Blackout Poetry featuring Motion City Soundtrack

(photo credit: Joe Lemke at 9:30 Club, DC)

Earlier this month, I flew home and I caught one of the dates on Motion City Soundtrack’s So Long, Farewell tour. For those of you who might not know, they’re a band hailing from Minneapolis whose music slipped pretty easily into my teenage genres of choice, somewhere between emo and pop punk. They announced an indefinite hiatus earlier this year and I figured I owed to myself (or at least the part of myself that used to cry to their second album pretty regularly) to go and see them off. I grabbed a couple of my old high school friends, dug out my Converse and my black eyeliner, pulled on a band tee I bought at my first Warped Tour. It was a little like stepping right back into 2007 except during the downtime, instead of talking about classes and crushes and not fitting in, I was doing work on my phone.

Personally, I feel like there’s something about the bands you loved in high school that sticks with you. You never really get attached to music quite the same way again. It’s always there and it’s always important, but at that age you’re so desperate to find the thing that’s going to keep your head above water—or at least I was—that you never really let go of it once you find it. It was impossible to stand there listening to those songs without thinking about all my old fears about the future and not fitting in and the boys I used to kiss and the girls I didn’t have the courage to. A lot of those feelings are what fuel my own writing now, that need to combat my insecurities with words and carve out a space for myself.

I put together this entire article just to have the opportunity to say somewhere publicly that looking around that venue, being surrounded by all those other fucked up kids who grew up, had me crying before MCS even finished their first song. I know we all feel like we’re fighting the world at sixteen and maybe we are, but it was so reassuring at twenty-five to be in a room full of people who kicked back and fought their fights and won. Growth looked so goddamn good on every person in that room; all those Make Out Kids, all those Even If It Kills Me kids stumbling face first into a future that’s not far enough away to freak us out anymore.

For the first time since I’d heard the song, I was able to shout back the chorus to “Everything Is Alright” and mean it.

Anyway, in the spirit of a very small tribute, I made a blackout poem out of one song off of each of Motion City Soundtrack’s studio albums and the results are below:

Contributing Editor

Trista Mateer is a writer and poet living outside of Baltimore, Maryland. She believes in lipstick, black tea, and owning more books than she can ever possibly read. Known for her eponymous blog, she is also the author of two collections of poetry.