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The End of an Era?

November 26, 2008

95% of the time I tend to pretend that I was never super obsessed with Phantom Planet. That they weren’t my favorite band from the ages of.. oh, 16-20, and that I didn’t meet a group of friends (some of whom I still speak with today) through them. And oh yeah, that I didn’t run a website about them with two other people…

It’s kind of interesting that the last thing I wrote on that website involved me saying that it was a hiatus when really it was the end, because that’s what Phantom Planet did today:

This could be the most difficult piece of news we have ever had to post. Sadly, Phantom Planet will be playing our last show, December 12, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the same venue that we played our very first live all ages gig, back in 1994. We have had an amazing time playing together for 15 years, but we have officially decided to go on hiatus, and will not be playing any more live shows or making any new records, indefinitely. There is so much more to write, but at this time, we just want to say thank you, to everyone, for their support, friendship, inspiration, attendance, and love.

-alex, darren, jeff and sam.

The news comes at a time when it really doesn’t affect me, as I worked at a show where they played last month and was mortally embarrassed by Alex’s stage banter of, “How many of you guys have been on a date?!” Really, Alex Greenwald? You’re 29 now. And you’re playing to 16 year olds, which isn’t as cute as it was when I was 16 and you were 21.

But still, it is mildly shocking, because they were so excited to be headlining a tour in February. And now there’s not really anything left.

There’s Alex – the vegan (is he still vegan?) who apparently decided that his late 20s was the time to pick up smoking and start hanging out with Mark Ronson. Sam – who can survive on his producing and all around amazingness. Sam is the good one. And Darren and Jeff are just Darren and Jeff. Jeff will join another band, or go back to the other bands he’s played in. Or he’ll settle down and do what he wants. And Darren.. well, he’s Darren.

It’s interesting, though, to think about the bands associated with PhanPlan and what has happened to them.

Rooney – Jason Schwartzman’s little brother, who first tried the nepotism (changing his last name to Schwartzman-Cage) and then shied away from it all together (Carmine?). They’re apparently still a band, but I liked them more when Matt Star was in it.

Superdrag – Remember them? With the “Sucked Out” song? They toured with Phantom Planet in 2002. They went on hiatus in 2003, but are apparently planning an album for 2008. And John Davis is brilliant.

Ok Go – Well, I guess the video says it all. Their first album is far superior of you ask me. So, so damned catchy. And please, don’t forget the “Oh!” in “You’re So Damn Hot.” Anyways, they were the opening band on that Phantom Planet/Superdrag tour. And they’re weirdly all famous for being hilarious now. It’s great. They have a song in Rock Band! And even weirder, I remain #5 in the TNFC, Tim Nordwind’s Official Veterinarian. …That brings me back.

Maroon 5 – The most successful of them all. Sam should continue to produce their songs. Like, “She Will Be Loved” about his girlfriend (wife?). Oh, useless knowledge. Anyways, we all know that they’re still around. Minus the amazingness that was Ryan Dusick.

So what band trying to recapture it’s former glory (ie. television theme song infamy!) will break up next? It doesn’t matter, I’m more fascinated with the latest batch of emo nostalgia (Get Up Kids! Jimmy Eat World plays Clarity!), and the fantastic new music that has appeared in 2008.

But for the record, my money is on Third Eye Blind.

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