February 20, 2009

Anthem For A Ex-13-Year-Old Girl

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It’s been almost two weeks since the Grammy’s. In fact, it’s been exactly 12 days since I sat in front of my television in awe of three presenters. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker –– the members of the pop-punk sensation, Blink 182 –– stood on stage together to announce their reunion.
Bands from our generation have broken up and reunited before: Stone Temple Pilots, the Pixies, the Spice Girls. While those were exciting tours that garnered much success, a Blink 182 reunion is so much better –– since as a band, they defined the fun, yet frustrated lives of the American teen. To every adolescent in possession of a CD player, Blink’s songs were an exceptional reflection of young existence. They whined about girls, feared their first dates, and simply sang about being stoked to go to the Warped Tour. From the late ’90s to the early ’00s, Blink 182 encapsulated the youthful and confused spirit of growing up.
While Tom DeLonge continued to make popular music after the Blink hiatus began in ’03, his bands Box Car Racer and Angels and Airwaves never reeled me in. On the other hand, Travis Barker’s MTV reality show, Meet the Barkers, did. Ultimately though, I just wanted Blink back. On Feb. 8th, at the Grammy’s, Mark Hoppus made my pop-punk dreams come true, declaring “Blink is back!” Every ounce of 13-year-old girl left inside of me shrieked in a giddy and joyful response.
It was possibly because I only saw Blink 182 once in concert. I was 12, and it was May 30th at the Jones Beach Theater (way back in the days before the theater was corporately owned). Of the hundreds of concerts I have attended, I rarely remember the specific date. Oddly enough, May 30, 2000 has never left my mind. Sadly, I can barely remember much else from the evening except that the openers, Fenix, TX and Bad Religion, were atrocious. I have no recollection of what Blink even played, but I know I loved every minute of it. Now, I am thrilled that they’ll be reuniting to tour, giving me the opportunity to see Blink when my brain is more developed to process and store the musical moment.
According to the San Diego threesome’s website, the musical moment will be coming in the form of a sixth record and a summer tour. While I could not be more eager to hear the album, I’m anxious to know what it will entail. Nothing they have ever created has disappointed me (albeit I was 15 the last time they released an album, so my music standards weren’t too high). However, in the five years since they last released an album, CDs have become insignificant, the youngest crowd of Blink fans have entered college, and the other half of them are far beyond their college days.
I’m not sure what to expect. They might continue singing new heartfelt or inappropriate songs that made us connect with them in the first place. Or they could try to appeal to us as grown up fans. As my friend Steve put it, in light of they economic crisis, there’s the possibility that they’re going sing songs like “What’s My Wage Again?” At first that seemed like a horrifyingly bad idea, but would it be that terrible for Blink to write pop punk for the 20-something lifestyle? Post-pop-punk, will you?
Currently, the merchandise section of their website has a humorous, yet sad ‘recession sale.’ This very minor fact makes me believe that the new album will indeed be filled with the staple Blink sentiment about how life sucks, but it’s the same for everyone, and eventually the girl you have a crush on will like you back. I can only keep my fingers and toes crossed that Hoppus, DeLonge and Barker have held onto this charming silly-boy sincerity. If so, and the new album is anything like my imagined post-pop-punk for 20-somethings, I’m predicting this will be my favorite album of summer 2009, like Enema of the State was for most teenagers in the summer of 1999.
At the end of the day, I fell in love with Blink 182 as a young teen and anything they create I’ll probably listen to with a less-scrutinizing ear. As long as Mark Hoppus still uses his pink bass and looks as gorgeous as he did at the Grammy’s, I am (as well as my music-loving peers are) in for a special dose of the better listening from my adolescent years.