13 essential by the ataris

It can be more than a bit embarrassing being caught singing your heart out as you lose yourself in a song by The Ataris when you are as close to 40 as I am. Although the mental venture isn’t as often as it once was I will admit that it does still happen on occasion.

The first time I saw Kris Roe and The Ataris I was 19 (maybe 20). It was downtown. It was Fresno and the place was packed. The place was humid and sweaty. The stage was elevated and it shook when they played. The room reeked of stale perspiration and it was an absolute beautiful thing. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. The place described was referred to as the art center and I am unsure if this place even still exists. If it does, I genuinely hope that whatever capacity it serves that it still manages to shake the insides of whoever visits the inside so that they can once again feel alive.

The last time I saw Kris Roe I was 34. Let’s just end there.

It goes without saying that juvenile lyrics of heartache, breakup, and relational anguish so easily transcends the boundaries of age. From the early onset of their catalogue with songs like take me back, to songs just before the pretentious prog-punk years in songs like in this diary, The Ataris captured the hearts and minds of late teen & early twentysomethings during the turn of the inevitable 21st century. They wrote songs channeling the inner frustrations of the last wave of the gen-x youth as they aged past adolescence.

Not quite emo. Never really hardcore. Always just shy of MTV. Unapologetically pretentious. But always therapeutic.

The Ataris are a punk band must listen (minus the prog punk latter years as previously mentioned).

As thankful as I am that I have no reason to even relate to these songs anymore, I still revel in the fact that…

“alone at last, just nostalgia and I…”

Let’s for sure have a blast.

Here are 13 of The Ataris’ songs that I’m asking you to “just trust me”; they are essential:

Cheers 🍻

13 | my reply

so long, astoria

12 | up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start

end is forever

11 | the last song I will ever write about a girl

blue skies, broken hearts… next 12 exits

10 | radio #2

so long, astoria

9 | I won’t spend another night alone

blue skies, broken hearts… next 12 exits

8 | in this diary

so long, astoria

7 | make it last

anywhere but here

6 | you need a hug

end is forever

5 | broken promise ring

blue skies, broken hearts… next 12 exits

4 | take me back

anywhere but here

3 | let it go

anywhere but here

2 | fast times at dropout high

end is forever

1 | san dimas high school football rules

blue skies, broken hearts… next 12 exits

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