Tomorow is Halloween, and yes, I’m doing the whole song and dance of dressing up. The Grandma Coat is coming out and probably some obnoxious amount of pearls and cocktail rings. Meghan and I will be heading into the City for Halloween festivities. Normally, I would avoid New York on Halloween but there is a very special event that neither of us could deny: The Get Up Kids Reunion Tour. I never stopped listening to them (ok, maybe The Guilt Show, not so much) and when I didn’t get a chance to see them on their farewell tour, I wrote it off as having to say good-bye to one of my favorite bands. But as another indicator of old age (late 20s is old age), they are reuniting. This is the band that defined so much for me and set as the soundtrack to so many things- simpler times if you must. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane:
2000ish: I’m pretty sure I had a license and I was driving towards Watsessing back in Bloomfield to drop off some friends. One of these friends was Tishon. Tishon is one of the coolest cats I have had the pleasure of knowing in me life. I don’t exactly remember how we met, obviously it was in high school, but anyway, we were in my car with another friend and he takes out of his backpage this album.
T: “Yo, have you heard of the Get Up Kids?”
Me: “Nah, who are they?”
T: “This awesome band. This album is so good. You need to listen to it. ”
So, this kids was before the time of fancy cd-burners and Something To Write Home About came to me via a mixed tape. My car (God bless you Dexter, may you RIP) only had a tape deck anyway so it was cool. And let me tell you- I listened to that sucker everytime I was in the car. Then I finally got around to burning it. Then a year or so later I got around to actually buying it. My music life was so oddly varied: I was really into Sugar Ray (I’m sorry, RPM and Mean Machine? those were awesome songs. Cmon.) but I did enjoy the Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer. So GUK was just one step further into the depths of Indie, Emo, etc.
PS: You can visit Tishon here. Learn of his awesomeness.
2001ish: Late bloomer here, I fell into my first relationship at the culmination of senior year. Jason. He was into me because:
- My lack of smiling (really.)
- My sharp wit.
- My ‘cool’ taste in music.
OK, so my music taste wasn’t established but #3 rested on the simple fact that I listened to a band like the Get Up Kids. After high school, I wanted to get out NJ for a while, so I decided to go school in Providence, RI. It became a Long Distance Relationship and as most high school couples take the leap to college couple, we needed to mark our territories and celebrate every single tradition.
A quick thing that got established by Jay was a song. This song was Mass Pike. You know, because I lived in Rhode Island…and that was the gateway to New England. You do not take the Massachusetts Turnpike to Providence from New Jersey, but because he associated it with us it was The Best Song Ever. The dinky, almost child-like intro would always bring a smile to my face. Jay would listen to it and then tell me about it when we had a scheduled camera chat (web cams were kind of a big deal back then) or on the phone (I ran up a stupid phone bill the first month in Providence. let’s not discuss it). He was so psyched when he downloaded it illegally from somewhere. he would play it over the phone too. It became a staple in mixed CD’s he would make for me.
We broke up at the end of Freshman year. (We’re totally cool now).
2002ish: Ok, actually in between the awesome phone convos and blowing kisses over a Logitech web cam, there was some other business going on to. Looking back at it, it was almost natural to happen- being miles away from your first ‘love’ and meeting new people, that crushes develop on boys who are not your boyfriend! My relationship with Jay was somewhat deteriorating around March of 02, obviously this is more evident to us now- I had kind of established a newer identity in Providence- punk, emo, or hardcore shows, track jacket wearing, scenester night at Club Hell. I had met friends who exposed me to these cool new things, that I could dig because of my pedigree of Get Up Kids and Vagrant records show and Battle of the Bands at Birchwood Nightclub back at home.
But anyway, around that time I was hanging with my usual posse in Providence; mainly Nisha and Corianne. Then all of sudden, I started hanging out with this other dude. I don’t remember when, how he came around. Patrick. He just appeared out of nowhere, hanging out with Nisha then all of sudden hanging out with me. I remember many a night sitting in the camp chairs in his room, one floor up watching the late show by ourselves and him being with us when we were trying to find a bats+mice/Bradford Ave show deep into the Eastside.
Patrick was a NJ native, chubby in the hot kind of way, didn’t talk too much, lived on the sixth floor of McNulty Hall but we were friends. My 19th birthday was marred though when Nisha got mad that I was hanging out with Patrick and he said he wouldn’t go to Club Hell and that kind of bummed me out. I totally had a crush on him.
