I used to write song lyrics in the love letters I would write to my girlfriend senior year of high school.

The lyrics were never anything really important, they were from something like Blink 182's "Going Away To College," but I thought I was poet laureate of Northeast Philadelphia.

I miss doing that. But even if I had a girlfriend right now, I wouldn't write song lyrics -- especially something from Blink 182 -- in a note. Actually, now I don't even have the money to send a note.

I miss listening to bands like The Ataris and thinking that the lyrics were really important. I miss the short time when pop-punk was just about to blow up, and I was in on it early.

The Starting Line fills that void in my life quite nicely. They remind me of high school even more than the actual bands I listened to at the time.

Why? Well, let's compare me and The Starting Line.

The Starting Line: They met because of one of the band member's AOL profiles, they're from suburban Philadelphia and they have lyrics like "We got older/ But we're still young/ We never grew out of this feeling that we won't give up."

Me: My girlfriend and I used to change our AOL profiles every day ("Marital Status: Never Let You Go"), I went to high school in suburban Philadelphia and, well,

I probably wrote a similar ballad my senior year.

The Starting Line are not a great band. They're not even a good band. But they bring me back to a time when reality TV was avoidable, when Dave Grohl wasn't in every fifth band and when the Eagles didn't toy with my emotions and instead just sucked the entire year.

I think I'm going to cry.

-- Daniel McQuade


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