Fall Out Boy’s Evening out with Your Girlfriend, Track Five: “Growing Up”
The two questions one is given to ask when listening to this song:
1) “Growy uhyuh?”
2) Why this song?
This is the second, and final, song off this album to be given official acknowledgement. Where this differs from “Calm Before a Storm,” of course, is that this was not included in an album, this was included in the greatest hits compilation. This song was the one of the nine selected to stand alongside “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and all those Fall Out Boy classics, the song selected to represent the time in Fall Out Boy’s history when they were getting started and finding their footing. The song was re-recorded for Believers Never Die, but the new recording doesn’t paint too far outside the lines of the original, just sounds like the version of the track Fall Out Boy would have made if they’d been able to clean up the original recording.
Why did they opt to clean this song in particular, though? When they opened up the storage unit after however many months of disuse, unearthed the box buried beneath all the kids’ bikes and old furniture they don’t know what to do with, blew off the dust, and opened the box, what was it about “Growing Up” that made it stand out, that made Fall Out Boy think, “Yeah. Yeah, this is what we’re looking for?” Is it the fact that the song is called “Growing Up” and the band said, “Yeah, that’s probably thematically appropriate, alright, good meeting, team!” and then continued paying rent on the storage unit? Maybe! Actually, yeah, fuckin’ probably that’s what happened.
The weird thing about art is that not everyone ascribes the same importance to any given thing as you, and that includes the artist. I remember, when I was a kid, I would go to Vh1 dot com and read news stories about upcoming albums, and in each news story some singer would say, “Out on the road, man, we wrote like 70 songs for the record,” and I would say, “Holy shit! How do you write 70 songs?” because I wasn’t aware of the creative process, what with the being 12 and all. Music was this magical thing, surely the byproduct of incredible effort, that was to be treasured, and I wasn’t imagining some dude on the bus giving a sheet of paper to the guitarist, saying, “Here’s some shit that rhymes,” and then the guitarist playing some riff, and a third person saying, “That doesn’t sound too bad.” I didn’t think that’s how music happened.
And that’s wrong as well, of course, there’s a whole recording process and all that, but that initial idea, that first time one puts the pen to the page, there’s maybe a 70% chance they weren’t thinking about anything, they just had a phrase which popped into their heads and built something around it.
It’s pretty much taken me until now to realize, hey, no one only writes when Inspiration STRIKES! and they have this beautiful, meaningful idea only Their Words can breathe to life. People write because it’s what they do, because it’s an extension of themselves. I’m not a bad writer due to some score of technical deficiencies, OK and fair enough they’re there in abundance but NOW’S NOT THE TIME FOR THAT, I’m a bad writer because I’m only recently at the point where I’m forcing myself to work through the times when I’m not feeling it and still put something out by noon on a Friday, every Friday. I’m a bad writer because, in the middle of this paragraph in particular, it is 5:38 AM the Thursday before due date and I’m just now understanding what the central theme of this post is.
It’s unprofessional, is what it is, quite frankly. My creative process for years has been “hope for creativity! XD” and nopin’ on over to a Let’s Play if it doesn’t happen in five minutes. And to a certain extent, this is what the Fall Out Boy thing is meant to be, not some avenue to long-deserved fame and fortune and popularity, nah I gave up on that long ago. (My inner Papyrus is constantly being overshadowed by my inner sans.) This is meant, in part, to be an introduction to treating this shit like a job, to hold myself accountable to this schedule and write something, even if I don’t Know what to write. Because I can make jokes about the lack of effort Fall Out Boy put into selecting a song called “Growing Up” for their greatest hits comp, but Fall Out Boy are, y’know, professionals. By the time they got to their greatest hits collection, they had five albums’ worth of experience selecting songs for albums and sequencing tracks on albums. They know what they’re doing. They don’t need to ask why this, because it might have been immediately clear that this was the right choice.
(Real quick end slate recommendation because this post runs a brisk 800 words and like I don’t know how long a post should be but it feels short: I mentioned The Bombpops last week? Turns out, they’re still active, and their most recent album, Fear of Missing Out, is fuckin’ dope as hell. Get after it!)