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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Wish I Had Listened to ________ Sooner

posted by on February 12 at 14:22 PM

For me, it’s Atom & His Package.

atompacklive.jpg

I should’ve loved Atom & His Package way before I actually started listening to them (within the past year, I’m so ashamed). When I was in high school and listening to the usual suspects (Op Ivy, Rancid, Jawbreaker, Green Day, etc.), I heard Atom & His Package’s name mentioned now and again, but I never listened to them. I don’t know why. We all make mistakes. But when he finally made it on a mix tape, I instantly loved it. His lyrics are hilarious and smart, the music’s fun without being cheesy. You can listen to it and dance like an idiot without worrying about looking stupid because when dancing to songs like “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re a Cock,” you’re supposed to look stupid.

But it was too late to say that I loved them—in 2006 could never say I was 26 and just getting into Atom & His Package (who broke up in 2003). I’d be crucified! So I had to love them in secret.

All the time, music geeks try to pass off that they knew about everything cool before it was actually cool. For me, that’s not true. I try to search out new music all the time (and I think I do an okay job), but sometimes things slip through the cracks. Atom & His Package slipped through the cracks; 1998 would’ve been so much better if I had Atom & His Package.

As the cliche goes: Better late than never, I guess. Right? At least I know about his new band Armalite (with Dan Yemin, yo).

But my point is, I’m not the only one hiding secrets about certain bands I discovered way too late in life. Tell me yours. I promise not to laugh.

(And you probably already know how great this is, but if you don’t, get your hands on Atom & His Package’s cover of Madonna’s “Open Your Heart.” My favorite line is “Fuck face, I have something to say!”)

RSS icon Comments

1

Atom & his Package shows were the best. Atom is also where I first heard of the Mountain Goats, thanks to his cover of "Going to Georgia," so he even helped me discover a band before it was too late.

A band I wish I'd been into sooner: the Make Up. I even saw them once, but totally didn't get it and even walked out on the show. Years later, I was kicking myself.

(And the secret to dancing is that all people look stupid doing it, and it's always okay...that and booze/drugs, but, you know, baby steps.)

Posted by Eric Grandy | February 12, 2008 2:29 PM
2

i wish i had listened to ______ sooner.

suicide. how did i miss this?

Posted by cosby | February 12, 2008 2:52 PM
3

Is there anything more pathetic than getting pumped on the Misfits after you're 30? Guilty as charged.

Just cue up Horror Business and watch grandma freak out.

Posted by bronkitis | February 12, 2008 3:27 PM
4

Thanks for turning me on to Armalite. I knew Atom broke up a while ago and that I had all the ablums... So why keep up with his website?

I guess this answers the question.

Posted by Graham | February 12, 2008 3:38 PM
5

How does one guy "break up"?

I AM CONFUSED.

Posted by Brian | February 12, 2008 4:17 PM
6

Although I did see Atom in concert a few years ago I don't think I fully appreciated the glory until I spent this Christmas here in Seattle -- far away from my family -- and while I was feeling kind of miserable on Christmas eve I heard "What We Do on Christmas" for the very first time and I thought, wtf have I been doing all this time?!

Posted by Sara | February 12, 2008 4:24 PM
7

@5 Ha! Excellent point. I suppose I should've just said "quit" or "gave it up" in 2003. My bad.

Posted by Megan Seling | February 12, 2008 4:24 PM
8

I was a little late to the Atom train as well, but I was able to catch his show in 2001 at the Redmond Firehouse. Har Mar Superstar opened and it was fantastic.

Posted by Damien | February 12, 2008 8:08 PM
9

I went on an Atom & His Package kick in 2003 when I saw that he was coming to town (Boise). I'd never heard him, but he'd been coming to Boise fairly often for years. I downloaded a bunch of mp3s and I was hooked. I gotta say though, Open Your Heart is one of my least favorite tracks on that album. If you want a good cover, check out Nutrition or Waiting Room.

Posted by gillsans | February 12, 2008 10:14 PM
10

@8 I was at that show too - one of favorite shows ever! I saw Atom & His Package at the Old Firehouse several times over the years and he was always a good time.

Posted by Sarina | February 13, 2008 1:23 AM
11

Atom is fucking awesome, though A Society Of People Named Elihu is without a doubt his best stuff. Back in the day he made being a crusty political punk fun again. What happened to that? Oh yeah - crimethinc.

Posted by Benji | February 13, 2008 12:51 PM
12

I wish I would have gotten into Behead the Prophet N.L.S.L. in time to see them. And I wish I would have seen Teen Cthulhu instead of making excuses every time they played.

Posted by bunnypuncher | February 13, 2008 10:04 PM

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