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Celebrating 10 Years of American Idiot: Where It All Began For Me


It’s a unique pleasure to be able to pinpoint the exact moment when something truly special came into your life and forever changed the way you felt and understood the basic idea of a certain medium. When I was 15 years old, I wasn’t much of a music fan. I rarely listened to music as a hobby, and my understanding of rock music was whatever Now That’s What I Call Music CDs and mainstream radio tossed at me. In most instances, this meant bands such as Three Days Grace, Creed, 3 Doors Down, and Nickelback (with the occasional Blink-182 track that I still love and listen to). My feelings towards music were that of convenience and of necessity, not of passion; music was something nice for the background but not something I lived off of.

Then came 2004, and what has become my all-time favorite record was released by pop punk band Green Day. To backtrack, International Superhits (Green Day’s 2001 greatest hits album), was the first CD I ever owned, but I bought it mostly for “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and only glanced over the rest of the tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every song, from the infectious bass line on “Longview” to the acoustic strumming on “Macy’s Day Parade”, but as was typical for me at the time I enjoyed the songs without giving much thought to the music on a personal and emotional level. It was merely noise for the sake of noise, something that could fit into the background like a person you’ve never met walking beside you on the street.

Then American Idiot was dropped into my lap from the collective minds and talents of guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool. I saw it in stores everywhere and was instantly drawn to the bleeding heart/hand grenade logo on the cover and was hooked the first time I heard the song “American Idiot”. It was bold, in-your-face and unapologetic, and I wanted more; for the first time, I was inclined (and determined) to listen to an entire album based on a song rather than just listen to the singles or popular tracks. What I received was a lesson on music that I didn’t expect or know that I wanted, but one I sorely needed at the time.

The album was more imaginative than anything I had ever heard, something called a “rock opera” with characters, a narrative, rising and falling action, and a climax. It was like a novel in music form and I was in love. I became instantly infatuated with the suburban struggles of the jaded and bored “Jesus of Suburbia”, the story of his deserting his hometown in search of truth only to run into the mysterious “Whatsername” and his journey that led him back to Jingletown. I remember especially enjoying the repeated references that tied one song to the next, from the “7-11” he used to hang out at to the “letterbomb” Whatsername dropped on him to the “underbelly”, which was his gang of personal disciples. I found the idea of forming a collective story so much more interesting than just putting a record out with 10-14 seemingly random songs.

But more than just the story, it was the first album that implored me to notice the instrumentation and to take interest in the idea and style of writing lyrics and composing music. I was floored the first time I heard “Give Me Novacaine” and hearing how the soft lullaby of the acoustic guitar gave way for the imposing, raucous chorus that engulfed my senses. I dug the high-pitched shrill of “Nobody likes you/everyone left you/they’re all out without you/having fun” that preceded the crunchy guitar intro on “Letterbomb”. More than anything, I was amazed at the two 9-minute, 5-part epics (equipped with tempo changes and stylistic variety that made each song an impressive, unparalleled roller coaster of musical emotion). To be able to switch up a song so many times while not losing sight of the narrative and the importance of what the band was singing made those two of my best songs I’ve ever heard. American Idiot did for me what Dookie did to the grunge craze and what grunge did to the hair metal phase: it purged any remaining semblance of who I was as a music fan and created a completely new outlook on music.

The story of American Idiot is timeless at its heart; it remains tied to the idea of alienation, loneliness, anger, and longing, among so many more. The story of looking for a better life for yourself but ultimately being disappointed has been told time and time again, but at the moment when Green Day released it, it was a story that needed to be told in the way Green Day told it. For this reason (and simply because the band was bold enough to go against what was “easy” and challenge their fans and the music world) this album will remain special for a long time.

Without American Idiot, I would not have the same undying passion for music that I have. Maybe another album would have come along that would have had that effect on me, or maybe not. But for me, American Idiot was the beginning of it all, the same way Dookie was the beginning of punk for so many in the mid-90’s and influenced an entire crop of bands that I now love. Without American Idiot I would not be into my other favorite bands, like Bayside and The Wonder Years, because I wouldn’t care so deeply about music on a personal, lyrical, and emotional level and would not be able to connect with the music these types of bands make.

Even if I go through a period of time where I don’t listen to American Idiot for a few weeks, or a few months, or even a year, not a day goes by where I don’t contemplate its profound impact on my life. I think about all the shows I’ve attended (including a few Green Day shows) and all the experiences that have made my life richer and more fulfilling, and I can trace it all back to September 21, 2004, when Green Day released American Idiot. For that, I am forever grateful.



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Five Great Albums Celebrating Anniversaries in 2014, And Why Their Full-Album Tours Would Be Awesome

by Vasilis


Earlier this month, Riot Fest planners announced that the Chicago and Denver dates will feature 10 legendary bands (including Weezer, The Get Up Kids, The Descendents, and NoFX) playing 10 “essential” albums to celebrate the 3-day festival’s 10th anniversary. As a fan of full-album shows, I was ecstatic to the point of legitimately contemplating a weekend in Chicago to catch some of my favorite albums played in their entirety. It also got me thinking about which albums could benefit from a tour in their honor.

The anniversary tour trend has become a welcome staple in the music world. Though the phenomenon had no official documented beginning, I remember it rising to prominence with the 10-year anniversaries of emo heavyweights Jimmy Eat World (Clarity) and The Get Up Kids (Something to Write Home About) in 2009. I recall regretting missing these tours, though at the time I was unaware that they would become a musical mainstay. Today, bands across all genres pay respect to their most cherished, successful, or personal favorite albums by touring or playing a string of shows in which they perform the album front-to-back, in addition to their greatest hits.

The anniversary tour has plenty of supporters and detractors. On one hand, they are a trip down memory lane that can reignite some powerful feelings stemming from an album that has changed the band’s career or even the music scene it exists within. Having the opportunity to witness New Found Glory perform Sticks and Stones showcased how truly transformative that album was for pop punk and how it holds up to this day. On the other hand, they are becoming exceedingly commonplace, which can run the risk of ruining the tradition’s specialness. They have also begun to feel like cash grabs to some, providing an opportunity to milk past successes with vinyl re-releases, re-done acoustic albums, and never-ending tours. Nowhere was this more painfully evident than with Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends, a classic album that was run into the ground by the band over the past two years following its 10-year celebration.

Negatives aside, I love these tours and make every effort to attend as many as I can. I have seen Motion City Soundtrack play their first four albums over two nights, Rx Bandits play my two favorite albums of theirs on back-to-back nights, and too many 10-year tours to count. 2003 proved to be one of the best years for anniversaries thanks to an abundance of memorable albums, and 2004 (and 1994) are packed with great releases as well. After performing Smash oversees, The Offspring are bringing the punk rock masterpiece to the states this August in a rare 20th Anniversary Tour that is sure to be a big hit. In the “Victory Records emo” era, Hawthorne Heights are honoring The Silence in Black and White over the next 6 months in various locations across the world. With 2014 only half-over, more tours are sure to follow before the year ends.

With all that said, I decided to think back to the past 25 years and pick some albums I think are worthy of receiving the “anniversary tour” treatment. There are at least ten albums I would like to see from 2004 alone, so I am breaking it up in 5-year increments to spread it out and highlight some truly monumental releases that have had a big impact on music.

5-Year Anniversary (2009): Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing


Five year anniversary tours are very rare and mostly unnecessary, but A Loss for Words and Hit the Lights are both celebrating young albums this year, so I figured I should include a pick from 2009. Mean Everything to Nothing is one of the best albums from a magnificent year, an emotionally captivating masterpiece that deserves a ton of recognition. Andy Hull’s raw and candid lyrics are meaningfully sung over his distinct Southern crooning on this 50-minute epic, which remains their best work to date. The band is currently touring in support of their new album COPE, but they are playing half this album on that tour, including “Everything to Nothing” and “The River”, the album’s passionate closing tracks. Seeing Mean Everything to Nothing in its entirety would be very fulfilling, albeit very emotionally draining. However, it contains the band’s best music and should one day see the full-album treatment.

10-Year Anniversary (2004):Jimmy Eat World – Futures


10-year” tours are the most popular, and there is no album I would like to see more than Jimmy Eat World’s best work, Futures. The band has already done Clarity and has performed Bleed American at select shows oversees. However, Futures is the band’s most complete work, mixing their alt-rock present with their emo past with a solid blend of both their slower and their heavier works. Many would argue this is the band’s last “great” album, so what better way to pay homage to a fan-favorite than to play it in its entirety for their audience. The best thing about a Futures tour would be getting to hear “Futures” (their best opener) and 23 (their best closer) the way they were intended, as an opener and closer, respectively.

