when avril was cool

today i was sitting on the floor of the gym i go to, panting from exertion, when a song i didn’t recognize started playing on my ipod.  what is this? i thought to myself.  is this an avril lavigne song i don’t remember?  turns out that it was actually michelle branch, whosealbum i picked up at half price books for $2 a couple of months ago.  but she really did remind me of avril lavigne and the whole love-sick punk chick subgenre of music.  when these girls grow up they either become angry rocker women like alanis morissette, or they just go plain weird, kind of like avril has.

but her first album is not pop-goth cussing weird.  i listened to it earlier this summer with lyssa as we were driving to a party.  we cranked the volume up, rolled the windows down and sat there in her parents’ minivan, headbanging to sk8ter boi.  i think her brother nick found it all very disturbing.  to me, however, that didn’t really matter (sorry, nick).  i felt very nostalgic and started thinking back to my mid-teens where i suddenly realized that there was music other than classical and fernando ortega.  avril lavigne was probably my first foray into the pop music scene.

and oh boy, did i think i was cool because i listened to avril.  i wore black chuck taylors (had nothing to do with avril and i’d had them before listening to her music) and just about burst with pride when i bought a black terry wristband with a silver star on it.  i was punk, man.  all i needed was a skateboard and a sense of balance.

well.  the wristband turned out to be kind of cheap.  the star fell off, the terry was really thick and the whole thing threatened to cut off my circulation.  i didn’t dare buy black nailpolish (this was before ashlee simpson had made it preppy to look punk), and i could never figure out how to apply liquid eyeliner.  my punkiness was a sad failure, but i still thought songs like “tomorrow” and “complicated” were rockin’ awesome.

listening to let go  now, i feel nostalgic.  and then i wonder why the heck i thought this stuff was cool in the first place.  i mean, sure, it’s upbeat and peppy, mostly.  but it’s kind of silly at the same time.  “all of her friends stuck up their nose/they had a problem with his baggy clothes.”  oh, brilliant.  her friends have a collective olfactory site?  i’d like to see that.

five years later, i finally have black nail polish (although i prefer to wear grey).  i now wear green chuck taylors.  i still haven’t mastered liquid eyeliner, but i discovered that it’s fun for drawing on your face.  i think i finally threw that wristband away.  and now my music tastes are strongly in the folk/world/ancient/jazz/indie genres.  i’m no longer a love-sick wannabe punk chick.  i’ve grown more into the unique person i’m meant to be than the crowd-following teenager i was, way back in the day when avril was cool.