Last week, All Things Go Mama Bear Hilary Gridley pointed out that it had been a whole 10 years since Blink 182 had released their self-titled album and told us that we’d be commemorating it on the site with a ‘Top 10 Blink 182 Songs’ list.
Now, I would never turn down the opportunity to put my extensive knowledge and familiarity with this band to use, but as someone whose only selection for the list post-Enema of the State was the underrated “Go,” I was left wondering why it was such a big deal that an album that is only arguably their third or fourth best album was a decade old. I mean, the band was even going to be playing the album in its entirety during two shows at the Palladium in LA! Two shows!
While I’m sure Mark, Tom, and Travis are quite content to relive the days when they released their first ‘legitimate’ (aka ‘serious’) album, we all know this isn’t their real legacy and it would be a shame if they were remembered as the elder ‘punk’ statesmen who were “Feeling This” as opposed to the goofy, charming (LUCKY) guys they really were.
I’m not sure if its them or THE POWERS THAT BE that are trying to whitewash the group’s adolescent past, but that past is essential to knowing and really appreciating this band.
“Dammit,” the song that contains the high-minded “The timing/and structure/did you hear/he fucked her,” being played on WHFS when I myself was a decade old was my, and probably many other’s, first introduction to pop-punk. From a macro-culture standpoint, they’re probably most famous for streaking through a music video for a song that contemplated why the world didn’t want to get crank calls from 23-year-old white kids from California.
They were potty-mouthed, prank-loving pop-punkers. That is who they were and how they should be remembered.
Sure, now that I’m at 27, I can see why the world would want to smack the shit out of some 20-something who still acted like they were in freshman year of college, but as a 13-year old who was learning to play guitar by learning Dude Ranch in its entirety, these pop-punk Peter Pans were idols in Hurley shirts.
And because they never seemed to take themselves too seriously — with the exception of Travis, whom I think has just been quietly going along for the ride all this time — there was no one to yell “Sell out!” as they creeped up the ranks of TRL and became the world’s biggest band for those 21 and under.
It was only then, after they were tenured as rock demi-gods, that they stopped just flirting with real emotions like they did on their Boxcar Racer affair and actually made a record that wasn’t self-deprecating in some way. They finally had the balls to put it on the line and make a record that was pure artistic merit. And I’m glad they ponied up and did that, we should commemorate that maturation, but it doesn’t mean that we have to celebrate this album’s double-digit birthday like THIS was the Blink 182 album we should all give a shit about honoring.
Come see me in four years when Dude Ranch turns 20 and then we’ll have something to talk about.
Anyways, in lieu of something from the bronze-medalled Blink 182, I’m including the song I voted as the number 1 song* in the All Things Go list, “Apple Shampoo,” a song that Mark Hoppus himself once said was his favorite and which contains both the poetic “And I’ll teach myself to live/With a walk-on part of a background shot/From a movie I’m not in,” and the not-so-poetic, “She’s so important/And I’m so retarded.”
God bless Blink 182.
* For all 0 of you that care, here is my order for the Top 10 Blink Songs. Feel free to send me emails or leave comments telling me how wrong I am, but I’ll defend these choices to the death.
1. Apple Shampoo
2. Carousel (Buddha Version)
4. Going Away To College
5. Dick Lips
7. Don’t Leave Me
9. Adam’s Song
Originally posted on Brightest Young Things on November 13, 2013