Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Get Up Kids On A Wire Still Brings Home Beautiful Memories

I first picked up “On A Wire” on a trip to Alaska. I found it at a used record store in the paper jewel case. I loved the record from the first time I heard “Overdue”. Over time, a lot of records from the past don’t really hold up to well, but the soundtrack of emotional disconnect revolves heavily around The Get Up Kids and their music. I even saw them live once. I bought 3 tickets, and recall inviting a friend of mine, but he refused to go on the grounds that it was the band. I invited a girl I met online, I don’t remember her real name but she couldn’t find me and ended up scalping a ticket into the show. I stood outside long enough to miss Hot Rod Circuit play.

The show carried on and The Get Up Kids played a good show at the House of Blues in Sunset, long ago. They played carefully curated selections from their career, and they included several from this record. What stands out for me is not so much the title track, which is a great one, including the music video that comes through, but the overall message of the record. It hinges on emotional connections of love, disaster, and falling short on, well, a wire. “Stay Gone” for instance hits me hard for me, especially every time I think about my father. Dude basically bailed when I was 8. I hear from him every now and again, but most often I just hear “Stay Gone” in my head whenever he comes around.

“Campfire Kansas” is another one of those songs that takes me back to another place. I recall SC4Y camp and the fires that I sat next to. Amidst what should’ve been family, I was a stranger. It’s funny how Christian camps isolate you when you’re an ugly kid from Los Angeles. I warmed my hands amidst the cold, and while my “friends” were hooking up with chicks, I stared into the embers. It was an odd thing, but this song talks about some interesting moments, not too unlike the feelings I recall experiencing in my youth.

Of course this is a record that seemed to get mixed reviews, and I was initially turned off by the slow down on the record. However, as I listen to it again, I find myself entrapped in a capsule of history. I look back at the places that I’ve been, the soundtrack of this record put to the visuals of my memories, and it stands out as a very interesting record full of life, even after 12 or so years. It’s with that in mind that I recommend going back and listening to The Get Up Kids “On A Wire”, it’s still a good indie, emo, alternative record. Click here to pick it up or find it somewhere and listen up.

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