There’s no way around it – this has been a very hard year. There’s been a nationwide pandemic, non-stop protests, murder hornets (did this happen?) and that time we casually made memes about World War III for like a week. Personally, I’ve run into a stop sign in a bit gone wrong, become just barely good enough at golf that I get upset when I play badly, and have not been able to find my work phone for 3 months and I have no idea what to do about it. Like, so much time has passed that I can’t mention it to my boss at this point and I don’t know how much longer I can play dumb when she asks if I got her texts. The worst part is, I no longer get texts from random strangers trying to booty call me at 4 am.
I digress. The point is, as a nation, we’re in a dark place and it seems like there is no way out. Enter Nickelback, the official band of Work Retire Die, and the consistent answer to every national nightmare in the last 20 years. After teasing us all week, they have released their solution to worldwide anguish…a cover of the song Devil Went Down to Georgia.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Nickelback. Not just for today’s gift (apparently a music video is also dropping at 12 pm) but for all you’ve done over the years to provide us joy and comfort in trying times.
For the uneducated, this is far from the first time that Nickelback has pulled this nation out of a pit of despair with the gift of post-grunge alternative rock. A quick history lesson, with an assist from Jag Mehoff, noted guest columnist.
2001 – Silver side up.
A nation reels after 9/11 and struggles to find its national identity and fighting spirit. Nickelback drops their signature album, Silver Side Up, featuring headlined by arguably the greatest song of the decade, How You Remind Me, and pulls this country out of despair.
Mike Piazza’s home run, George Bush throwing out the first pitch…..and America’s #1 Canadian rock band releasing a 39 minute album. This is recipe for how to respond to a national disaster.
2003 – the Long road
Martha Stewart, the face of home ownership and fancy cups, is indicted for insider trading. The Columbia space shuttle is destroyed upon re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. Jadyn Smith is born.
Needless to say, national confidence is at an all time low. Americans everywhere want to throw in the towel. What does Nickelback do? Sit on their thumbs and cry to their little mommies about how life stinks? Nope. They turn this pain into The Long Road, generally regarded as the 6th best album of the year.
Not only that, but they give us of the gift of Someday, a song that reminds us all that despite all the pain and suffering, we will always return, like a phoenix from the ashes, stronger than the storm and ready to drop a Billboard #11 single.
2005 – All the right reasons
Hurricane Katrina. London Bombings. The death of Pope John Paul II. Me getting passed up during Snowball dance at every single bar mitzvahs of the year. This was a hard year for everyone and the future looked bleak.
The movie industry tried to do their part, releasing Wedding Crashers, Pride and Prejudice, Hitch, and Sharkboy and Lavagirl in an effort to heal the nationwide wound. But that medicine, while powerful, treated the symptoms, not the disease. We needed something stronger.
We needed Photograph. We needed If Everyone Cared. We needed….Rockstar.
2011 – HERE AND NOW
This one is going to be hard. 2011 was a brutal year and I don’t like going back to that mental place or re-opening old wounds. But if Nickelback has taught me anything, it’s that sure, sometimes we all just want to be big rockstars. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look at a photograph, especially if it makes you laugh. Honestly, how did our eyes get so red? And don’t get me started with what the hell is on Joey’s head! Their lessons ring true today and everyday, and it’s only right that we listen.
Thanks to the ‘Back, I have the courage to face the event that shaped me and everyone on this entire blue marble spinning through the sky into the people we are today…the firing of Charlie Sheen from Two and Half Men. On May 7th 2011, like most of the nation, I mourned the loss of a role model and someone I considered a friend. I threw out all my Two & A Half Men DVDs, tore down all my posters, and burned my souvenir mugs. I was ready to call it quits on network TV forever.
Until Nickelback stepped in with Here and Now, the album that critics glowingly referred to as ‘a step above their last effort.’ And thank god they did. I never would have stuck with CBS programming. I might have missed Young Sheldon.
Thank you Nickelback. We don’t deserve you but you bless us nonetheless.