I’ve talked a little bit before about having a soundtrack to your life. A song or album that can take you back in time with just an opening riff or beat. My life is full of these, but there are a few albums that can even bring back the butterflies of that exciting time – an album with songs that I still know all the words to, even after all these years. Not that I’m against living in the moment or finding new and exciting music, but sometimes I think my iTunes is a time machine and my headphones are the flux capacitor.

I was checking View Magazine online last week for any good shows that might be happening in Hamilton – maybe a band I’d never heard of or a band that exists in my time machine of lyrics – when there was a listing that made me squeal. Playing on Friday at The Corktown – The Get Up Kids. Just seeing the name brought back the tunes of one of my top albums of all time. Four Minute Mile was released in 1997 but it didn’t reach my hands until 1998 – grade 10. I had always listened to music and had an interest, but my 16th year is when my world changed and I listened to albums that I could relate to, that evoked emotion in me and that had my toes tappin’ and hands drummin’. Four Minute Mile was the soundtrack to some of the best times in my life. Teenage love and heartbreak, laughs, and most of all, discovery. The opening to “Coming Clean” still gives me goose bumps.

The Get Up Kids – Coming Clean (Four Minute Mile)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/01-Coming-Clean.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Coming Clean]

The Get Up Kids – Shorty (Four Minute Mile)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/10-Shorty.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Shorty]

Some albums that I can say changed my life during that time were Sublime, Pinkerton, Nothing Feels Good, and Four Minute Mile. These albums started what some may call an obsession. But the best part about these bands was the effect they had on our relationships. Their lyrics were almost like anthems that we sang and their songs were ones we tried to emulate. I didn’t discover them until the late 90s but, forming in 1995, The Get Up Kids paved the way for bands like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, The Starting Line and countless others. Jay Perry and I went to high school together and grew up in the same scene. Being a musician himself, I asked him if he felt the same.

Here are his thoughts. “I’ll admit that I am only really familiar with the ‘hits’ and a couple other tracks so I would never include them in my top five favorite bands. It would equally be wrong to call myself a die-hard fan, but I would definitely place them near the top of the most influential bands in my life.

The Get Up Kids basically created a scene that I was a part of during my high school years. They were an influence on numerous local bands in my area and the highlight of our weekends was going to socialize at Transit Union and watch as groups attempted to play music. But, it wasn’t about how good the bands were, it was about getting us kids off the street and making new friends. Without The Get Up Kids, I don’t think half of these bands would have even existed.

Who were TGUK? They were five normal dudes, with instruments, who played music and toured. This gave hope to kids who wanted to play in a band. TGUK didn’t have a million dollar production, they didn’t have top-of-the-line gear, they were individuals we could relate to and would never see as rock stars.

My favorite TGUK tracks include: “Holiday”, “Ten Minutes”, and basically the entire Four Minute Mile record.” Well said Jay.

The Get Up Kids – Holiday (Something To Write Home About)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/01-Holiday.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Holiday]

The Get Up Kids – Action To Action (Something To Write Home About)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/02-Action-and-Action.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Action and Action]

Needless to say, these bands hold a special spot in my playlists and the playlists of many others, I’m sure. So my first instinct when I saw that they were playing in our city was “ No fucking way”, but there it was staring at me – The Get Up Kids. I messaged Jay and my friend Andrea to try and get to the bottom of an event that would either make or break my weekend.

Well, as soon as word hit the worlds of Facebook and Twitter we were bombarded with messages asking what time and how much tickets were. I talked to Jay and he said, “When you told me that The Get Up Kids might be playing in Hamilton, I put out the question on Twitter asking if it was true. I couldn’t believe the number of people who instantly responded. It was amazing. I felt like I was in high school again and I wanted to find that old ‘generic extra small, tight-fitting band tee’ that I would wear to all the shows. I was engaging in a conversation with members of the St. Alvia Cartel and one quote they used was “I got grade 9 excited there for a minute”. That’s the exact feeling I get when I hear the name Get Up Kids. It was more than just the music. It was what they did for a music scene and brought people together through their influence.” I could not agree more. I think ‘Grade 9 excited’ is how a lot of people felt.

I hadn’t realized how much this band meant to my peers. Sure, we were all at the same parties, but when they went home they blasted it on their CD players too, relating to their raw sound and imitating their signature guitar slide sound. They followed The Get Up Kids as they moved on to side projects too, like the playfulness of Reggie and The Full Effect, the softer side with The New Amsterdams, and even Matt Pryor’s kid-friendly The Terrible Twos. For those of you who have little ones, click here to buy it, your kids will thank you.

Reggie And The Full Effect – Thanks For Staying
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Thanks-for-Staying.mp3|titles=Reggie and the Full Effect – Thanks for Staying]

The New Amsterdams – I Won’t Run Away
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/02-I-Wont-Run-Away.mp3|titles=The New Amsterdams – I Won’t Run Away]

I would love to ask this band what it feels like to have impacted so many lives with something that you would have created even if no one was listening. The Get Up Kids had commercial success with Four Minute Mile and Something To Write Home About but even when their future albums didn’t garner the same praise, they still created and played because it was something in their veins. The band took a hiatus in 2005 but came back in 2010 with the Simple Science EP and have a full-length release this year, titled There Are Rules. If you follow these guys on Twitter you know that they have leaked a couple tracks. It’s nothing like Four Minute Mile, but that was released over 10 years ago so I think I would be a little disappointed if it did sound like that album. I appreciate a band who can build on a sound that works, but isn’t afraid to try new things and expand their talents. “Shatter Your Lungs” has an electro sound that I’m not too sure of yet, but “Automatic” grows on me more and more every time I hear it.

The Get Up Kids – Your Petty Pretty Things (Simple Science EP)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/01-Your-Petty-Pretty-Things.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Your Petty Pretty Things (Simple Science EP)]

The Get Up Kids – Automatic (There Are Rules)
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/The-Get-Up-Kids-Automatic.mp3|titles=The Get Up Kids – Automatic]

It’s crazy to think that just seeing the name “The Get Up Kids” sparked all these thoughts and emotions in me. I was starting to get excited. What if this band really was coming to our city? What if they planned a small show on a night off? I was at work and put the entire Get Up Kids collection on shuffle for the rest of my workday.

Then, around 1pm I got word that it wasn’t them. I’m still not sure if it was a misprint or a bunch of teenage kids who didn’t do their research on influential bands who were the forefathers (whether they like it or not) of the glam-rock emo that they were probably playing. Either way, it didn’t matter – there was no show at the Corktown and The Get Up Kids didn’t take notice of a city full of fans.

I sat at my desk wondering what it would have been like to see a band that made such an impact with such a large catalogue of amazing songs in a small Hamilton club. They are touring for their newest release There Are Rules and have one Canadian stop, but that’s in Toronto. Thinking that it would never happen, I suddenly realized that I had a platform to get this request heard – and it was at my fingertips. I looked into the dates of their shows and found out they are playing The Phoenix Concert Theatre on March 8, but they were off on March 7. March 7 started the wheels turning in my head. Maybe this crazy idea was possible! I thought, what if I asked Hamilton music fans to help me get this band to come and play a city that may have a reputation of having a hard edge, but would welcome them with open arms and cold beers. So this is my challenge to you:


If we get enough support and interest, the MvM team will do whatever we can to make it happen.

Are you a fan of The Get Up Kids? Leave a comment and let us know! Show your support for getting them to our city and let’s see if The Get Up Kids will give Hamilton something to write home about.

* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans – new or old – please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.