“There’s a Place Off Ocean Avenue …”

Ross Staff Image

I woke up on the afternoon of June 24 just like every other day that I have off. I rolled over, grabbed my phone and started scrolling through Instagram. In between dank memes and cats, I saw the picture below:

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Yellowcard is retiring.

I know most of you are probably thinking, “Yellowcard is still a thing?” but the pop/punk rock band that famously features an electric violin are still making music; their most recent album, Lift a Sail, came out in 2014. And they’re still one of my favorite bands.

I heard my first Yellowcard song when I was travelling through Europe in the summer of 2004. When I got back to the States, I downloaded every Yellowcard track I could find on KaZaA and Limewire (Remember those?). The terrible quality eventually led me to buy physical copies of all their albums. Countless of their songs have ended up on mix CDs for girls I’ve dated. I even introduced my mother to them and made her a fan. For my college years and for most of my new-adult life, Yellowcard was there with me, seemingly always releasing an album that typified a change in my life. I know it’s probably cliché to say that a band got you through some hard times, but Yellowcard got me through some really hard times. Learning that they’re retiring is like learning that a friend I’ve had for fourteen years has died.

I could prattle on about each album until your eyes fall out of your head, so why don’t you check them out for yourself? After all, summertime is the perfect time to blast Yellowcard. I’d suggest starting with 2007’s Paper Walls. The violin parts in album-opener “The Takedown” are face-meltingly awesome and pave the way for the rest of the album’s blazing pace.

We have them digitally, too. On Freegal, be sure to check out One For the Kids, an earlier album that features the acoustic ballad “Rough Draft.” Speaking of acoustic versions, Yellocard really excel when they strip away the reverb; it’s like listening to another band. Accompanied only by acoustic guitars and violin, the words almost sound like poetry and you can really experience something intimate that’s not found on the electric versions of the same songs. They’ve even released full acoustic albums, including the tenth anniversary edition of Ocean Avenue and a version of their seventh studio album When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. Check these out over on Hoopla.

Maybe once their final album (sniff) debuts, I’ll do a retrospective of their discography (sniff sniff), but for now, I’m just going to listen to their last first single (sniffing intensifies) on repeat.

Now, I just need to decide whether I want to go see them in Philly or Baltimore.

Road trip, anyone?

–Ross

Check out our digital collections:

Listen to Yellowcard on Hoopla or Freegal

Ross works as a Clerk at the Mt. Washington branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He loves reading books and watching movies and will often ramble about the two here.