Preview: The Get Up Kids

Today marks the conclusion of Pitchfork’s extremely preemptive list of the top 200 albums of the ongoing decade. And while it’s a little arbitrary, and misses out on basically half a year of music (or 1/20th of the decade), one thing is for certain: you won’t find Kansas City’s Get Up Kids anywhere near it. But consider an alternate history for a moment: at the turn of the century, just ten years ago, the Get Up Kids released a touchstone album that captured the best of 90s indie tones and what would become 00s anthemic emo. Long before indie rock was a blanket term and emo was a four-letter word, bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and American Football were making passionate, emotive music that wasn’t too far away in sound from Pavement and Archers of Loaf. The Get Up Kids took that template, tossed in a dose of Pinkerton-era Weezer and out came Something to Write Home About, their finest in a catalog of four albums and various other comps and EPs.

Through the prior half of the aughts, the Kids maintained their reputation as one of the hardest working bands on the continually expanding punk/indie/emo circuit, playing countless shows with relentless energy and abandon. For every major tour they did - for example, a Yahoo! sponsored Weezer tour - they did an equally long tour of clubs and intimate venues. Something to Write Home About followed their Bob Weston-produced, DIY debut Four Minute Mile and preceded On A Wire, a denser, darker version of the Get Up Kids that was a commercial failure. While their final opus, Guilt Show frankly sucked, they were a longstanding live favorite of many, and there’s enough personal anthems in their catalog to balance out what their last album leaves to desire. This current tour is in celebration of the 10th anniversary deluxe reissue of Something to Write Home About, but you can bet that they’ll be playing favorites from across their discography. At risk of full disclosure, I cannot understate how much I loved this band when I was 16. So I’m looking forward to seeing this band once again, even if we’ve both grown up a little since then.

The Get Up Kids play the Picador on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9pm. Advance tickets can be purchased for $20 at Record Collector as well as at the door, pending availability. Youth Group and Pretty & Nice open.

About the Author


Todd is a transplant from the East Coast who came to Iowa City to live life, love music, and enjoy cheap beer. In addition to working on Mission Freak and Mission Creek Festival, he writes semi-regularly for Tiny Mix Tapes and Daytrotter and books music and other events at local non-profit venue Public Space ONE.

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