My favourite band broke up. The Minnesota-based Motion City Soundtrack went on their farewell tour this year after announcing they were splitting up. I didn’t get to make it to their local show during this tour but that’s okay. I would’ve really liked to go but I’m trying to be smart with money and save towards big purchases such as a house. Besides, I’ve seen them 3 times already.
Their latest album, Panic Stations, was likely my least favourite album of theirs but even then, it was still really enjoyable. I first started listening to the band in 2005 after somebody played Everything is Alright for me. I actually have an Everything is Alright shirt which I love, but that’s beside the point. After hearing that song, I gave both of their released albums a listen. I couldn’t get My Favorite Accident out of my head for a long time. Some other standouts were Make Out Kids, The Future Freaks Me Out and LG FUAD. Something about Justin Pierre’s lyrics really struck a chord with me.
A few years later, they released the album Even If It Kills Me and it impacted me deeply. This CD was always played when I drove my mom’s minivan around. I loved how pop-punk it was and it lead me to finding other pop-punk bands that I now treasure. The songs on this album always meant a lot to me. I even have some lyrics from Can’t Finish What You Started tattooed on my arm. On May 14, 2008, I saw Motion City Soundtrack for the first time at the Honda Civic Tour with Panic Station (of the OC’s California theme song fame), The Hush Sound, and Panic! at the Disco. We didn’t even stay for the headlining act but I was overjoyed at going to my first ever concert and seeing my favourite band.
I started university in September 2009 and had a weird relationship(?) with a girl on my floor in residence. After a few months of being strung along and waiting for something to happen, I was pretty upset at how things were turning out and I started to feel a bit emotional when I’d think about it. I would go to bed and listen to the lyrics from this album and it really helped get me through that time. By March of 2010 I was in a relationship with another girl. When I listen to the album now, it always brightens up my day.
My love for this album is incomparable to how much I like any other albums. This might seem like a hyperbolic statement but I think it’s actually true. I often toy with the idea of writing a novel using the songs as an outline but I’m not informed enough on the legalities of using a band’s material as the source for a book that I’d plan to sell. Maybe once I’m actually an established author.
In 2010, My Dinosaur Life was released and while it wasn’t as great as the previous album, it was still good. I saw the band at the Vans Warped Tour and they nailed their performance. They played a lot of my favourites again and I had a great time. Eventually they announced a fifth album, Go, and released it. It was quite different from their previous albums. I found it to be pretty mellow, but this was still great by me, I really enjoy listening to mellow music while I’m doing other things.
Somewhere between the release of Go and Panic Stations I saw them perform for the last time, probably at Warped Tour again, and again, really enjoyed the performance but some of my favourites were left off the setlist to make room for new songs. After this, I discovered Justin’s Book Narcs YouTube videos with his wife and started to watch. I felt an even greater connection to the band for some reason because I knew some of the books I had read had influenced his writing. Maybe I’m crazy but I’m sure this happens to other people too.
By the time Panic Stations came out and I gave it a listen, I think they had changed a lot from their first album. I understand that bands evolve but I think the members of the band were all evolving in different directions. By this point, there were some side projects happening, Tony Thaxton left the band, and I think they had run their course. Again, it saddens me that they called it quits but I’m also glad they didn’t keep it going if they weren’t passionate about it anymore.
It’s great to hear other bands cite them as an influence. I think they did a lot for the Pop-Punk genre in the sense that their success led other bands to be discovered and the spotlight was shone on other Pop-Punk acts through places like AP and other magazines/websites. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll find a new favourite band, but Motion City Soundtrack, and specifically Even If It Kills Me will always have a special place in my heart.