On tumblr, my friend Megan made a note about childhood memories, i thought the response was worthy of a blog post.
Call me crazy, but those dreams of being a rock star have yet to fade in me. There are pictures of me at the age of 4 or 5 in a power rangers shirt playing on some plastic guitar, wearing sunglasses, and screaming into some microphone. 8 years later i got my first bass. 10 years later i played my first legitimate show. 13 years later, i would consider myself a weathered local musician. I have played shows to 5 people and i have played shows to a +100 people. I have yet to give up that dream i had when i was 5. Is this dumb? yeah probably. Will i make it in music? only time will tell.
I don’t know, but within me there is a drive. People who know me know how passionate i am about music. I can be a musical prick, and i know it, but this drive makes me this way because i know i can do better. I can do better than all those pop bands. I’m not meant for a life behind some desk where i punch in at 8am and clock out at 5pm only to sit in 5 hours worth of traffic. That’s not living. When i was born, I most certainly DID NOT sign up for that. I spend every single day waiting for my chance. This summer my chance is coming. This life that i’ve been living has been building up to this single point in time. If I don’t give it my soul, my heart, as Yogi Berra (not the bear) once said, “give 110% effort” then i will always end up wondering “what if?”(yes i do realize this paragraph sounds extremely arrogant and egotistical, try not to take it that way)
Sometimes those childhood fantasies aren’t dumb, sometimes they actually have a bit of truth to it. If we never pursue them, then a part of our childhood dies. I won’t let that part of me die.
Before you read this, i'd like to say a few things. The bands that have meant the most to me in the past 10 years obviously made the list. In no way am i saying all these albums are songs from the heavens, its just all this music has special meaning to me. I hope you can agree with my picks however. it took a lot of hard work on picking just 10.
Honorable Mentions (no specific order):
Death Cab for Cutie- Plans
The Format- Dog Problems
Every Time I Die- New Junk Aesthetic
Fall Out Boy- Take This to Your Grave/From Under the Cork Tree
Nine Inch Nails- Ghosts I-IV
10. City and Colour – Bring Me Your Love (February 12, 2008)
Thank you Patrick, for introducing me to the wonderful man who is Dallas Green; shortly after the release I was turned to this album, and I was floored. The beautiful voice and instrumentation on this album changed the way I think about music (not to mention changed the way I write lyrics). Dallas taught me, with this album, not everything has to be electric. Acoustic can sound phenomenal too.
9. Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie (June 24, 2003)
First song I had ever heard by this band was Capital H, and ever since Motion City Soundtrack has been one of my favorite bands. When I bought I Am the Movie, it held me from beginning to end, each song just as catchy as the last. Some of you may even remember my voicemail answering machine was set as “The Future Freaks me Out.” This album will continue to be on rotation for decades to come.
8. blink-182 – Take Off Your Pants And Jacket (June 12, 2001)
Growing up, there wasn’t a band bigger than blink-182, especially coming from San Diego. I like to brag how if I stayed in San Diego I would’ve gone to the same High School that they went streaking through. This album has had a longer lasting impression on me compared to Self-titled or Enema of The State, and I remember my dad driving me to my little league baseball games and I would be singing along to this album (“fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!”).
7. Manchester Orchestra – I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child (October 14, 2006)
Although I first heard this album in early 2008, it’s quickly became one of my favorite albums to date. The incredibly catchy songs like “Golden Ticket,” “Now That You’re Home,” and “Wolves at Night” keep you begging for more from lyrical genius Andy Hull. Not to mention, “Sleeper 1972” has to be the greatest sad song I have ever heard.
6. Say Anything – ...is a Real Boy (February 28, 2006)
Although I didn’t like this band at first, besides “Alive with the Glory of Love” and “Wow I Can Get Sexual Too,” they grew on me after a while and this soon became of my most listened to albums of the first half of 09. Songs like “Admit It” & “Yellow Cat Slash Red Cat” made me realize how undervalued Max Bemis truly is. From the first line “And the record begins with a song of rebellion” (Belt) to Bemis’ last scream “When I’m dead I’ll rest, I’ll rest,” this record is magnificent. Pure pop-musical genius.
5. Circa Survive – On Letting Go (May 29, 2007)
I remember meeting Anthony Green at warped 07 and having absolutely no idea who this short little man was. In the end, I spent more time talking to his girlfriend than him. I mean who knew that this man would someday become a god in my eyes. On Letting Go is easily one of my top albums because it grips you from beginning to end and doesn’t ever let go. With the two lead guitarists exchanging riffs, it is full of big moments and even bigger hooks.
4. Brand New – Deja Entendu (June 17, 2003)
This album contains probably one of my favorite songs ever, “Play Crack the Sky.” In addition, this album brought me to wanting to write music of my own. Lacey’s lyrics are something unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. They’re honest, full of rhetoric, and with each re-read of the lyrics, you find a new layer of meaning you had not previously found. The vocal lines are also something to be revered because of the fact that rather than sing the notes the rhythm is playing, they instead use each instrument to harmonize with each other creating something beautiful.
3. Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs (May 13, 2008)
This is a band, much like say anything, that I didn’t like too much at first but grew on me. Their other album Plans is definitely an honorable mention for this list. Also, thank you Kathleen! Anyways, this album is #2 for a reason. Beginning with “Bixby Canyon Bridge” and ending with “The Ice Is Getting Thinner,” every single song is amazing in its own right and it has gotten so many listens since I acquired it in August 09, it is hard for me to ignore how much this album has influenced me. Side note: It also has my favorite bass line ever, “Summer Skin.”
2. Brand New – The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me (November 21, 2006)
When this album first came out, I didn’t really care for it. At that point in my life, it was much too soft to be good in my opinion, so it sat on my shelf and collected dust for about a year. For whatever reason, I decided to give it a chance, and it was probably the best move of my life. Every song is better than the last, so much raw energy, so many volume swells, deeper meanings; I could go on for days. This album is one of the greatest things from starting to end.
1. Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This to Memory (June 7, 2005)
Now to my #1, this album has to be my favorite album ever. Not a single bad song on the entire record and each song is pure perfection. Produced by Mark Hoppus of blink-182, I love every second of this album. Justin Pierre is probably one of my favorite Lyricists, and pours his heart and soul into this album. “Hold Me Down” has to be one of the most heart-wrenching songs ever as it describes a letter someone found after his girlfriend left him. “How will I break the news to you?” I wish to be half as good of a musician as Motion City Soundtrack is, from Tony Thaxton’s perfectly timed drum fills to Jesse Johnson’s catchy synth lines, they are probably one of the best musicians of my time.