September 2, 2009 Bremerton’s A Good Place To Reside…
Ever so often, I hear a song that completely connects with my mood at the time that I hear it. This is one of my favorite experiences that I can have while listening to music. Sometimes the lyrics of a song speak to your specific situation, or the emotional feeling of the instrumentalists seems to sum up your experience perfectly. In some cases, it’s not as easy to explain.
I should state here, before I move on, that I LOVE pop punk. I can remember the first time I heard Can’t Slow Down or Take This To Your Grave. Sometimes I wonder what I will be listening to 20 years down the line, and if I will still get a thrill from the same type of youthful exuberance that those albums contain. Maybe not, but for now I can truly say that there is little that I enjoy more than a well written pop punk song.
I had never really listened to MxPx before, although I had heard of their reputation as a Christian pop punk band. To be honest, this didn’t really matter to me. I’ve had the guilty pleasure of singing along at the top of my lungs with the likes of Run Kid Run and Hawk Nelson before, so hearing the band that is one of the founding fathers of the Christian pop punk style wasn’t much of a stretch. I am also not very religious. Spiritual, maybe, but it’s really only Western cultures that make this distinction anyway. Any song by a “Christian” pop punk band, I can enjoy regardless of its implied message.
I heard “Move to Bremerton,” a single off of MxPx’s 1996 album, Life in General, yesterday, and I have been playing it nonstop. Yes, the vocals are the nasal, snotty-sounding type present in so many sub-par bands of the same genre. Yes, I think it’s hilarious that one of the lines is “Bremerton’s a good place to reside.” Yes, I occasionally cringe when Mike Hererra sings mawkish lines like “When I meet a special girl, she always lives somewhere else in the world. Don’t want to call her on the phone, I want to talk to her when I’m at home,” but damn, I love this song! I wasn’t really sure why, but now I’m pretty sure I know…
“Drop out of school and run away,
Quit your job, you’ve got a place to stay
Pack your bags and hitch a ride
Bremerton’s a good place to reside
Move to Bremerton, we’ll hang out,
Move to Bremerton ’cause you wanna,
Move to Bremerton, will you be mine?”
Hererra is not only exhorting a girl to come from far away and be with him, but he’s talking about an entire life change. Dropping out of school, leaving wherever you are, and going somewhere where you really should be and actually belong. These are pretty common adolescent feelings, but I find myself coming back to them again recently. Maybe it’s that I am scared at the incessant approach of the uncertain future, or that I feel pretty out of place where I am right now. Either way, these days I kind of want to “move to Bremerton” myself.