I have been sick the last few days, which means I have sleeping a lot. It is no surprise that I find myself up at 10 until 2 AM on a “school night.” So I have decided to try to make up for lost time and for not posting for a bit. The cup of sleepy time tea is steeping, and I am thinking about some of the music I have been listening to in the last week or so. (NOTE- Most of the links below are iTunes Affiliate Links).
I’m not sure what it is, but I have been all about some Fall Out Boy.
The wierd thing is, is that I’ve never really listened to them until recently. I like to familiarize myself with bands in a chronological fashion, so a while back I started listening to some of their first records, and stopped after “Take This To Your Grave” and wrote them off as another pop punk band that got lucky with their take on the tried and true formula that so many bands have already milked.
Then one day I decided to finally try out the iTunes Wi-Fi on my iPhone. Let me re-phrase… I actually bought something. I had a quarter left from a gift card, and for some reason I was feeling like listening to something new, a pop- rock gem. So, much to my wife’s chagrin, I purchases “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” from Fall Out Boy’s “Infinity On High.”
Here’s the thing. This song is awesome. It is a perfectly crafted pop single, from the quite, yet over produced orchestral intro, to the slick and powerful chorus, this song is clever. One of my favorite highlights in the Queen-esque crescendo after the second verse, with the band caroling “One Night Stand-uh.” This song was stuck in my head for a week, and I the only cure was… more Fall Out Boy.
I remembered thinking the other single from “Infinity On High” was good as well. “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” is similarly crafted, and very formulaic given the band’s other singles, but it is still a solid one. One of the things that has kept me away from this band, is how much I saw this song around when it was released. It was constantly at the top of the iTunes chart, and getting slammed with them constantly didn’t really make me want to jump up and buy it. (An important note is that I’ve only subscribed to one music magazine in the past five years, and have the most basic cable ever).
Buying the other single was still not enough, so I decided to backtrack to “From Under The Cork Tree.” This record was the big ship for Fall Out Boy in 2005, and I missed it. I’ll admit that I haven’t stayed in touch with the music scene as closely as I would have liked in the past five years, and according to Wikipedia, I jumped ship right after the second wave of emo crashed on the shore of commercial success. In this I think lies a deeper issue I have with band, and why realizing that I like them has freed me in a way.
Fall Out Boy is the band I have always wanted to start.
I know it sounds stupid, but after listening to these last two records, and doing some research on the band, they pretty much epitomize what I would/ want to do with a band. They write ridiculously catchy songs pulling from every genre of music that I have liked, from rock to hardcore to hip hop to lord knows what, and Pete Wentz writes ridiculous lyrics. Ranging from trite to snide in the same song, their ironic and clever lyrics are even more ironic because the whole band knows EXACTLY what they are doing. They are the new punk rock. The punk rock that knows how to rebel against society, then rebel against the rebellion by selling the rebellion back to society. Blink 182 did it before, but I don’t think they did it on purpose. Fall Out Boy is a more savvy business than that. Or maybe I am giving them too much credit. Perhaps everyone else already knows this and I am just re-stating the obvious.
I think one of the things that I have had to deal with a lot in being involved with music, from creating it, to writing about it, to listening to it, is how seriously people take it. Don’t get me wrong, I take music seriously, and don’t doubt that bands like Fall Out Boy do, but I appreciate their approach, they are having a good time and riding high on a formula they have proven: “We like to rock, and we like to write songs that you can sing along to and might relate to, but we might not actually relate to it, but so what.”
Oh, and I almost failed to mention, they are fronted by a red-headed, kind of chubby guy, who, well, kind of reminds me of someone.