Wednesday, January 27, 2010

inside my teeth i'll scream, i know that i miss you, i know that i miss you...

anniversaries are tricky. the very nature of a day with such meaning that it merits acknowledgement a month, a year, a decade or more after it's original occurrence is in and of itself an odd idea. you might want to remember a birth or a marriage or for some, a break up making these events wonderful, sickly sweet or just plain old sadistic.

since time is linear (as far as we know it anyway) the thought of an anniversary can be soothing and provide for a brief moment a chance at recapturing the experience of the original day. at the same time it can be a time of reflection, repentance, revenge or anger. the word "anniversary" conjures up many things to many people. they are practical, fun, mystical, earth shattering or four dudes and a chick from Kansas.

that's right, five people from lawrence, kansas that teamed up in 97 to form, in my opinion, one of the best emo/synth rock bands of the time. many people call them "indie rock" now because emo is an insult to most. at the time, emo wasn't a bad word and the term "indie rock" didn't exist. thank bands like saves the day, dashboard confessional and deathcab for cutey for making the word emo synonymous with pussy. but i digress...

in the late 90s there was a surge of emo/indie (whatever offends you less) groups that featured a synth of some kind. these acts were usually all male except for the one female playing keys. i honestly lost count of the number of times i heard someone say, "i want to start a band and get a hot girl to play key board for us." or something to that effect. unfortunately this led to a large number of bands adopting a synth and filling that space with the girlfriend of a band member. now obviously women are just as talented musicians as men because it comes down to practice not gender. more often than not with these bands it was just an unfortunate coincidence that these girls had never played an instrument and this trend helped continue the stereo-type that synth was a joke instrument because so many bad bands had worse synth players. it was not uncommon to see a synth stand, hear a joke about the girl who was playing it before she got on stage and then hear people making bets on who she was sleeping with. fortunately for us, adrienne of the anniversary was kick ass, played great live, could sing well and with heart and was just all around a great stage presence.

like most of the things i've posted here, i loved this band. they were poppy as hell which is odd when you look at what i listen to but it's hard not to sing along to music like this. it was so unabashedly catchy and full of the relationship politics that you'd expect from early 20-somethings.

this album helped me get through some rather nasty personal crap because music has always been one of the things that helps me realize i'm not alone in feeling the way i do. i'm reminded of high fidelity when rob asks, "was i depressed because i listened to pop music, or did i listen to pop music because i was depressed?" and that's kind of how my listening experience has been since birth. melancholy runs a rude streak through my collection of recordings and even the happy, lighter pop sounding stuff is full of the kind of love that encourages razor blades to dance up your arms. the anniversary is one of those bands. they're dead catchy but even a cursory glance at the lyrics shows they are not happy songs.

i was young and full of unrequited love so it stands to reason that a good number of the records i was listening to would be full of the same themes. designing a nervous break down was just so full of the right kind of energy for getting off your ass and either moving on or moving through whatever my problem was. it took five more years for me to realize that i didn't like waking up sad and feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. i wish i could say that this record was one of the things that helped me realize that but it probably pulled me further under. whatever the case is, i was happy to have it along for the ride.

i won't be posting this one because it's not that hard to find. the last i checked it was still in print. if you can't find it let me know and we'll talk.


Laura said...

heeeeey, can you really lump deathcab in with dashboard and saves the day? I hurt.

Mumei said...

i certainly can. not because they sound anything alike but because they're about as tough as a wet tissue.