Why Modern Baseball's Pop Punk Relates to You

Categories: Pop Punk

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Courtesy of Brixton Agency
Just relax, and tell Modern Baseball your problems.

If it seems odd that a band named Modern Baseball lives in a house named Michael Jordan, well, that's all just part of the fun.

After all, it wasn't as though this Philadelphia pop-punk quartet devised some master plan that would make them stars. From the start, Modern Baseball just did what it does, writing and playing songs that are true to its world, filled with heartbreak and house parties, classic rites of passage that stretch from high school to college, those easily recognizable touchstones given the shout-along, fist-pump treatment.

There wasn't a lot of thought behind the band name (cribbed from a book) or the house name (inspired by a photograph), and the band was surprised as anybody to see its second album, You're Gonna Miss It All, enter the Billboard chart at number 84.

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The Offspring's Guitarist Says Punk Rockers Aren't as Special as They Think

Categories: Pop Punk

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The Offspring

It's time to locate the CD binder somewhere in a closet. Thumb through the inserts, and as nostalgia washes over, pull out 1994's "required listening" album for angst-filled teenagers and brush up on the Offspring's Smash. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the record that exposed the Huntington Beach, California, band to mainstream audiences and provided its sustained success thereafter.

How will the Offspring celebrate the anniversary? It is touring, stopping at Mesa Amphitheatre on Friday, August 29, and playing Smash live from front to back for the first time.

"The songs are as fresh as ever," says Offspring guitarist Kevin John Wasserman, a.k.a. Noodles, while acknowledging that many of the tracks have been staples of the band's set list for years.

Smash holds the record for bestselling album on an independent label (Epitaph), and its songs appeared in films such as American Pie 2, Orange County, and Idle Hands, and its videos enjoyed extensive airplay on Total Request Live.


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Paramore Has Staying Power and There's Nothing You Can Do About It

Categories: Pop Punk

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Courtesy of the band's website
A ghost from my high school years visited me this week. It spoke to me over the radio on a sudden trip home, blasting from tinny speakers in a random storefront.

Staying purposefully out of touch with Top 20 radio, especially the songs that get spun in my hometown, I was shocked to hear what I heard -- Hayley Williams, asking me what I was "gonna do when the world don't orbit around you."


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Yellowcard Survives Turnover and Label Trouble to Keep Fighting

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Brian Manley
For those who came of age after Y2K, we remember the heady days of heart-on-sleeve pop punk, defined by bands like Fall Out Boy, Cartel and Panic! at the Disco, radio-ready acts that were as relatable as they were kitschy. However, few records encapsulated this timeframe with the honesty of Yellowcard's Ocean Avenue.

Ocean Avenue, the 2003 Capitol Records release that thrust Yellowcard into the Top 40 spotlight, was an album that managed to define the wide-eyed wonder for a generation of teenagers. With a 17-year career under their belts, Yellowcard has gracefully managed the pitfalls that come with being a longstanding pop rock band.

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Masked Intruder - Yucca Tap Room, Tempe - 8/12/13

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Melissa Fossum
Masked Intruder

Like most superheroes and supervillians, it's hard not to take a guess at the true identities of Wisconsin's pop punk gem, Masked Intruder. After getting a close look at all four members, I can confirm that none of them are Mikey Erg. The verdict's still out on whether or not they're real life Ninja Turtles.


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Masked Intruder: Crime and Love Songs Go Together Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

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Katie Hovland
Masked Intruder

Of all the gimmicky bands out there, Masked Intruder's premise is pretty rad. This group of masked thugs hails from the oh-so-rough neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin, and commits unforgivable crimes like suffering from ongoing heartbreak. Like most superheroes, the band members keep their identities secret, hiding behind color-coded ski masks.

I recently chatted with the lead singer/guitarist of the band, who identifies as Intruder Blue, to discuss the band's background, signing to Fat Wreck Chords, and crimes of passion. Check it out after the jump.


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I Saw Fall Out Boy Live Right Before They Got Huge

Categories: Pop Punk

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I saw Fall Out Boy right before they got super popular and seemingly unavoidable--the last time they played the Marquee Theatre for an intentionally Intimate show. If my Google skills are correct, it was with New Found Glory at Marquee Theatre in 2007. What's even stranger is that the band performed at Jobing.com Arena a mere 10 months later.

Next week they'll be playing the Marquee again, this time as sole headliners on an intentionally Intimate comeback tour. Chicago may be "so two years ago," but this show was six years ago, so here's what I remember from Fall Out Boy's performance.


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Green Day Didn't Forsake Its Punk Roots; You Just Got Old and Complacent

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Editor's Note: It's not every day that a band capable of filling arenas headlines a gig at the (comparatively) intimate Marquee Theatre. But that's exactly what's going down tonight, when the Bieber-bashing, ¡Uno-¡Dos!-¡Tre! -releasing Green Day heads to Tempe for a sold-out show. Critical consensus can be pretty mixed when it comes to Billie Joe and Co. Some are quick to dismiss the band, but Elano Pizzicarola of L.A. Weekly's West Coast Sound has a compelling argument: Green Day didn't sell out; you just got old. Stand by for our full review of the show and an accompanying slideshow tomorrow.

By Elano Pizzicarola

One of the most mainstream punk bands since the new millennium, Green Day has faced criticism for selling out ever since releasing 2004's American Idiot -- some would say as far back as after the release of 1994's Dookie.

Fuck that. They didn't sell out. In fact, songs on American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown resonate just as deeply as those on Dookie.

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Green Day

Alkaline Trio's Good Mourning: 10 Years Later, It's a Gothy Pop Punk Classic

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Vagrant Records
Alkaline Trio, circa Good Mourning
It's not uncommon for fans to have a soft spot for the first album they hear from a beloved artist. It might not be the band's defining work, but it was your entry point, your gateway. I'll always carry a torch for Alkaline Trio's fourth album, Good Mourning, and in this case, it's a significant album in the band's body of work and an important record in my personal history. Go to an Alkaline Trio show, and you'll see plenty of 20- and 30-somethings. I suspect that I'm not alone in holding on to this record as a high school touchstone.

Good Mourning is just a couple of months shy of its 10th anniversary, and looking back at the band's discography, it stands out as some of Alkaline Trio's best work. Don't get me wrong -- Goddamnit is the band's greatest album, but Good Mourning has a specific magic, featuring just the right balance of love and the macabre, and great production values to top it all off.

See also: Alkaline Trio's Dan Andriano Discusses 15 Years as a Band, Song Meanings, and Violent Femmes


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Fall Out Boy Returns to "Save Rock and Roll," But Is It Too Late?

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Burn, baby, burn, it's a "check out this literal representation of the way we're discarding out past glories" inferno.
For the excitable Generation Y character in all of us 20-somethings: Fall Out Boy has returned. With their 2005 mega-album From Under the Cork Tree, the Chicago-based four-piece put a poetically self-aware spin on the theme of pop-punk. They laced the album with ironic and lengthy song titles, true pop hooks and melodies, and it was with From Under the Cork Tree that Fall Out Boy worked its way into the collective hearts of the after-school MTV crowd by appealing to suburban angst while still being funny and self-deprecating about it.

With 2007's platinum-selling Infinity on High, the overall grandiosity of From Under the Cork Tree was elevated. When you've got Jay-Z calling you into the staccato breakdown of your album's opening track, as he did on Infinity on High's "Thriller," listeners could truly say that Fall Out Boy had hit their stride. Vocalist Patrick Stump utilized his full and impressive vocal range, even leaning toward theatrics on the piano-driven "Golden," and working with R&B producer/singer Babyface on two of the tracks.

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