“There’s a place on Ocean Avenue, where I used to sit and talk with you…”
I remember seeing the music video on MTV one random morning. I didn’t quite understand it, but I certainly liked the beat. The lyrics were random, yet I was drawn to the immediately. “If I could find you now things would get better…” Any teenager ever had a crush? Yeah, there’s that one girl or boy you just couldn’t keep your mind off of. “We could leave this town and run forever…” Ever felt like you simply just needed to escape your current predicament? “I remember the look in your eyes, when I told you that this was goodbye…” And those moments you realize, it’s just time to move on one way or another.
Since seeing that music video, I have been a Yellowcard fan. The album Ocean Avenue had so many great hits. Way Away was on one of Madden’s annual releases, I believe. Breathing has that great beat that makes me think of that of that one time at that one place that only me and a couple other friends would ever understand. Empty Apartment needs it’s own paragraph… so wait for that one. Only One is “that girl that got away.” Believe got me through any tough moment I thought was life-altering (teenage angst here remember) and made me think it was all all right.
Let’s go back to Empty Apartment real quick. I don’t forgive easily and it’s incredibly hard for me to trust people. *Cough*Daddy issues *Cough*. That being said, this song made me realize… “It’s okay to be angry and never let go, it only gets harder the more that you know.” And I’m still angry when it comes to things that happened when I was 5 or 6. Heck, I’m straightedge for that reason. But I don’t let it ruin me. In fact, I allow that anger to become passion. Passion for work. Passion for hobbies. Passion for living. It sounds dumb to say that a Yellowcard song gave me an epiphany on a life skill, but it did.
I don’t want to go album through album, otherwise this article would go on for pages instead of paragraphs. So how can I sum up this band from here? I think it’s the songs that put you in a time or place. Afraid from Paper Walls has always been my go to when I’m just unsure about life. When my Grandfather passed, I went to that song endlessly. Dear Bobbie reminds me of every relationship I’ve had. That idea that you can live with someone for the rest of your life, and be just as much in love when you started dating. See Me Smiling from When You’re Thinking, Say Yes reminds me of my Grandmother who passed when I was in high school. I remember playing songs from that album on my college radio station despite nobody giving a rip about Yellowcard. Here I Am Alive was my rallying cry after I quit a job in 4 days and wondered if I had just ruined my life.
Then just recently, Lift a Sail released in 2014, and I got to see the band live two times. Once in Pontiac to an amazing crowd with Memphis May Fire, which is another band I appreciate. I can listen to this album from front to back with no qualms or desire to switch. I promise you, that is very rare for me and my brain. Nearly every album is a story, a personal journey that each listener gets to take on their own, or with others through concerts.
You know, I’ve never been to Ocean Avenue, but I bet the Lights and Sounds blast through the Paper Walls. And When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes to my request to go breathe in that Southern Air. We shall Lift a Sail and go see Yellowcard one more time this year.
Thank you for being my escape for so many years. Through the power of music, I get to travel through time anytime I want with the swipe and press of my thumb.