Tuesday, September 11, 2012

McFly, but not Marty

An individual's musical taste is a weird and tangled web. It comes from all corners - from friends, siblings, parents, radio, internet, television, movies, sitting in your college dorm room and hearing the sound of your suitemate blasting their iPod. There's really no telling where musical inspiration will come from, but it will always have a source that is external. Therefore, it will always have a source that is worth telling about.

Years ago I listened to the Jonas Brothers a lot. And by "a lot," I mean too much. As in, if you knew me back then you might have mocked me for my avid love for the group. Or made fun of me behind my back. Whichever way it was, I didn't really care because at the time much of what occupied my thoughts was "jB" related.

One evening sometime during the winter - I can't remember why the season is so clear to me - I was on MySpace doing the typical nerdy stalker thing that is so easily enabled by social networking sites. My fellow Jonas Brothers fan-friends were all friends on the site with Mandy, whose name was used in one of the JoBros first singles. On this random evening, I went on Mandy's MySpace and heard a song that would string a new line in my musical web.

The song was "Little Joanna."

"Little Joanna's got big blue eyes
Coconut cream and coffee-colored thighs
I could die lying in her arms where castles are made of sand
We start to dance
But only the music is bleating when crickets replace the band"
These guys are fooling nobody. This song has the cheesiest lyrics of all time. It most certainly couldn't be taken seriously, right? Later they even talk about a "sun-kissed trampoline"! So it's kitschy and slightly creepy. This can't be helped.

Objects may be closer than they appear in iPhone photos.
The first time you listen to McFly, you might not be taken with the lyrics. If you're like me, you won't even concentrate them. It's this method that ensures that you'll actually give the music a fighting chance, which is worth the effort because it's...as you might be expecting, pretty top notch.

McFly have been around since 2004 when they released their first CD Room on the Third Floor which included the hit song "Five Colours in Her Hair." As you might guess by the spelling of "colours," they are not an American band. This is a fact that I often blame for why I was unable to discover them until a few years after they'd already been in the spotlight.

Once I became a fan, I dove right into their entire repertoire despite my absence during the production of their first couple of CDs. I listened to all of their singles and B-sides, found live recordings and when I went to England for the first time in 2007, purchased all of their CDs.

This was a fandom that nearly rivaled my interest in the Jonas Brothers. The only problem was that I lived far away from all things McFly. People at my school didn't know who they were, the only trace of them in the US was in the movie Just My Luck starring Lindsay Lohan which I had barely even heard of when it came out and which I probably would have benefitted from not watching a while later.

My only outlet for this love of an frothy pop-rock crooning English band was with my friend Lynn, who appreciated the band as much as I did. On many an afternoon in our high school freshman PE class, we'd dance around together singing songs like "Five Colours in Her Hair." As new songs were released, we'd get even more jazzed up about them, learning all the lyrics and annoying our friends in Japanese class.

On rare occasions, we will resurrect those days and sing the first lines of "Transylvania" when we're hanging out. Despite our very different personalities, Lynn and I have always gotten each other - and one of the things we've always had a mutually understanding of is McFly.

So now it's five years later. I've loved this band for quite some time now, but with every trip to England, every new CD purchased, I've never seen them live. When I'm overseas, they're not performing. When they're performing, I'm back in the States. It's this cruel twist of fate that keeps me constantly wanting.

Tonight, McFly is in Los Angeles. And I will be there. And this intricately weaved web of music will finally come full circle when I see this band. I started off as a Jonas Brothers fan going to every concert imaginable, assuming the same wasn't possible with McFly. But the times are changing, and even if my concert dry spell continues after tonight, I'll be glad I quenched my thirst for this band while I had the chance.

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