15-Year Anniversary (1999): Saves the Day – Through Being Cool


Saves the Day played Through Being Cool last year at a secret show in Brooklyn following their sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg show (where they played 30 songs). The show was described by many as surreal, with Chris Conley so in shock that he wondered if it even happened the next morning. The photographs and stories from that night confirm that this album would make a perfect full-length tour. It is considered one of the best albums in the pop punk genre and is incredibly influential. It would give the younger pop punk fans a rare, live look at one of the most important albums the genre has ever seen. Through Being Cool flows from fun and playful to aggressive and emotional with a song for fans of all ages. While the band plays many of these songs live, seeing it front to back would no doubt be a memorable experience.

20-Year Anniversary (1994): Green Day – Dookie


I’ve already summed up my feelings on Dookie’s importance, as have countless music journalists who are much more adept at writing than I am. Green Day have sworn to take a break from touring, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream of seeing the most influential pop punk album performed in its entirety in New York City (preferably in a small club like Webster Hall or Irving Plaza). It would be a true celebration of a legendary piece of work that has shaped the music landscape like no band has done since. The band has already played the album in festivals across Europe, but the party-like atmosphere of this youthful album performed in the United States (where it was conceived and recorded) would be unmatched.

25-Year Anniversary (1989): Bad Religion – No Control


Bad Religion’s No Control got me into punk rock music and is my favorite album from a band whose discography spans 30 years and 15 albums. Clocking in at 27 minutes long, the 15-song effort is short, punchy, aggressive, insightful, smart, and inventive. As the middle work in Bad Religion’s famed “Holy Trilogy”, No Control continues to resonate with punk fans to this day and is a continued source of inspiration. Because of its short running time, the band could play the album and still have time for another 15 songs on top of it from their other albums, which would offer a unique and lengthy setlist while still not lasting longer than the standard 80-90 minutes. The band can even play this album in full as a supporting act with time for more. Though Bad Religion is one of the few bands to not participate in the full-album craze, seeing No Control in its entirety would be a real treat for punk rock fans.

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Twenty Years Later: Measuring the Significance of Green Day’s Dookie

by Vasilis


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.

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Ten Photos That Defined my 2013 Concert Experience

by Vasilis


Shone @ Mercury Lounge (New York, NY), Februrary 7 – After a perfectly orchestrated social media campaign that led to the most commented thread in Absolutepunk.net history, the Shone mystery was finally revealed. Once the shock and mystery wore off, the band, made up of members of Long Island staples Brand New and Robbers, played their first show at Mercury Lounge. Like the social media campaign, the evening was strange, memorable and a little terrifying, with animal sounds, face paint, and spooky music accompanying the newly-formed band.


Frank Turner @ Blackheart Bar (Austin, TX), SXSW 2013, March 15 – The defining moment of my life as a music fan was getting to work and attend SXSW this year. On Friday night, I ran to catch Frank Turner’s 1am set following a long work day, and it was well worth it. I would end up seeing Frank 3 times during the last 24 hours of the incredible SXSW 2013 festival.


Green Day @ The Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY), April 7 – Green Day is my favorite band their live show is unmatched. When I was lucky enough to score 2 general admission spots to their headlining show I knew it would be a night to remember. As always, the performance the band put on was nothing short of perfect and is one of the best shows I went to all year.


Fall Out Boy @ Terminal 5 (New York, NY), May 29 – One of the biggest music stories of 2013 for me was the reemergence of Fall Out Boy. Following their four-year hiatus, the pop/rock group recorded their new album and planned an entire tour without any news leaking. The album was a huge success, and their small-market headlining tour sold out instantly. Their New York set showcased their improved live act while demonstrating their high level of energy and fun.


Mumford & Sons @ Forest Hills Stadium (Queens, NY), August 28 – Having the opportunity to see a band I really like perform on my home borough of Queens, New York was easily one of the coolest concert experiences I’ve ever had. Between some annoying crowd members and flaws in the stadium’s design, the show definitely had downsides; however, that did not stop this from being an extremely enjoyable concert by an incredible live band 10 minutes from my home.


Yellowcard @ Irving Plaza (New York, NY), September 9, 2013 – Yellowcard put a fun twist on the 10-year craze, instead releasing an acoustic rendition of their classic decade-old Ocean Avenue and performing an acoustic tour. The experience, equipped with a full electric encore of their hits, was beautifully nostalgic and reminded me of how much this band means to me.


The Front Bottoms @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY), November 13 – Not many bands can take a tour in which they’re the supporting act and make it their own. The Front Bottoms did just that while opening for Manchester Orchestra. The quirky New Jersey indie-dance-punk band worked the crowd into a frenzy with the help of their infectious music and their wacky arm-waving friends, who made an appearance during the catchy tune “The Beers”.


