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Music Monday – The Offspring

08/15/2011

One of my favorite bands, and also one of the early “rebellious” bands I listened to growing up, is The Offspring. I was probably first exposed to The Offspring through Weird Al’s Pretty Fly for a Rabbi in 1999, and shortly after I hunted down the original tune and quickly became a fan. My first Offspring album was 1998’s Americana, and since then I’ve bought every Offspring album that has come out, either new or used in a second hand store, although I tend to be a bit of a bad fan and sometimes wait a few months before buying the latest release. And yet, I’ve never seen The Offspring live! Go figure.

A few memories about the Offspring –

• My last year or so in Green Bay, the older cousin of a friend of mine owned a small two-door pickup truck, and he installed a sub right behind the couch seat. For some odd reason, this guy (who was also co-coaching our soccer team) and I hung out a few times, usually playing Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, or whatever else was going on. Great guy, I wish I had been around longer to hang out with him, especially hitting my mid and late teens (I left Green Bay at age 15). Anyways, to demonstrate just how cool the sub in his truck was, he put in the latest Offspring album, and to say it shook me is an understatement.

• I blogged previously about my love and appreciation of the Sega Dreamcast, and one of the best games for the system was Crazy Taxi. Well, the whole soundtrack for Crazy Taxi was The Offspring! I still can’t listen to several of the intros on Offspring songs without picturing that game.

• Americana was one of the first cds I ever owned. It helped establish my taste and interests in rock music, yet for some reason I’ve avoided most modern “punk music” (oxymoron). Having Americana also cemented me as more of a “cool kid” with my friends, as we’d pass around cds during soccer and basketball road trips (cd players being banned back then)(wow things have changed for kids…)(how do fundamentalists keep up with it all?), and I was the only person who owned Americana, so my friends all wanted to hear it.

• ESPN 2K5 was the best football video game of all time. OF ALL TIME. There is no dispute to this. And one of the greatest things about the game was setting your own music for certain events in the game. So, for example, for every kickoff, I set the drum intro to The Offspring’s NeoCon. Made every kickoff more epic.

So what is it about The Offspring that I like? Well, the vocals are unique, and have a passion and energy to them you don’t often hear. The guitar playing is often inventive, and there are several memorable bass lines. But I think overall it was the sense of youth and rebellion and discovery that the music portrayed. While I never really rebelled or was overtly rebellious (more like inquisitive and conscious of reality and contradictions), to say I had angst or passion would be accurate. I needed energy in my music.

But overall…I think I love The Offspring because they sound cool. And they are fun. And it can be extremely fun to shout at the top of your lungs, whether it’s obscenities or creeds.

On to the music!! UNO DOS TRES QUATTRO CINCO CINCO SEIS! Oh, and what is my favorite Offspring album? Err…probably still Americana. But others…they have their days.

What I think should be everyone’s introduction to The Offspring – Pretty Fly for a White Guy. LOVE THESE RIFFS!!

This song just screams Crazy Taxi to me! The game is crazy and fast and fits the song perfectly…

Listen for the bass line at 2:47 on this next song. I think this was the moment when I lost it and became an Offspring fan.

And it blew my mind that artists could make songs that flow into other songs!! Have You Ever flowing into Staring at the Sun is awesome.

Ok, gotta break away from Americana for a bit. Old school Offspring, still great! Love the Spanish guitar sound.

And here’s a special treat. USC Marching Band playing Hit That…love this.

And from their most recent album, proving that The Offspring still got it!! Love that breakdown where it’s just drums and bass and vocals…

So dance fucker dance!

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