merelyn: (spencer's smile)
[personal profile] merelyn
So I know I mentioned recently that I'd gotten bored and fallen into a bandom hole? Yeah, that happened. While everyone else spent their summer playing outside in the sunshine with Sherlock and Inception and whatever, I basically became the pale creepy kid indoors listening to music in the basement.

Because it's no fun being a creeper in a basement by yourself, I of course have recently tried to trick other people into bandom, specifically Panic! At The Disco. I promised [personal profile] twentysomething and likeaglass I would pimp them into PATD fandom.

And since I wasn't satisfied with some of the more dated primers out there... uh, I made my own. I actually wrote most of this a month ago, but I'm posting it out of tiny filtered flock for posterity or whatever. I guess, like genius, shame also needs an audience:


That is Brendon Urie on a tiny bike. It needs no explanation.


Also yes, I am aware the only thing more ridiculous than getting into bandom now would be if I started watching Smallville or something. ROLLING, HATING, ETC.




HOW ARE YOU REAL??


Spencer Smith:
(drummer)



Oh, Spencer. Spencer used to look more like a "BB lesbian" back in the day, but less so now. Despite being ostensibly the least hot one in the band, fandom is still minorly obsessed with his hips. And his smile. And his blue eyes. And in fanon he’s a sex god. Compared to the other guys, he listens more than he talks about music in interviews- literally there are some where you can see him glancing in the other direction chewing gum maybe thinking Christ, I Hate Interviews, or composing grocery lists in his head, idk, while the interviewer chats with everyone else- and I get the feeling he's a little more reserved, maybe harder to get to know than the other guys.

His sense of humor seems to run to the dry with a hidden edge, but he deeeeefinitely has a dorky, hilarious side to him- witness this video toward the end when he tells the story about the firework bomb and the stripper with the German Shepherd, or this one where he talks about making out at Taco Bell. Good times. He's not so obvious about it, but he might actually be the funniest member of the band.

Even though he's the youngest member of Panic, Spencer is generally characterized as the most responsible one, the caretaker of the band who knows Ryan better than anyone and a general force of getting shit done that needs to get done. (If there is a Panic mom, it's Spencer.) He's also fanonically reported to be an opinionated, occasionally surly control freak with a grade-A bitch face and a fierce streak of love for the people he cares about. I love bitchy fierce Spencer; he's the sort of guy who can be magically intimidating even while wearing a pink tee with a unicorn on it. Also, he really likes shoes. This is adorable. Spencerrrrr Smith.


Jon Walker:
(bassist)



Jon Walker is pretty much the rad-est guy ever. You've never met him, but you probably want to hang out with him anyway, trust me. He's adorable- he has pets, he likes cats! he’d rather have a drink than not have a drink!- and he just reads like a sweet, laid back, flip-flop-clad dude who gets along with everyone. Jwalk was hailed as the Real Boy of Panic when he joined- after their original bassist Brent was fired- possibly because he dressed more like a norm than any of the rest of them- yes I’m looking at you, Brendon with your lavender hoodie and girl jeans, and you, Ryan with your hipster cowboy wardrobe. Jon's hilarious, has a very dickish sense of humor, and can be just as much of a dork as anyone else in the group (except for Brendon, I don't think anyone is more of a dork than Brendon Urie, ever). Jon used to write blog entries on the band's site fanboying stuff like Final Fantasy and the OC. I'm trying to come up with ways in which he is not amazing, and I'm coming up blank. Maybe Jon is like a bro version of Mary Sue come to life, IDK. He probably just appeared in a cloud of awesome and maybe pot smoke.

In the post-split world though there are some people who think he's a passive aggressive douche who won't stop tweeting pictures of clouds and his cats, and why is he writing ~deep songs about growing beards lol are you kidding me? And have complicated, changeable feelings about him. I'll leave it up to you to make up your mind on that.

Jon used to work at a Starbucks and he takes photographs. You'll see that pop up in fic a lot. Jon is also seen as a sort of mellowing, easy-going force in the band. Even though he's laid back sometimes to the point of passiveness, he does take music seriously. Even now, it just comes off in everything that he sincerely loves what he gets to do.


Other Folks



Zack Hall:
(nanny)



Band security/general minding/long-suffering. Pete Wentz himself described Zack as "Panic's nanny" as yeah, it's accurate. He's the person who gets shit done, gets them places on time, sometimes carries them around, and keeps them from being stupid as much as a person is able (except when doesn't). He is for the most part pretty good to the fans, and is the creator of the infamous "Don't Be Creepy" speech for meet and greets, because well, Panic fans can be creepy. I think he has a Brendon Urie/fangirl proximity alarm, and also superhero-like powers at plucking Brendon out of the crowd when he stage dives.