Streetlight Manifesto @ Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, NJ), November 16 – I said everything I need to say about the band that made me fall in love with live music on my farewell post to them. Still, this picture remains one of the most memorable I have ever taken from their last show in NJ and serves as a fitting farewell (or “see you later”) for the Jersey ska-punk band.


The Wonder Years @ 89 North (Patchogue, NY), December 15 – Realist pop-punk band The Wonder Years have been growing at a rapid pace over the years and are now headlining 1000-2000 cap venues. This made their holiday-themed acoustic tour, which closed out its four-show run on Long Island, even more special. Playing in front of 450 people (the show sold out in mere hours), the band threw in some amazing surprise cuts in their set. The venue was decorated with trees and snowflakes and fans dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters to receive free cookies and hot chocolate. As far as holiday acoustic shows go, this one was incredibly fun night.


Brand New @ The Paramount (Huntington, NY), December 20 – Though show should go down as one of the best I have ever seen, it’s the issues around it that may define it. The band announced small-venue discography shows where they would play their four albums, resulting in scalping issues when tickets sold out in seconds. At the Long Island hometown show, when fans expect earlier classic records Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu, the band threw a curveball and played their latter two (incredibly stellar) records, much to some people’s disappointment. When Daisy was played instead of Deja Entendu, some booed and even walked out, taking to social media to voice displeasure. Being cryptic and unpredictable has always led to Brand New being placed on a sort of pedestal and examined closely through a microscope, but the performance was still breath-taking and their experience of seeing those records was perfect.

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Four Songs That Changed My Life Forever

by Vasilis

    On the train ride home from work this Thursday, I was listening to Streetlight Manifesto’s stellar album Somewhere In The Between and lamenting the fact that after their New York show on Tuesday night, I may never see them live again. After “The End of the Beginning” tour, the band has sworn to take a lot of time off, leaving their future very uncertain. But while listening to the opening track “We Will Fall Together”, it really hit me that this particular song has had a lasting effect on my life. I realized just how much I will miss hearing it live and witnessing the ensuing mayhem of the crowd as the first notes blare over the speakers. That song inspired me to recount the four biggest songs that have had a profound impact on my life.

Somewhere In The Between – Streetlight Manifesto

    I remember buying Thursday’s “Kill The House Lights”, which came with a Victory Records 2007 Sampler. By 2007, Victory Records’ reputation as a powerhouse started diminishing as all the good bands left for greener pastures so I had little interest in the sampler. However, I decided to glance through it, and this song was on it. 20 seconds into the song, I was already downloading the band’s entire discography. It was as close to a literal jaw-dropping moment as I have ever had listening to music. The horns… the drums… the guitar… everything about the song was so fresh, so wild, so unpredictable, so invigorating. I had never experienced music like this and it led me not only to falling in love with the band, but the entire genre of ska/punk and additionally led me to see them live and helped me fall in love with live music. My first “real concert” (away from Hostra’s campus) was seeing Streetlight Manifesto open for Reel Big Fish and it was a life-altering event. They opened with this song, as if they knew what it meant to me, and the rest was history. Since then, I’ve seen them fourteen times and I can trace each moment, and each of the almost 200 shows/concerts I’ve seen since, to this song.


Devotion and Desire – Bayside

    Sometimes you can’t anticipate the moment you’re going to be introduced to a band that changes your life. With Bayside, a friend of a friend showed me her myspace song and told me I had to hear her Myspace song. That song was Devotion and Desire by Queens natives Bayside. Without meaning to sound at all melodramatic or hyperbolic, this song saved my life. I was introduced to Bayside at a moment in time when I wasn’t enjoying life at all and couldn’t muster any excitement for anything. Bayside gave me an outlet to express my pain and became a cathartic soundtrack that has remained a constant in my life to this day. Bayside will forever remain a personal top five band and Bayside a personal top five album because no album or lyrics resonates more with me emotionally than this album, and no song more than “Devotion and Desire”. Years later, Bayside is the reason I was introduced to my girlfriend, which continued their far-reaching presence in my personal life. For that, I will always love them.


