17. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American

cd cover 17. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American

Jimmy Eat World. I’ve talked about them before, but I like them quite a bit. (thus them being on the list.) I first remember hearing them at a concert Swac and I went to down in Kalamazoo. It was a Weezer show, with Tenacious D and Jimmy Eat World opening. The only thing I knew about Jimmy Eat World at that point was that Steve had told me to check them out, and had put the album up on the Mp3 server. (I don’t think I actually listened to the album, but I always intended to.) Anyway, I recognized The Middle when they played it, as I had heard it playing in a restaurant a few times, and thought it was pretty good. They put on a decent show, though they were overshadowed in my mind by the Weezer performance which I thought to be quite fantabulerific. So back home, and back to work.. and I give the full album a listen, and wouldn’t you know it, I really, really liked it. So I got the album, and proceeded to listen to it on the drives to and from work frequently, and while at work most days as well. Later on, Jimmy Eat World put on a show at Calvin, and my roommates (+ Mandace) and I headed off to that. Once again they put on an excellent show, though the events surrounding the concert itself were good and then completely and utterly sucked. That being the case, a number of songs instantly acquired memories and mental images completely apart from any meaning the song itself might have had. Such is the fate of a song when it comes into contact with a person such as me. Anyway, all that to say that I really like this album, and a lot of the songs remind me of things that have very little to do with the songs themselves, and everything to do with a situations in which I heard them.

I’m guessing that most people by now have heard The Middle.. That was the first song I had heard from them, and I liked it, and I still like it (it’s fun to play.. only I haven’t yet tried to learn the part where they start to play fast, because I’m lazy and unmotivated). Anyway, there are particular lines that caught me one time or another in a number of these songs:

  • “I’m not alone cause the TV’s on” — Bleed American. I think we all know by now that I watch a lot of TV shows.. mostly between the hours of 12am and 4am. I don’t feel like getting into the whole story, but here’s the nutshell version: When I was younger, and living in Cleveland, I had a hard time sleeping. In the middle of the night I’d just feel completely alone and scared, and I couldn’t handle the silence (beyond the sound of the traffic of the highway nearby.) So I had to have the radio on (talk radio, or if I was very lucky, a Indians game played out on the west coast), and then I’d feel okay and less alone, and I could fall asleep. As I got older, radio gave way to TV, with a sleep timer set. After a while, it was just habit to turn the TV on, even if I was exhausted, and knew I’d have no trouble falling asleep. It was almost as though I felt I owed to to TV to watch it, after it had kept me company all those nights I needed it. [I never claimed to be a very intelligent or sane child.] Not surprisingly, I grew quite fond of a number of shows, and particular characters, to the point that they almost felt like good friends (This is how I got hella into Deep Space 9, Conan O’Brian, and News Radio). So when this album opened up with it’s first line “I’m not alone cause the TV’s on” I could instantly relate.
  • A Praise Chorus – Funny story. [It’s not that funny, really, do don’t get excited]. When I burned the album as an mp3 album for my car, I had named 2 files (A Praise Chorus and Hear You Me) as “.m3p files. Consequently, my car player always skipped them, and I forgot them completely. It wasn’t until after the 2nd concert, when I noticed the mislabeled files, that I started listening to these 2 songs, and both have become favorites. Praise Chorus is one of those songs I like to call “get off your whiny ass” songs. (The king of these songs being Pearl Jam’s Present Tense: “‘You can spend your time alone redigesting past regrets.
    Or you can come to terms and realize
    you’re the only one who cannot forgive yourself.
    Oh, it makes much more sense to live in the present

    And just for you keeping track, Clerks and American Beauty are currently my two top movies in this group.) Anyway, rather than explain the obvious, I’ll just print some of the lyrics:

    Are you gonna live your life wonderin’
    standing in the back lookin’ around?
    Are you gonna waste your time thinkin’
    how you’ve grown up or how you missed out?

    Things are never gonna be the way you want.
    Where’s it gonna get you acting serious?
    Things are never gonna be quite what you want.
    Or even at 25, you gotta start sometime.

    I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go.
    Now all I need is just to hear a song I know.
    I wanna always feel like part of this was mine.
    I wanna fall in love tonight.

    Are you gonna live your life standing in the back looking around?
    Are you gonna waste your time?
    Gotta make a move or you’ll miss out.

    Someone’s gonna ask you what it’s all about.
    Stick around nostalgia won’t let you down.
    Someone’s gonna ask you what it’s all about.
    Whatcha gonna have to say for yourself?

  • Get It Faster – Here’s a song where I heard a few lyrics from the song, and quickly associated it with something, and I’m not so sure my thoughts for the song fit with the song as a whole, but I also haven’t had the desire to find out for sure (why ruin a good thing?). Anyway, here’s a backstory: I have a lot of rules of conduct for myself. Most are moral things, some are just “okay, you’ve dicked yourself over too many times doing this, so you’re not allowed to do that anymore” …. A lot of them are in place to see to it that I don’t become a jackass, like the many jackasses out there that I complain about frequently. But there’s a part of me that realizes that very often, if I just broke a few of those rules, things might go a bit better for me (i.e. If I was a jackass, odds are a few things would swing my way, just because this world is kinda messed up that way) That’s what I think about when I hear “I wanna do right by you. I’m finding out that cheating gets it faster.” Again, lines out of context, but it’s what I think about.
  • Hear You Me – This was the other “lost song”. It’s about death, and while not overly sad, it sounds very sincere. I think it’s one of the most beautiful songs on the record..
  • If you still care at all, don’t go, tell me now.

2 thoughts on “17. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American

  1. I had this CD for a little while. I saw them play in Chicago while they touring for this album, Dan Kooy and I left 4 songs into their to get to Muligan’s. We went to see the opener The Promise Ring play. The other time I saw JEW a band called Sarge completely stole the show. I’d say JEW is alright, but I have enough stuff that sounds like them that I think is better.

  2. The reason that Mark has enough stuff that sounds the same is because he owns every other single CD. That time we saw them with Sarge was notably when we were freshman in college, way before they were on MTV or had decent radio play. That means that I’m really cool. The most notable thing I remember about the show was when all the preppy jock types were slam dancing and making the metal sign. I couldn’t help laugh, because Jimmy Eat World is not a band I would think would require the metal sign, or ‘the devil digits’. It is funny thinking about Mark saying “I saw that JEW band”, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *