August 3, 2015

Hevy Fest preview: The Get Up Kids



I discovered the Get up Kids in 1997 at the concert in this video (still blows my mind that this show is online). Somehow though it did not lead me to pursue the band in anyway, which is very unlike me; especially VERY unlike the 1997 me. Part of it may be that they opened up for Mineral, who I was and am obsessed with. It definitely saddens me looking back that I didn't buy Four Minute Mile at that show, the band's debut album that was released a few months earlier.

The first Get Up Kids album I did buy was 2002's On a Wire, and I did so the week it was released at Park Ave CD's in Winter Park, Florida. The opening track on that album is potentially my favorite song by the band:



However, I didn't really like that album as a whole, and once again, it didn't lead me to explore the band's catalog at all. I did however get a little more into the New Amsterdam's, Matt Pryor's other band. They put out their first album Never You Mind in 2000, and I dug the acoustic vibe.

Part of the problem with never really immersing myself in the Get Up Kids' music is how insanely prolific Matt Pryor is. He is the lead singer/songwriter of course, and based on my research has been the primary songwriter on around 25 LPs in 20 years! Absolutely incredible output, and it is overwhelming. If someone handed me a stack of all of those albums I would be greatly appreciative and would take the time to listen to them all. But the thought of buying all those is too intimidating.

Before I bring this back around to the Get Up Kids, I must mention my favorite Matt Pryor project, which you may have never heard of: Lasorda. The sound is radically different, for one because he doesn't sing:



That entire Lasorda album is terrific and highly recommended. Most would never know Pryor was involved because of the electronic backbone and the lead vocals from Suzannah Johannes. (I just discovered that album is currently on sale on purple vinyl for only $7.99 here.)

But the reason for this post is Matt Pryor's "main" band, the Get Up Kids, as I will see them at Hevy Fest in the UK in less than two weeks. Part of the appeal of the show is that they are performing their 1999 album Something To Write Home About in its entirety. I don't have the statistics, but I am guessing it is the bands highest-selling and most popular album. And I just bought it two weeks ago!

I have been spinning it a bunch in prep for the show and I am digging it. I listened to a lot of music in the same genre of this album the year it was released (1999: Jimmy Eat World- Clarity and The Juliana Theory- Understand This is a Dream for example). The overall sound of Something to Write Home About reminds me a lot of The Anniversary's 2000 masterpiece Designing a Nervous Breakdown. (Which is somewhat logical considering the bands toured together during that time period).

I am early in my appreciation of The Get Up Kids and Something To Write Home About, but this is currently my favorite track on the album, "I'm a Loner Dottie, a Rebel":

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