Sure, 2017 held a lot of great new music, but to me it mostly stands out as a year of two great disappointments. Sadly. As I wrote in this post from November 2016, blink-182 were supposed to visit Sweden in 2017 to play their first full show here in 17 years. With just three weeks to go they canceled the show with no decent explanation. I am well aware that blink-182 do not owe me an explanation in any way, but after having looked forward to this intensely for more than six months (and, well, basically for the more part of my life) it was a huge let down to say the least. After the news that they weren’t coming I lost the inspiration and lust to attend concerts in general. A weird feeling to me, who is used to going to shows regularly. Up until then, live music had been one of my most important contexts and showing interest in shows had sort of been a way of identifying myself. Writing this post now I feel quite ridiculous; a band has canceled a concert, god damnit; stop with the silliness reserved for the privileged who have nothing more important to worry about. But still, this has affected my year and still affects me somehow. During my vacation that summer I only went to one concert and this fall I don’t think I’ve attended more than three shows and one festival (to compare: last fall I went to twelve shows and one festival). Okay, I should stop writing about this. It sounds dumb now that I see it on print. I should let it go and move on with my life. So, here’s the final closure on this matter: fuck you, blink, and I still love you to pieces.
Now to the second disappointment. In August I was out of my mind because Brand New had released a record that I claimed to be pure genius. From the very first seconds of Science Fiction I knew I was going to love it deeply. Honestly, just looking at the album art before even listening to it made me positive. Incredibly dreamy. It was literally impossible for me to stop listening to the record because it had everything I could ever wish for when it comes to Brand New and, well, music overall. I was a Care Bear with colorful hearts shooting out of my stomach. In November that would all change in a second when the headline “Woman Accuses Jesse Lacey of Soliciting Nude Photos From Her at 15” came across my screen. From that moment, I had lost Brand New – one of my all time favorite bands – forever. Don’t get me wrong; I think the world of these women who have come forward to tell the truth about someone I’ve admired and idolized for so long. It makes me sick and disgusted that someone who has brought me so much joy throughout the years has caused others anxiety and pain. Realizing this about Jesse Lacey has been exhausting. I know that’s nothing compared to the victims and of course I am not at all important in this, but that doesn’t change the fact that the news about Jesse had an impact on my life. Finding other music to listen to instead of Brand New won’t be difficult – the world is full of smashing songs – but it’s still sad that those songs that I cherished are dead to me now. I haven’t listened to Brand New since I found out about Jesse but I’m quite sure that I will do so one last time later on. Closure, in some way. I’ll listen to their discography once again, and since my brain is the same I’ll undoubtedly still like the melodies and the vocals but I imagine none of it will bring me any joy anymore. All meaning will be lost. It will be sad, but okay. I will always be grateful for what Brand New’s music has meant to me in the past; it has helped me discover more great tunes and genres, it has inspired my own songwriting more than any other music, it has been part of creating awesome memories and starting discussions about music and production and fandom and worship. But while my past cannot be changed, in my present and my future there’s no room for Jesse Lacey, his disgusting actions or Brand New’s tainted legacy. I wish the victims my best and I hope they are well despite all. If you are interested, you can read about the abuse here and here. One of the victims’ stories can be read here. I also recommend reading “The End Of An Emo Era Is Breaking My Teenage Heart” by Shannon Keating, “The Specific Betrayal Of Brand New” by Zoe Camp and “Unraveling The Sexism Of Emo’s Third Wave” by Jenn Pelly. Thoughtful pieces.
With the above I simply wanted to state that 2017 was a stormy year. And from that I’ll move on to the yearly stats, captured from my Last.fm profile: