Today’s music Monday song comes from Bayside’s 2011 release, Killing Time. No punches are spared in this scathingly aggressive “fuck you” to a failed former relationship. “You made your bed, now go die in it” Raneri bluntly states at one point, following up with the more poignant “you’re the black ice on my road to wholesome” later on. It’s this mix of poetic witticism and aggressively honest lyrics that make Bayside such a great band, as well as the fact that they put on a fantastic live show. Their sixth studio album, Cult, is out tomorrow, February 19th, and I for one am excited to hear what it sounds like.
Monthly Archives: February 2014
One night before the Arctic Monkeys played their biggest headlining show ever in the United States, they played a small venue in Maine. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Ed Sullivan bringing the Beatles to America, they played a cover of All My Loving with a little help from Miles Kane.
Madison Square Garden might have been their biggest US show ever, but we in Portland got to hear this cover before anyone else. Check out their fantastic cover above.
Video courtesy of MrSecretDoor on youtube.
When Green Day released Dookie on February 1, 1994, I can only imagine that hardly anyone thought people twenty years later would still be putting this album on a pedestal that few punk records would ever reach. A punk band on a major label was an unheard of venture, and one that was essentially a hit-or-miss experiment. Even the most optimistic Reprise executives couldn’t have dreamed that three bratty punks from California could put out an album that would influence America’s music landscape and create a new wave of mainstream punk that was felt everywhere from malls to concert halls and heard on radios across the country.
Yet here we are, twenty years later, and people are still talking about this album and wondering where pop punk would be without it. Quite simply, pop punk would not be nearly the power house it became in the 90s and continues to be today. In 1994, The Offspring released Smash, NoFX released Punk in Drublic, and Rancid released Let’s Go, all of which experienced varying levels of success. But even though they all boasted impressive sales numbers, it was Green Day that had the longest lasting impact on the mainstream landscape. Dookie has since gone Diamond in the United States, while no punk band had ever experienced so much as a platinum record. While the feat led to their exile from the punk underground, it also created a new following and a new scene which they could call their own.
I was ten days shy of my fifth birthday when Dookie came out, so needless to say I was not affected at the time of its release. In fact, I discovered Green Day with “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” in 1999 and became obsessed with American Idiot in 2005 (which has since become my all-time favorite album). It was this path that led me to discover Dookie. I was immediately in awe of its undisputed and long-reaching legacy. I remember watching “Influenc’d: Green Day” and being blown away by how many bands continue to romanticize this album. It’s truly beautiful to know that a simple 38 minute album could inspire so much creativity and hope in people who may have previously had no outlet to express themselves. Members of some of my favorite bands, including Bayside, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, Blink-182, and more shared stories and discussed the fire this album and band lit in them.
So what makes Dookie so likable and influential? It’s hard to tell today, because we live in a world where so many have attempted what Green Day perfected twenty years ago. But back then, this album felt so fresh and interesting that it was impossible not to get sucked in. The band wrote catchy, relatable music that was soaked in angst and represented an aggressive middle finger executed through simple three-chord punk songs with memorable poppy melodies. The music was fueled by the hatred they encountered after abandoning the Gillman Street scene that bred them. The band laid it all out on their fourteen tracks, looking to shut their critics up while building on the sound they played with on their first two albums. By and large, Green Day was successful on all counts while writing music that resonated with the masses. On the surface, their music seems basic, but the music’s simplicity in no way tarnishes its effectiveness. The hypnotic bass-line of hit single “Longview”, the sing-a-long infectiousness of “Basket Case”, and the raw aggression of “F.O.D.” demonstrated Green Day’s knack for knowing the right note to hit and striking it with pin-point precision.
Either directly or indirectly, this album has influenced nearly every pop punk band that has come into existence since its release. Without Dookie, Blink-182 would never have become as big as they did. As a result of Blink-182, bands like New Found Glory and Fall Out Boy grew to prominence, influencing bands like All Time Low who have since influenced more bands. With the resurgence of pop punk in recent years with bands like The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, Man Overboard, and Transit, Green Day’s influence, though not always outwardly acknowledged, continues to be felt and heard. From its beautifully chaotic album cover to its recognizable and oft-covered classics like “Burnout”, “Welcome to Paradise”, and “She”, this album has become a brand that the scene continues to revere and attempt to recreate.
In the end, what is so special about Dookie is that its influence has not wavered. There are so many other pop punk albums that have come out since it, and yet so many new bands who were probably too young to know this album existed when it came out still label it as a major stepping stone in their own careers. In the past twenty years, so many people have picked this album up and had their world instantly changed forever. Even today, some kid could pick this album up and feel that same emotion. This is a record that truly transcends the genre and has an influence that will not die. My guess is twenty years from now, we’ll continue to feel that effect.