There are a few signs I’ve noticed lately that signal that I’m aging at an alarming rate:
1. I watched Pacific Rim with my friend Claude a little while ago. It’s a meathead action movie about these large transformer looking aliens that come along and destroy entire cities effortlessly and the machines we as humans build to fight them. After watching a scene where one of these things obliterates a large major city, I turned to my friend and said ‘What do you think it’s like to get property insurance in a world like that?’. He didn’t miss a beat, just replied ‘Ugh, I would not want to see their premiums’.
2. Last week I bought a high-waisted pair of jeans and I LOVE THEM. Y’all can keep wearing your low-riding, half up the butt jeans all summer long, ladies. I’m happy being the old lady thats comfortable.
3. I realized that Weezer’s Blue Album is TWENTY YEARS OLD this month.
Jesus. That last one was a clear indication that I was rapidly on the way to a cardigan twinset and a nice pair of slacks. I never thought I would even live long enough to say that an album that essentially defined an entire generation (one that I was alive for) is 20 years old. Because there’s ‘classic albums’ and then there’s the Blue Album. It still to this day operates on a totally different plane. From the way that the opening riff on ‘Holiday’ bursts with excitement to the unashamed insecurity of all the lyrics, The Blue Album is a body of work that can guarantee a sing along with an entire two decades of people, no matter where you are in the world.
I could write forever about the Blue Album and how it changed my life and my hometown. About how it seemingly played in the background of every house party I ever attended. About how it gave guys I grew up with so much inspiration in their own music that it set the tone for all their musical projects for the rest of their life. About how much hope it gave everyone that a bunch of nerdy kids could be themselves and still get the girl and the record deal. About how it dealt with topics so ahead of its time, like the misogyny in ‘No One Else’ or social isolation of being in a room filled with people you don’t like in the ‘Sweater Song’. About how I drove through Rome in the middle of the night once and to stay awake we put on the Blue Album and sang the whole thing at the top of our lungs. About how the lyrics to ‘Jamie’ pretty much influenced every relationship I’ve ever had.
I listened to the whole album today again, hoping to pick out a song that was my clear favorite for you, but I couldn’t. That album is such a collective piece of work to me, so I’m posting the whole thing. I realized though today that I seem to gravitate more to the lonely songs, which is quite statement considering the whole album is incredibly lonely. ‘The world has turned and left me here’ is about a breakup, ‘Say it ain’t so’ is self explanatory and ‘In the garage’ is about hiding out. Many rock albums allude to scars and insecurities, but most also hide behind ‘look at me now’ choruses. I think a huge part of The Blue Albums success was its authenticity; we could tell that the struggle was genuine for them, that their words came from a place that was real and we all wanted to step forward with them. There was no shiny glossy website to distract us from who they were as people: Just lonely, vulnerable flawed humans, just like the rest of us. The Blue Album might be incredibly lonely at first glance but when you look back at it and dig a little deeper, it’s actually about shedding your old skin and stepping forward. It’s a coming out of the closet of nervousness, with a guitar strapped around your chest sort of album and it has, and will always be, amazing.