I Was in an All-Girl Blink-182 Cover Band Called Dumpweed

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It was 1999, a particularly hot summer in San Antonio, Texas. I remember walking into a Wal-Mart, away from my mom to wander the vast CD racks for something new and exciting. It was a big time for pop music. The cover of Millennium, by the then inauthentic-feeling boy band, the Backstreet Boys, showed five distinct personas in all white suits, standing before a bluish-purple power-point background. In America, it still holds the record for the most album shipments in one year--11 million orders. Good thing Burger King had begun giving away two or three song demos for free, or I might have bought it. Zayne Riggins, my albino 3rd grade significant othe,r had recently introduced me to the magic of palm muted power chords. I wasn't looking for Backstreet Boys anymore--I was looking for Blink-182.

See also: Win Tickets to Blink 182's Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg!

There the cover sat. Porn star Janine Lindemulder sensually grinning, forcing a blue latex glove on her right hand, enormous boobs exposed in an intricate red bra covered only slightly by a fetish nurse costume. This was Enema of the State, the third studio album from So-Cal pop punkers Blink-182. With a cover so taboo, and a Parental Advisory--I gave my cash to a mall punk to pick up the album for me--it was, perhaps inevitably, my first CD purchase ever.

This was the record that scored Blink Top 40 radio play: "All The Small Things," became a No. 1 hit on the Modern Rock chart, later peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video itself parodied the prevalent boy band culture of the time, directly mocking the Backstreet Boys video for "I Want It That Way." How did three 20-something delinquent wannabe punks succeed in mainstream music, potty mouths in tow, while the world was still largely ruled by Britneys, Chistianas, Nicks, and Justins? It's pretty simple: Blink-182 is the most important band of the '90s, dick jokes and all.

And not just in pop punk. The obvious argument is for Green Day, but while Billie Joe and crew spent most of their energy politicizing their suburban experience, Blink 182 sought to enjoy it. That was the merit in their debauchery: teen angst was fun again.

Much different from the obvious '90s alternative: Nirvana, whose accessible coolness was never targeted towards the youthful angst that "paid off well" when they struck it anyway, Blink-182 never took itself seriously. Their celebrity was transparent. Nirvana found success in a self-seriousness that was, and still is, mythologized.

Unlike punk and hardcore, which prides itself on exclusivity, Blink-182 were digestible. A safe rebellion. Like the 924 Gilman scene that birthed Green Day, there was little violence-surrounding Blink. No drug use. There was drinking, but not in dangerous amounts. (In fact, when booze came to be an issue with Blink's first drummer, Scott Raynor, they kicked him out.) As far as extremes go, the band was pretty tame. But it didn't feel that way.

There is a huge generational gap in finding the staying power of an act like Blink 182--I'm in my early 20s, those in their early 20s were adolescents in the late '90s/early to mid-00s, a time where the "alternative" to mainstream pop and rock was pop-punk and emo, not indie rock or grunge. But like those in their early-30s, the appreciation of the music from their youth is free of irony, even if those critics and music obsesses can't see the validity of Blink-182, or write them off as too goofy fluff. (They're missing out.)

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Music Hall of Williamsburg

66 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

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32 comments
US vs THEM
US vs THEM

What kind of stupid question is that?

Rodrigue Mells
Rodrigue Mells

Blink 182 represents what we hated about that watered down music

Ryan MacBride
Ryan MacBride

nirvana Nine Inch Nails Wu Tang Clan RHCP Pavement Alice in Chains Phish Janes Addictionx 10

Bianca Rivera
Bianca Rivera

Wasn't there some other band out there whose lead singer took his life 20 years ago next year? :-/

Christina Connors
Christina Connors

They were fun to listen to. (In a way) give her some slack- she was fairly young when she adored the band enough to create a cover band dedicated to them.

Ryan MacBride
Ryan MacBride

No. I think Limp Bizkit edges them out and that one awesome Filter song. Being sarcastic but I love that Filter Song. Wasn't Ashton Kutcher in Blink 182

Mario Anguiano
Mario Anguiano

I'm from SA, there is a serious epidemic of pop punk music always trying to 'break out'. It disgusts me. Must be an SA thing. Boo this article

Loizos Gatzaris
Loizos Gatzaris

What did they do that was so original? They just ripped off 1980s hardcore.

Art Tavana
Art Tavana

My left testicle made more important music

Tim Terralavoro
Tim Terralavoro

No. Not at all The best band is ..And you will know us by the trail of dead . They are the best band ever .

Seth Albaum
Seth Albaum

Hm. This reads like an Onion headline.

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