Anyway, the GUK connection here is that he burned me On the Wire because I loved The Get Up Kids, and couldn’t figure out how to illegally download music onto my computer. We both agreed it was ‘Ok’ but I kind of secretly cherished it because he had given it to me (along with Second Stage Turbine Blade by Coheed and Cambria)- it absolutely rules when crushes give you gifts.At the end of the year I hated JWU and was moving back to go to Rutgers/NJ and we kept in touch on and off and I saw him once when I visited Nisha and Corianne.
2006ish: I was on the verge of graduating college, and I was a frightful mess most of my senior year. I probably didn’t acknowledge it and either hung out with my then boyfriend (no GUK connections there- I think I tried getting him to listen to it and he wasn’t having it), worked, studied, or drank. I had a good life in New Brunswick with my friends.
Proceed to my 23rd birthday. Rutgersfest, crazy debaucherous festival of music and booze was taking place the Friday before my birthday. Unfortunately, I was burdened with finishing my entire college education in the time span of 2 days- 2 twenty page papers and 2 exams and lets throw in a presentation for good measure. I didn’t have the nice pad of finals study time like most other people, so I spent most of Rutgersfest in the computer lab, until I had enough and needed to drink.
I got a surprising text from Patrick. Let me explain- he had moved back to NJ after college and would try to hang out in New Brunswick with me, but I always had something going on. Anyway, this night it happened to be the right timing and we ended meeting up and hanging out with other friends here and there that crazy night.
He kissed me that night. I had a boyfriend. He said he was in love with me. I said he drank too much beer.Etc, etc. I broke up with my boyfriend, started hanging out with him a lot, graduated college, went on dates with him (like actual dates) and had amazing fun the entire month of May.
Did things work out between us? No. I went to the Philippines for a month and came back to flakiness, so that was that. I still though, can’t help but think of him when I listen to this album. Overdue pretty much sums it up. I went out on a limb for him, but instead I was 23. But if anything, it got me out of a stale relationship with my ex boyfriend, boosted my confidence, and after all the crying and being bummed out- I got my groove back and a series of events led me to my current SO, who I can safely say, is the love of my life.
2004ish: I was back at home, enrolled at Rutgers, super depressed for a lot of reasons. This GUK exerpt of life will be short and sweet. Four-Minute Mile is probably the GUK album I associate with some really rad friends.
It’s funny, but it’s not explicit because I don’t remember the connect as clearly as the others. I just remember listening to this album with a variety of people. I remember asking Megha’s super cute neighbor who was into super awesome music if he wanted to go to Eighteen Visions (yeah, bitches I was so hardcore. yeah right, I was going because my RI friends were in town for it) and he totally had this album. Some guy that Megha made out with in her dorm gave her his copy of it, and I ‘m pretty sure this is how it came into my ownership. Emily listened to a lot of awesome music and our friendship was based on mutual intimidation (it’s related to the Eighteen Visions concert) and I remember other than the Smiths, I was totally freaking out because she had this album.
God, I love the Get Up Kids and I am sooo psyched for tomorrow’s show. The last thing I will mention is the amazing music video idea I’ve had for Action & Action since forever. I’m pretty sure I drew out storyboards. It came after I saw Empire Records and That Thing You Do! and somehow the idea formed.
Basically, The Get Up Kids are this awesome early 60ish rock and roll garage band that gets signed (insert the Tom Hank figure from TTYD here) to play like the number 1 tv show in the country. They blow up and take the country by storm: there are a lot of montages of girls screaming, they are wearing matching suits, vintage microphones- it’s like the Beatles but it’s the Get Up Kids. BUT THEN! Matt Pryor is getting too much attention and this is causing mad internal conflict and they break up. Flash to cover of Life magazine with the news.
Now, if you’re familiar with the song, the break up happens about 2:40 minutes into the song. You flash to the news etc, then at 2:50ish you see a solo drumstick beating out that riff or whatever you call it- then slowly the rest of the band comes into focus and omg…they are back together again. The rest of the video is the Get Up Kids playing their come back tour and it’s awesome because it’s in color- a big deal in the 60s, right?
The Get Up Kids, Meghan, and I (and probably some people we might not want to see because of our past muahaha) will be at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza, on Halloween, with sassy cat masks. Get at us!