I had the second biggest crush of my youth on a girl named Lindsay, and I would spend the next paragraph or two describing and rebuilding the memory of her but, honestly, I don’t remember much about her. I see only a faded outline with blurred features when I try to think of her, there isn’t a whole lot there—there is however, afi.

A fire inside, a “hardcore” punk band that developed through the 90’s with Nitro Records and then signed with DreamWorks Records in the early 2000’s and, when they signed with DreamWorks, needless to say, their music started going in a different direction, but that’s neither here nor there really; Lindsay was a fan. You wouldn’t guess it, looking at her, even knowing her, really. It still actually makes me smile thinking of the correlation. “Lindsay liked afi,” and so I decided that I would to. I started listening to the music and, like anything you don’t understand at first, it was an acquired taste for me, at the time. But, like most things you don’t understand at first, the more time you spend trying to understand something the more it consumes you. Eventually they were essentially all that I listened to.

I still think that the album Black Sails in the Sunset is one of the greatest albums ever written—that’s just me.

I don’t listen now to most of what I was listening to then, but I will still listen to afi, and I’m sure in some way, that familiarity and comfort with them can be traced back to Lindsay but I don’t think about her when I listen to them, I have come to like the band for my own reasons. I remember feeling genuinely distraught when Davey Havok announced that he had a cyst, and it was uncertain if he would ever sing again.

Black Sails in the Sunset is a great album and again still one of my favorites, by the time I discovered them they had recently released The Art of Drowning, which although very different also made a lasting impact on me, and of course I ventured into the earlier releases, Answer That and Stay Fashionable, Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes, and others. My relationship with afi would last much, much longer than my relationship with Lindsay.

I even started attending Warped Tour because of them and would soon discover more Punk and Ska bands, and music that I was previously unfamiliar with.

I haven’t followed afi since they signed with DreamWorks Records there are a small handful of songs that I’ve even heard since the signing; I was just doing some research on the band and Davey Havok and now apparently he’s the front man for a handful of bands across different genres, he’s putting his voice through a lot more since the cyst than he did before, unless of course he isn’t singing as, um…coarsely as he did with afi, with Nitro.


Apparently, if you follow the mainstream sound, you’ll be familiar with afi (I’m only now just learning this). The generations after my own which would include the middle to younger aged Millennials (although I cannot consider myself a Millennial, I firmly believe that since Facebook and the first-generation iPhone the generation gaps are much, much smaller than they used to be spanning, maybe three or five years as opposed to the previous fifteen, or greater). The point being, that although you might be familiar with afi and whatever sound they’ve adopted in the decades since you have not heard afi until you pull up Black Sails and the albums they recorded before, between 94’ and 2000.

I remember buying the Black Sails in the Sunset CD. And, listening to it the first few times, and there’s this feeling as if it was the first time something felt real, to me. Until then everything in my life was so systematic and scheduled but I bought that album and I felt like I existed outside of that system and those schedules. That thought…feeling, wouldn’t be a conscious one for some time nevertheless I took that feeling with me.

I do have another memory of Lindsay. I don’t remember why but I found myself needing $50, urgently. Lindsay and I were working together at the time, and I guess I asked her I can’t really recall, but she gave me her bank card and pin number and let me pull the money from her account; I don’t think about that a lot, I still cannot process that completely, why she did it. Lindsay basically disappeared after high school, as far as I know there’s still no easily accessible record of her at least for someone who isn’t so tech savvy. I could do a basic Facebook search, and nothing would pop up and, “well, she doesn’t exist.”

"Through Our Bleeding We Our One," I guess.
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