#2 The Wonder Years - Suburbia, I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing
I'm running out of ways to say that I'm a big fucking baby and this was my big fucking pacifier (Or maybe I'm not!!!). Regardless, anyone who's ever followed this band knows the deal. They went from jokes to, well, something else. Maybe I can relate, to a certain extent. When I started writing for this site, all I wanted to do was make people laugh. I just wanted users to understand that music "journalism" or, really, anything music related, can be done a million different ways. My old standbys were jokes about food and jokes about myself. Which, yeah, that sounds a lot like Let's Get Stoked on It! But then something happened, life or whatever else, and everything didn't always seem so funny. Or, at least, not every situation needed a joke.
I could see you interpreting this as, "Oh fuck, Blake got boring." While I don't believe that to be true, I can see how people would be like, "Dude, what gives?!" I know but I don't really know. This whole thing is a sort of ebb and flow, which is how I picture The Wonder Years' career path. Songs like "Came Out Swinging" and "Hoodie Weather" and "My Life As A Pigeon" are bigger and more dynamic and more adult then anything else the band has given us. Yet I still think there is a life and enthusiasm in these songs that is so much fun to listen to. The term "maturation" gets thrown around a lot, but I don't think that's what this is. I think this is, more simply, just some dudes who had to figure out a new way to deal with their shit. I haven't quite figured that part out yet, but I guess if these guys can do it, so can I.
"So I'm nailing shards of hope together to put something over my head."
I've started a blog centered around The Upsides a couple of times now, but each time I've erased the ordeal midway. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that I can't really say anything other than: This record has touched me. It's a near perfect encapsulation of being a 20-something teenager in this very strange decade. Now, it should be obvious that I don't actually know if these years are any more strange than any other decade because I have no real point of reference other than VH1's programming. And also I don't watch network news because they don't show network news on TBS. But whatever I lack in hindsight or foresight or mediumsight, I think I make up for in gut feeling. It just seems like things get weirder everyday, and that can be kind of a bummer.
But if this record has taught me anything, and it has taught me something, it's that feeling ok one minute and then feeling pretty terrible the next and then making a joke about the whole thing is more than normal, it's life. Even though it's called simply The Upsides, there is an inherent implication that to have an upside there must have been a side that was, you know, not up. So you make it through that part of the rollercoaster, that moment where you might just lose your lunch, and then it's onward and upward. Or whatever cliche/metaphor you feel like using. The point is, there's more. Especially at 22 (and 3/4!).
I've got nothing currently to be sad or disgruntled about at this moment, which is more than awesome, but it's still nice to have a record like this to reaffirm some of the places my head's been at during these last, oh i don't know, 6 or 7 years.
There's a line here that some people may pass off as jokey stupidness, but shocker, it's stuck with me: "And I don't think that I love anything the way that some people love Morrissey. It's just that nothing speaks to me like that." I think we've all felt that way, like we look around and see everyone else in the midst of merriment and self-affirmation, and it's one of those moments where we hate people for being happy and then hate ourselves for not allowing those people to be happy. I think this is called human nature, but I may be wrong. Either way, I think that particular line showed me that everyone else's happiness is my happiness, too. So enjoy, even during the bad times. Because there will always be more until there isn't.