Fine, I’ll admit it! I am exhausted from watching heavy plots about murder mysteries and docudramas detailing scandals. I've had enough of watching all the bad in the world. And after a long day of work I'm in no mood to follow a plot-heavy show.

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Music Features

6 2000s Rock Songs That Still Give Us Life

Here are a few times that artists took a song and absolutely ate it alive.

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

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We all remember what emotional state we were in when we heard Hayley Williams belt her heart out on "All I Wanted."

The track's grinding guitars embellish an already forceful plea for companionship, but when the band cuts out, all that can be heard is Williams's crackling pipes: "I'll beg you nice from my knees / I could follow you to the beginning and just to relive the start."

Asking for someone's companionship is already a futile act; as intoxicating as young love is, it feels pathetic to have to ask for such a basic human necessity, to be stuck in codependency. As Williams's soaring vocals seep into a scream at the track's bridge, that layered frustration is palpable just from the sound of her voice.

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Screenshot of Bowling For Soup/ bowlingforsouptv /

So we can all agree that last night was an insufferable fever dream.

As I watched two disgruntled old white men hash out whether white supremacists have rights and whether my girlfriend gets to keep her health insurance, I found myself dissociating and was soon struck with a question that has since plagued me for the last 24 hours: Whatever happened to The Ataris?

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Music Lists

The Most Underrated Pop Punk Songs of the 2000s

Slap on your old Chucks and revisit some iconic deep cuts

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There was a special kind of angst fueling the music of the early 2000s.

Pop punk, post-grunge, and other guitar-laden subgenres consumed the mainstream. Pete Wentz and Hayley Williams, with their thick eyeliner and greasy bangs, made the magazine rounds, while potty-mouth bands like Simple Plan and Bowling for Soup topped the charts with their dated quirky syntax ("and if you're hearing what I'm saying / then I want to hear you say, "I'm gay!")

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From “Ditzy Girl” to “Girlboss”: Paris Hilton and Toxic Femininity

Today's "girlboss" trope is no better than the "ditzy girl" persona of the early 2000s, as the term infantilizes women and suggests that female authority needs to be qualified.

Paris Hilton arrives at the amfAR Gala Cannes

Photo by Andrea Raffin (Shutterstock)

The early 2000s were an unfortunate step backward for women's empowerment, representation in media, and general fashion sense.

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Music Reviews

Interpol and the Never Ending Early-2000s Party

Finally, a glimmer of change for Interpol fans.

Interpol was the post-punk revival of the early 2000's. Never before or after has a singer so perfectly captured the educated, confused angst of the urban punk like Paul Banks.

Hedonistic, articulate, asburd, and painfully specific, their 2002 album Turn on the Bright Lights offered the kind of rock n' roll you can't argue with, featuring melodramatic lyrics that would fold in on themselves if they weren't so brilliantly and cheekily self-aware. In the way that acts like Joy Division were manufactured, Interpol was organic, and fans responded to it, clinging to the band like a life raft in the roiling ocean of early 2000's indie music.

Flash forward two decades and fans are left with a pale imitation. While the band's dogged commitment to their sound is admirable, it produces albums that sound like cheap copies. For example, their most recent release, Marauder, is trying desperately to replicate the intuitive fire of earlier albums. But the problem with aiming to recapture the feeling of early 2000's sex and drug culture is that the gutter punks now wear ties to work and read John Grisham after tucking in their toddlers. Interpol is trying to evoke something electric and fleeting that no longer exists.

It's possible that conflict within the group—they famously co-write all their songs—is to blame for the lack of creative experimentation. After all, when Carlos Dengler left, the band just continued on without a bassist, inevitably stunting their sound. But Interpol's problem feels less like an inability to change and more like an unwillingness. Until now.

Finally, fans can see a glimmer of progress. The band's newest single, "Fine Mess," is one of the freshest pieces they've released in a long time. It's still inviting the listener into a musty New York loft party full of safety pin piercings, cheap cocaine, and flip phones, but maybe it's finally acknowledging that that party's just not quite what it used to be. The song effectively harps on a classic Interpol theme: the glory of unhealthy romance with a more modern feel, saying,

"Cause you and me make a fine mess
You and me make a fine mess
You're on

You get high like you chased the natives
And you tried then to show them your come-and-see face
Like this elevation
The mood's right, the dim light, we can see them
Deep breath, deep breath, keep grabbing"

In a lot of ways, it's a definitively Interpol song in terms of content and composition, but it offers more riffs and stabs than usual, jumbling the melody in an attempt to put distance between the band and their roots. Unfortunately, the vocal distortion robs the listener of the fullness of Bank's voice, and the maintenance of the characteristic melodic bass and drum combo speaks of a band not ready to let go of the sound that made them famous—no matter how tired that sound may be.

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

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