What’s my age again?
Picture this: it’s March 2020 and you’re at FNS’ karaoke night.
Little do you know that this will be the last karaoke night for a while. Next week your whole world is about to be twisted upside down.
Having already guzzled down a pitcher of blue sangria, you succumb to peer pressure and decide it’s a good idea to go sign up to sing a song.
But what should you sing?
Your rational side tells you to sing something slow enough that you can actually keep up with the tempo.
But, it’s an upbeat night, people are having fun and now one wants to look back in anger at what will soon be known as their pre-COVID life.
The DJ hands you the piece of paper, you look at it for a second and realize you’re a grown ass man about to sing karaoke and write down “What’s My Age Again?”
You go back to your table, sip on your beer and have an interesting conversation with your longtime co-worker Jasmine. You lose track of time and suddenly the DJ calls your name.
Stumbling down the three stairs between the “upper floor” and the “main floor” your brain goes back and forth trying to remember the verses — this is like those dreams where you’re on stage at a festival in Rio with your band and forget the riff to the song you’re supposed to play.
This is a nightmare. Your brain is racing, the only lyrics you can think of are “Late night come home/Work sucks, I know/She left me roses by the stairs/Surprises let me know she cares,” but those aren’t even from the right blink-182 song.
Stepping up to the mic you’re nervous, but then you remember this is karaoke, not an open mic and start reading the lyrics off the monitor.
“I took her out/it was a Friday night/I wore cologne to get the feeling right/We started making out and she took off my pants/But then I turned on the TV…”
The bar goes wild.
Nearly a year later, and I’m still in my blink-182 phase. While normal people usually have that phase in middle school, I was listening to grunge and college rock. So as others now discover the Pixies, I’m discovering PG-13 punk.
With that said, I want to talk about Enema of the State, blink’s seminal record.
Basic — yeah, I know — but hear me out. If anything, the pandemic has made us yearn for better times. For me, someone who was born in 1998, the pandemic has created a golden glitter filter around the coming of age culture of the early 2000s.
I’ve come to romanticize a time so different than the one we are living in now.
No smartphones, dial-up internet, pop-punk, big maroon suburban brick houses — everything seemed so simple and … normal.
In a way, Enema of the State and the movie American Pie may as well be interchangeable as they have the same nostalgic feel. Just think of the scene where Jim is running to Kevin’s house and the opening of Blink’s “Mutt” plays in the background — pure nostalgia.
But it’s not just about nostalgia, this is a fun record. The lyrics are self-deprecating, the guitar tones remind you of summer, and the music videos are hilarious.
How can you not like blink-182 trolling the Backstreet Boys’ music video for “I Want It That Way” with the music video for “All the Small Things.”
This is a sunny record, music that you want to listen to in the car on your way to college. Even the darker “Adam’s Song” is fun in a way. The fact it ends on a positive note really sets it apart from other sad songs of the 90s.
We need this kind of music, not everything has to be serious — especially with the pandemic. When the going gets tough, there is nothing like listening to this collection of songs to lighten up.
For me, hearing Tom DeLonge sing “Aliens Exist”, “Dumpweed” or “Dysentery Gary” just brings an immediate smile to my face.
And that’s why in these miserable times, I thought I’d share a record that makes me happy in the hopes that it can also help others through this pandemic.