Washington Square Park – The Wonder Years

    This song serves as part two to “Devotion and Desire”. Along with Bayside, The Wonder Years’ impact on my life extends further than just their music. This band, and their album The Upsides, encompasses a complete shift in my mindset on life. I was introduced to them (mainly thanks to Streetlight Manifesto, who took them out on tour during the summer of 2010) at a time when I was emotionally unsatisfied and wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on. The band entered with Soupy’s perseverance about fighting and grabbing life and making what you want of it, and it is exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. The opening line “I’m looking for the upsides to these panic attack nights” is the rally cry I was yearning for. This album more than anything helped save my life, and for that reason I get especially testy when people criticize The Wonder Years (and Bayside). These bands (and these specific songs) mean so much more than the guitars, the drums, the bass, or the vocals. These songs mean the world to me.


Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day

    I sincerely do not mean to be cliché or propose that this is Green Day’s biggest hit or their greatest song. It is neither. But for me, this is the first song I ever heard by Green Day, the first rock song I ever fell in love with and as a result the song that got me into the band that got me into music and, as a result, every single other band I love to this day. Without Green Day there would be no Blink-182 for me, no Bayside, no Wonder Years, no Streetlight Manifesto, no Brand New, no New Found Glory, etc etc. There is no profound reason why this is the most influential song of my life, except for the fact that without this song I would not have discovered music and without discovering the music I love and the bands that make me tick, I would be a completely different person than I am now. Sometimes, it is really just as simple as that.


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Favorite Spring Albums

By Vasilis, contributing writer

Spring is a great time of year. It’s the time where it starts warming up, everything is in bloom, and you can finally go out again and enjoy yourself without bundling up. It’s also one of the best times to listen to music. I like to have music designated for every season, but spring and summer are definitely the most fun for me. Summer for me is all about pop punk like Yellowcard and New Found Glory and songs about going to the beach and the sun, but spring for me is all about chaotic music that is as wild as the season. Here’s some great music I love to listen to when the spring season comes calling.

Honorable Mentions:

10. The Ataris – So Long, Astoria

Choice spring tracks: “So Long, Astoria”, “In This Diary”, & “The Hero Dies In This One”

9. Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want To Be

Choice spring tracks: “Set Phasers to Stun”, “One-Eighty By Summer”, & “Little Devotional”

8. Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue

Choice spring tracks: “Way Away”, “Ocean Avenue”, & “Back Home”

7. Say Anything – …Is a Real Boy

Choice spring tracks: “Belt”, “Alive With The Glory Of Love”, & “The Writing South”

6. Fireworks – Gospel

Choice spring tracks: “Arrows”, “Xs on Trees”, and “The Wild Bunch”

5. Motion City Soundtrack – I am the Movie

While Commit This to Memory and Even If It Kills Me are the wintry MCS album, I am the Movie is definitely better for warmer weather. This album is simply wild and so fun to sing-a-long to Justin Pierre’s anxiety-ridden, sarcastic, and emotional lyrics.

Choice spring tracks: “Capital H”, “The Future Freaks Me Out” & “Boombox Generation”

4. Transit – Listen & Forgive

The album’s cover represents a picture-perfect spring image: A tree beside a serene lake with a sunset in the backdrop. This album is much less agressive than the band’s earlier work but is no less fun to sing-a-long to. This would be ideal for a nice relaxing listen sitting on a bench in a park when you just need to calm down after a tough day at work.

Choice spring tracks: “Skipping Stone”, “Long Lost Friends”, & “1978”

3. The Dangerous Summer – Reach For the Sun

You can just tell from the title why this fits perfectly for spring. There are few albums that just deliver the emotional punch of this album, helped immensely by A.J. Perdomo’s soaring vocals. This album just cries out for a rain-soaked April day or sun-splashed May afternoon.

Choice spring tracks: “Where I Want to Be”, “Surfaced”, & “The Permanent Rain”

2. Green Day – Dookie

“I declare I don’t care no more”, this epic album’s opening line, is all anyone wants to shout when spring arrives and work/school/responsibilities become a chore. This album has been with me longer than any on this list and is still a top choice for long car rides with the windows rolled down. Billie Joe Armstrong captures every chaotic emotion that comes along with the season.

Choice spring tracks: “Burnout”, “Welcome to Paradise”, and “Longview”

1. The Wonder Years – The Upsides

This album is centered around the fountain being turned on at Logan Circle in Philadelphia, a spring event that literally represents the weather getting warmer but lyricist Soupy uses to metaphorically describe a feeling of hope he felt when he witnessed this moment. And spring is very much about hope blooming with the trees and warmer days ahead. To me, this is the ideal spring album that I love to crank out and listen to. It’s ideally cathartic and appropriate.

Choice spring tracks: “Logan Circle”, “Washington Square Park”, & “This Party Sucks”


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