Is it to early to talk about Jimmy Eat World? I’m never sure on these throwbacks on what the cut off date is.
I’ve tried to do mostly stuff from the before 2000 but I am running out of good stories. And really this is all about the stories.
Though as I write that I realize that I don’t have a story about Jimmy Eat World. Or not a very good one at least.
See in 2001 I got divorced. The marriage was a mistake so I am not really broken up about this fact and I got a good kid out of the deal (hi Emma!!).
But at any rate, the divorce opened me back up to a lot of things. Mainly new music and bloody mary’s. I have since given up the bloody mary’s – I drank way, way too many of them for a long time – but obviously I still like the music. And that period of my life netted me some good finds.
Part of it is thanks to the people I met or reconnected with during that time.
I used to frequent a bar in Houston called Cecil’s. it’s pretty lame these days (I can only guess since I know no one who actually goes there anymore…) but back then it was the place to be on Monday nights.
They had dollar longnecks and 50 cent pool tables. You could drink cheap and play pool all night and back then you could run into friends new and old. Well one night there I ran into some old friends who happen to live across the street from Cecil’s.
That night once the bar closed we went back to my friends place and he put on Bleed American.
After having grown up with All and Descendents the infectious pop punk was a whiff of the youth I thought I’d lost forever. It was good music and more importantly it was young music.
And I desperately needed to feel young. For anyone who got married stupidly young and then divorced far later than you should have you might know what I mean.
It sucks to feel old in your 20’s but I did and no amount of bloody mary’s changed that.
But what did change it was screaming along to “The Middle” at 2:30 in the morning while dancing spastically on the hard wood floors of a living room where all the furniture had been pushed to the sides.
Good pop punk is hard to find in a world of mall punk – even in 2001 – but Jimmy Eat World were it.
Your late 20’s seems an odd time to have an unbridled moment of teenage joy and optimism but I did. And thank you Jimmy Eat World for delivering it just exactly when I needed it.
There were other great jams on this record (I am thinking specifically of “A Praise Chorus”) and even other records that are arguably better (like Static Prevails perhaps) but “The Middle” on Bleed American hit me right in the right place at the right time.
Dan Sharber wrote this. To learn more about him, check out this interview he did for Free Press Houston.