Dallon Weekes
(touring? bassist)



Former frontman of the underrated but excellent indie band The Brobecks, Dallon joined Panic for their post-split 2009 tour with Blink-182 and just stayed. He's tall, he's pretty, and he's also the biggest troll in the world. I'm pretty sure he has a tumblr, judging from the random internet links that wash up on his twitter. He has a lovely wife, Breezy. Some people don't care for him, possibly due to him replacing Jon, possibly due to his ever stubborn irreverence in the face of fan wank, or whatever, but on the whole I enjoy him a great deal. (Note that he and Ian are not officially members of Panic, but they've been with them for 2+ years now so for all intents and purposes...)



Ian Crawford
(touring? guitarist)



Panic's replacement guitarist, Ian is an adorable hobbit of creature who is too cute to live. He's something of a guitar prodigy, and has been playing professionally since he was 16 I think. (No really, he can SHRED.) He used to be in FBR's baby band The Cab. Basically he's adorable and perfect and impossible for anyone to dislike, so please try and let me know how that works out for you.



The Divorce


So as you perhaps already know and as I have already alluded to, in 2009 Panic At The Disco as we knew them (Panic 2.0, as Panic 1.0 means Brent) split up because of musical/creative differences, with Brendon and Spencer staying in Panic and Ryan and Jon forming a different band, The Young Veins (also called TYV in shorthand). Panic divorce fic is a popular one in recent times, with different takes on how amicable/ugly/heartrendingly sad the whole thing ultimately was.

And then in December of 2010 there was a divorce within a divorce when, Jon announced on his twitter (possibly without talking to his bandmates first) that The Young Veins are/have been on hiatus. If you're new around here, that means they're probably done.

Jon has released some home recordings, including one song all about him growing a beard- called, you guessed it, Growing a Beard. For now he's going solo, and has even started touring a little on his own. Ryan has since written a song about the Super Bowl that was almost as much of a mindfuck as Pretty.Odd. was to the fandom, and is apparently playing guitar now with a Les Wampas, a "punkrock/psychedelic band" from Belgium. IDEK either okay. Every time he tweets I'm just glad he's still alive and hasn't managed to do some accidental desperate outrage to himself while eating a ketchup sandwich.

On the other side of things, Brendon and Spencer released a record by themselves. They (and Ian and Dallon) all seem very happy being in a band together- Brendon has said repeatedly at shows that he's lucky to be in a band with his "best friends"- and for the most part fandom agrees. There are still people who want Ryan and Jon to come back, and I suppose there will probably always be moments of weirdness in hearing those oh-so-distinctive (and sometimes fairly personal) Ryan Ross lyrics performed without Ryan Ross. (Though I don't think Ryan gives two shits, personally.)

But it's worth noting that Panic 3.0 can inspire some pretty complicated feelings in fans- especially those (unlike me) who were around before the break up- where it's hard to tell whether you want to puke rainbows all over the place or cry or attempt both at the same time. I prefer loving everybody and channeling my Panic fan angst into perpetual sadness that Ryan and Spencer aren't BFFs anymore.

And despite all the drama, it seems now that Ryan and Jon are still friendly with Brendon and Spencer and each other, which is something.



The Music


A Fever That You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)



Their first album, recorded in Maryland after they all finished high school and Ryan dropped out of college as a freshman. This album still has Brent on bass, but shortly after the band had to fire him (ie Spencer did it, of course Spencer did it) but no one really cares about him anyway because enter Jwalk, hi. With Fever you’re looking at stuff in the usual unusual pop punk tradition, with some dance synth stuff in there and a gothic-lite edge to it. The songs all have concise titles like Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off or That Time Ryan's Girlfriend Cheated On Him And He Wrote A Song About His Mainpain.

The main thing that sets this album apart from other similar bands is that it does draw musically from a lot of different influences. Oh, and the lyrics, which, love ‘em or hate ‘em, are pure teenage Ryan Ross. As I said before this shit is dense, eloquent, and crammed with phrases like “a sense of poise and rationality” and “wonderful caricature of intimacy.” Fever reads like Ryro's poetry journal, full of 18 year old conviction, set to a hard and sometimes furious dancey soundtrack. This album has actually grown on me a lot from the first time I heard it when it was released.

Something you might see in fic, shortly after Jon joined there was NRWC, aka the Nothing Rhymes With Circus tour, where all dressed up like a crazy gay vaudeville troupe, IDK. Amazing. Soon thereafter Jwalk joined up formally and the band went to a cabin (the infamous pornocabin) to write the second album. A few songs came out of it- it was going to be a wolf musical? I have no clue. But they eventually decided they didn’t like the direction of the new material- so hard to produce quality music when you’re all fucking in a pornocabin I guess- and scrapped most of it, eventually going on to make Pretty. Odd.



