The scariest thing for me as a writer and critic is wondering how I'll feel next week, next month or five, ten, twenty years down the line about music. Will I still be amazed by what's to come or combing each week trying to find what it was that lit a spark to my senses? Like trying to fight off a hormonal, shifting taste through the years - some things at certain points in our lives will stick longer than others. The thing is, you never know what that one thing is going to be until you're standing, slightly intoxicate with about a couple of hundred of other people your age and your state of mind singing along to a song that feels like you heard it the other day on the drive from high school, or through your ear phones late at night trying to find one simple answer of solace to the world collapsing around you. (read: You're grounded, you had a rough day at school, that love you so cherish just isn't working out, and more superficial "young people" problems.)
Certain songs will forever hold a moment to something, and even if that feeling can never happen twice (because that moment when everything clicks like a soundtrack is more perfect than we realize when said moment happens), it subconsciously stays with us and files under a cerebral iTunes. They are the songs we won't hear for a few months - or even a few years - and we're still be able to belt out every line like we heard it only an hour before, reminding ourselves that you don't want to live in the past, but also don't ever want to let it go either. This sort of attachment is the pink elephant in the room causing all our battles of subjectivity among which album is better in a band's catalog or which song do we still find as a piece of perfection throughout the years of competition amongst every new minute of new, exciting waves of music.
The Where's the Band? Tour is something special to a lot of readers on this site. It's a congregation of a lot of songwriters we hold closest in our catalog when we were at the age that we sometimes scoff at now. A lot of the songs from the songwriters that make up the tour may even still hold water years later - and if they do, that's an unspoken accomplishment more to the songwriters themselves than to us individually. Matt Pryor, Anthony Renari and Chris Conley have quite a back catalog with their respective bands. As attendees were shouting out their favorites, there's a clear line drawn that not one album holds more water than the other. Sure, some our more favorable, but I think another test of longevity is having a catalog that's room for argument for your fans. It shows you can progress and not only keep fans throughout the years, but peek interest in newer ones as the years go on. Didn't like your last album? It doesn't matter that much, as long as they're still interested in what comes next from you. As I was sitting having a late night feast with Evan Weiss and our friends from Pswingset and Paper Moons, the arguments we were having over back catalogs of now defunct acts only proves my point. Defunct or active - the fact that you're even still brought up and discussed means something.
What the Where's the Band? Tour also shows is that gimmicks and rock star behavior are more than through these days. After each person finished, the next one got right up and kept the night going strong. Sometimes there was storytelling and sometimes it was request into song into request and so on. It felt like an intimate open mic night seeing some of your old favorites stripped down back to the point where they wrote the song in their apartment, car or hotel bathroom.
Back to where I started this rant. Being open to the new wave. As the night progressed, the clock kept ticking back, but Evan's set reminded me the importance of moving ahead. For every Saves the Day, New Amsterdams, I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business song that reminds me of the tape deck adapter I used to spin CDs in my old, beat-up car - there's another generation looking for songwriters like Evan and Koji and Christopher Browder (Mansions) to fill the musical spot at that age when it matters the most to them. I think they're doing a good job in filling that position with the same honest songwriting that made me latch on and never let go of the older acts on the Where's the Band? Tour.
Absolutepunk.net has been smeared with nostalgia as of late, and that's not a bad notion in the least. I hope in the long run that it makes a few younger kids want to check out what I grew up on, just as I discovered Botch, Jawbreaker and Mineral as influences on the music I grew up holding close. But as much as we'll never detach ourselves from those moments when everything just seemed to fit into place like the perfect soundtrack, there are still days ahead of us, new music when our idols call it a day and tours like this to remind us that you're never too old to bring back a memory, or start a new one with future releases at unknown points in your life.