” gets a shout out as well.

Dashboard Confessional – “Rapid Hope Loss” (2003)

I actually just had a personal crisis trying to choose one song for Dashboard, because I really have an equal attachment to every single song on ‘A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar’. I originally chose “If You Can’t Leave It Be, Might As Well Make It Bleed”, but there wasn’t a Youtube video for it so here we are. This album is perfect. I taped the words ‘Dashboard Confessional’ onto my wall (like literally, out of tape) after getting this album to paint over so that they could be on my wall FOREVER. This is a true story.

Yellowcard – “Only One” (2003)

I know Yellowcard gets their fair amount of shit-and I think that watching live videos of them just to see the violinist jam out by himself has become a hobby for me- but how can anyone not like this song?

Melee – “The War” (2004)

I don’t think I ever seriously got into these guys, but they were one of my proud Purevolume discoveries.

The Used – “Sound Effects And Overdramatics” (2004)”

‘In Love And Death’ is another one of those albums that kind of just entered my life at the right time and that I will never be able to abandon. And how fucking badass was the album artwork? I remember being so struck by it. I’m pretty sure I still have the case. And I’m also pretty sure it was the first album I owned that had a parental advisory on it. “The Taste Of Ink” and “Blue and Yellow” also get shout outs.

The Rocket Summer – “Cross My Heart” (2004)

Okay, so this may actually be embarassing. The Rocket Summer was super cheesy (as was everything else in 2004?), but I really did like them back in the day. Nostalgia is powerful, guys.

My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay” (2004)

I have no comment on the current state of My Chemical Romance, but ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ pretty much owned my life for a good while. I totally still listen to this album and enjoy it. MCR 4 lyfffffff (or just until 2006).

Jack’s Mannequin – “Mixed Tape” (2005)

‘Everything In Transit’ was actually a pretty decent album (with the exception of “Dark Blue”).

The 88 – “All Cause Of YOu (2005)

Can we talk about how good the soundtracks for The OC were? They introduced me to so many great bands (Spoon, Doves, Rogue Wave, Keane, The Walkmen, Perishers), including The 88. Their song “At Least It Was Here” is now the theme song to Community. Wikipedia, bitch.

Cartel -“Honest” (2006)


Hellogoodbye – “Two Weeks In Hawaii” (2006) 

Part of me feels like Hellogoodbye really was a precursor to the hipster era. They were awkward, but completely on purpose. Not to mention that Forrest Kline was a vegetarian and wore extra large glasses.. just saying.  I also had an enormous crush on the drummer Chris Profeta and actually felt a little pang of sadness upon finding out that he left the band in 2008 (to go to college, of all things! shame). They were popular more for songs like “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn”, “Touchdown Turnaround”, or the stellar “Jesse Buy Nothing… Go to Prom Anyways”. But I chose “Two Weeks In Hawaii” (and yes, the demo trumps all) because I think it’s way under appreciated for how adorablely genuine it is. They could write songs about asking girls out to prom and being afraid of getting caught by your parents in your bedroom with a girl and totally get away with it. AND MY HEART. STOPS. EVERY. TIME. Next.

The Secret Handshake – “Too Young” (2007)

I really thought I was super indie and mature for liking this song at the time, but looking back and realizing that this guy had a major record deal kind of puts a damper on my entitlement about knowing about this. I seriously thought I was on some underground~ shit. Whatever. I still like this song. On a funny but also sort of sad note, this dude’s music is awful now.

Obviously, honorable mentions go to Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. Those should just be understood as having such an overarching awesome effect on my life that I can’t just designate them to one specific time period. To be continued.


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