I'm not trying to be dramatic here, but this song pretty much changed my life. My brother (the Mr. Miyagi of my musical world, as shown through these blog posts) let me borrow the Strung Out album Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues one weekend he was visiting from his place in Pittsburgh. I don't remember exactly how old I was when this happened, but up until that point I only had my family's country music and my school's "contemporary" Christian fare to listen to. Then my brother just randomly asked if I might like this sort of thing instead. And I did.
Seriously, I listened to this album over, and over, and over until he had to take it back and go home. Within two weeks I had my own copy. From there I got into Bad Religion, Against Me!, and lots of other bands on this list. This album started the whole thing. It was perfect, really. What summarizes the feelings of an angry kid growing up in the Rust Belt better than the phrase Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues?
"Wrong Side of the Tracks" is the last track on the album, and by far my favorite. I didn't understand some of the content at first, but that idea of "I can do better, I can pick myself up and try again" was something I clung to then. It's something I still cling to now. This song is definitely one of my all-time favorites.
Strung Out was also my first concert. I went with, you guessed it, my brother. There were belligerent drunks and mosh pits and girls making out for the big screen and man, I wasn't in JesusLand anymore. My brother bought me a t-shirt that was way too big, but it's awesome and I'm wearing it right now. Don't believe me? Here's the laziest proof ever:
My webcam added the date in cheesy font. I don't know why.