If you have never been to a Less Than Jake show, you’re missing out. I was in the 7th grade the first time I heard the album Losing Streak. I was on a class-trip and a friend of mine lent me the CD from his older brother’s collection. Before this, I had heard a few ska songs from No Doubt and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on the radio, but Losing Steak changed my life. I sat by myself on the bus and listened to every song over and over.
Growing up as a “millennial,” I was coming of age when music recording and mixing technology was rapidly increasing. Rap music was popular in the suburbs and Techno had its nitch. There was something about people actually playing instruments that appealed to me. This was confirmed after I saw my first live show.
One of the first punk shows that I had seen was at Birch Hill Night Club in Old Bridge, New Jersey. I saw Ultimate Fakebook and Good Charlotte open up for MxPx at the height of their popularity. Good Charlotte stole that show. They played all the songs from their self-titled album; “Motivation Proclamation,” “Season,” “Festival Song”. I maintain that Good Charlotte’s self-titled album is still one of the best Pop-Punk albums of all time.
What I like most about Pop-Punk and Ska bands is the energy their music creates. Songs describing very real emotions and situations, delivered in a way that picks you up. The music is fun. Music should be fun. If I want to feel depressed and hopeless, I’ll listen to a college student talk politics.