How does our music scene follow-up a year like 2003? With many of the bands that had released breakout albums the previous couple of years coming back for seconds. We’re at a spot where this music scene is riding a wave. Blink-182 helped bring pop-punk into the mainstream, and bands like New Found Glory, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, and Yellowcard are spearheading the next wave. 2004 is where New Found Glory drop Catalyst, Sum 41 return with Chuck, Jimmy Eat World tears us open with Futures, and Green Day takes back the crown with the massive American Idiot. And it’s the year where a bunch of new artists appear in our lives. We’ll see Straylight Run, Name Taken, The Spill Canvas, and Northstar all release albums that captivate the community. We’ll get Underoath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety and an extremely polarizing Taking Back Sunday record.1
2004 marks the spot where I wrap up this My Nostalgia series. I started in 1998, and the Back To series began in 2005. So, 2004 is the crossroads. It’s everything that led into that next crest of bands that so many of you reading grew up with. It’s where AbsolutePunk undeniably took off to new levels and my life shifts from this website being a project I was doing for fun, into something I will dedicate the next 15 years of my life to.
Let’s head back. It’s 2004. This is the period of my junior year of college and a little bit of my senior year. I’m growing frustrated with classes. I’ve changed my major to business, and yet the classes run from seemingly obvious (marketing) to things I definitely don’t want to ever do (accounting), and what I want to be doing (working on AbsolutePunk) is squeezed in between all of the regular college things. Except, this year, there’s one little tweak. A bunch of my close college friends, including my roommate from the previous two years, will study abroad for a semester. Most of them are going to Salzburg. For a brief moment, I think I’m going too; I even get a passport. But then I find out that the house we’d all be staying at gets very weak, at best, internet. While the website is beginning to blow up, I’d have to, in many ways, put a pause on it for a semester to get the full experience of studying abroad. I decide I can’t do it.2 So now I’m back at school, and most of the people I spent the previous two years with aren’t there. I’m living off-campus in an apartment with some people I only knew tangentially from the earlier years. I spend most of the time at my girlfriend’s apartment with her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend. But it doesn’t feel the same. I’m wandering. I’m feeling restless. I’m feeling trapped in a rut. Everyone around me is stressed about trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives, and I feel like I have the answer but not the time to commit to it. I start thinking about just dropping out of college to work on the website full time. It’s making some money; I could get a part-time job, maybe even keep living somewhere around the campus and hang out with my friends? When my girlfriend at the time decides she’s going to go abroad the next semester, I see an opening. I propose to my parents that I take the next semester off.
They flip their shit.Read More “My Nostalgia – 2004”