Life makes more sense with pop music. That’s why I’ve gone back, year by year, and chronicled the song that meant the most to me then. This song may not have been released that year, it may not have been big that year, but it was relevant to me in a personal way that defines that period of my life.
Life makes more sense with pop music.
Also, I didn’t do too much research to make sure I got these years right. This is my life, after all, and if I confuse 1998 with 1999, well, that’s my right.
2002: “Untutored Youth” by The Hives
(Program Note: Today’s blog was written by a guest writer, Renee Davis Brame.)
My husband, Aaron, and I took a backpacking trip to Europe in 2002. Before leaving the States we purchased tickets to several museums (Van Gogh Museum, the Louvre) and music concerts. After pouring over my copy of Time Out, I found an ad for a music festival at the Brixton Academy in south London starring The Hives. We didn’t know a lot about the band, so we began to study up. My absolute favorite song soon became a short little rocker called “Untutored Youth” off of their compilation album, Your New Favourite Band.
Brixton: Before the concert we ate at an Irish pub. At the center of this pub sat a table of 10 or 12 older Irish gentleman and 20 or 30 pints of Guinness. They chattered endlessly so, of course, we tried to sit as close to them as possible. We devoured fish, chips and peas in silence as we listened intently to the men at the next table. What did they talk about? I have no idea. The Irish speak a very special version of English that only the Irish understand. Still, listening to those men chat was a big highlight of our entire trip.
Brixton Academy: Outside the concert venue were hoards of British teens dressed in The Hives signature gear (white button downs and skinny black ties). Also, there was a charter bus with a sign that read “Jacking Point” near the rear tire. This sign is still a topic of conversation in our home.
The Concert: The Hives are skinny Swedish punks with confidence to rival James Brown. They occasionally begin their shows with the following: “Hello (whatever city they are in)! We are The Hives and you love us!” “Untutored Youth” sums up their band philosophy with lyrics like these: “And when people tell me what is ok and what is not, it should not be an unexpected scene seeing I extend my middle right hand digit and say: Hey – would you like lemon or lime with that piece of advice mister?” Their brazenness is offset in most songs by hints of self-deprecation and melancholy (if only for a moment). In “Untutored Youth,” The Hives remind us that “Not even gloves come with a perfect fit.”
They are The Hives and, yes, I love them.