A 20-year-old who worked shitty construction gigs since high school moronically moved to a beach town to live on a sofa at a friend’s brother’s house. He didn’t seek work, but instead pawned instruments to buy beer and tacos. Going. Nowhere. Really. Fucking. Fast. Enter Incubus’s 1999 LP, Make Yourself. It’s about self-determination. “Isn’t it strange that a gift could be an enemy?” they ask on “Privilege,” the gift here being free will. Though it’s not a yuppie’s liberation story—succeed and join the herd—but much more romantically heroic. A nemesis called “the walking dead” appears throughout; it’s an external enemy, yes, but also an internal one we must overcome to achieve greatness. On hit single “Drive,” letting the dead determine our lives has “a vague, haunting mass appeal” because it’s easier to let others make us. Incubus nobly fought this subjugated spirit, and changed the boy’s life.
Sat., Sept. 10, 8pm. $25-$120. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbor Blvd., Camden, N.J. 856.365.1300. livenation.com
PW's Music Issue 2014