Pretty. Odd. (2008)



Pretty. Odd. sounds nothing like Fever. The standard thing to say about it is that it sounds like Panic ripping off the Beatles. IT WAS A TOTAL MINDFUCK TO THE FANDOM WHEN IT DROPPED. There’s a lot of new stuff going on there, and it's definitely a more mature album. It's clearly inspired by the music of the late 60s, with a softer, more orchestrated sound and loads of dreamy and flowery (ie stoner) imagery. Jon evidently collaborated with Ryan on a lot of songs, which considering how The Young Veins sound, is perhaps obvious progression on reflection. Brendon also wrote two of the songs on Pretty. Odd., including the never-skippable-in-iTunes Folkin' Around.

It is not an instantly accessible work, fair warning, especially if you're coming to it with a set of expectations from Fever. It might take a few listens before it really sinks in, but I think it's worth it. The longer I'm in Panic fandom the more it grows on me and really it's just a beautiful beautiful album.

Most people either like one album or the other- that, or they say fuck the music, I’m here for the porn- which is totally valid. I appreciate both, depends on my mood.


Take a Vacation! By The Young Veins (2009)



If Pretty. Odd. could be called a modern exploration of the Beatles, this album reaches even further back, like some fascinating meld of the Kinks and California surfer rock of the 60s. It manages to transcend simple retro pastiche, though, and I actually love Take a Vacation a lot. Probably if I had to pick one of the three albums up here to listen to in a more everyday background noise way, I’d choose this one. It’s a lot more relaxed and accessible lyrically (some would say woefully lacking in complex eloquence) than anything Ryan Ross ever wrote previously. It feels clearer to me as an album than Pretty. Odd., but it's also missing something of Fever and P.O.'s ambition and imagination.



New Perspective (2009)


This is from the music video for the song. I'm just going to leave it here.

This was the only single we had from Panic since the split until Vices and Virtues was finally released, featured on the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack. I dig this song. Its sounds a lot more like Fever-era Panic (something Brendon and Spencer have admitted that they plan or returning to somewhat), with more pop polish and without the arguable stumbling block of Fever’s wordiness. (Fun fact: that clicking noise in the beginning of the song was Brendon taking a bong hit in the studio that got recorded and put in there. Trololo band of stoners.)

It’s also called the blow job song thanks to the oft repeated line of “can we fast forward to go down on me.” Interesting note with all the beeej references lying around? Is that Brendon claims the song was inspired by a crazy dream he had where he moved to L.A. and Spencer was there, or Ryan. You can connect those two dots yourself depending on your shipping preference.

Before Brendon and Spencer released a new Panic album, New Perspective was all the fandom had to go on from just the two for them for a while- and if you held up any of TYV’s songs to it you could tell these guys had no business being in the same band together, sadly, and that the musical differences cited in the breakup weren’t bullshit. (No, really sadly.)



Vices and Virtues (2011)



The long awaited, often expected album from just Brendon and Spencer. (Spencer did drums and percussion, Brendon did...every thing else on the album because he's Brendon Urie and he can do that.) While not without its own musical surprises Vices and Virtues is definitely a more straight up pop rock album than the other ones. Another big change, since Brendon wrote the lyrics instead of Ryan, they're far more straightforward than anything Ryan Ross ever penned. (In Panic, anyway.) I believe one person described V&V as Brendon: HAS A LOT OF FEELINGS and Spencer: I'M GONNA DRUM.

In my opinion V&V is a stupidly catchy and listenable pop album that I really do love to pieces and I'm really proud of the two of them for doing it alone and doing it together. Also, if you're going to give it a listen, don't forget the 6 bonus tracks, which are all swell.


Anyway, maybe you're sitting here thinking to yourself, "Blahblahblah music, WHEN DO WE GET TO THE PORN?" Let’s move on to the pairings.


Pairings


The thing about PATD pairings is that literally if you want photographic evidence of any one of them all being all over each other, you can find it. If you want evidence of any one of them being dorks and making each other laugh, you can find it. Even if you just want eyefucking pictures, you can find them. There’s a reason why there’s a metric fuckton of Panic GSF fic, it’s because they’re all kind of adorable together. Seriously, sometimes I don’t pay attention to headers and I’ll be in the middle of a fic before I realize that it’s a different pairing than I thought and I didn’t notice because they all just love each other that much but then I shrug and keep going.


Aww, boys. ♥


Brendon/Ryan


The most amazing part of this photo is that Ryan Ross' infamous gaymo red rose vest is not remotely the gayest thing pictured.

In the beginning, there was Brendon and Ryan, aka Ryden. It’s pretty easy to see why. The two of them clearly went to the Velvet Goldmine school of stage gay. The band actually became well-known for the rumors about Brendon and Ryan, and they used to get asked about it in interviews all the time. In one I think Spencer’s/Jon’s response was something like, Even if they were, why should it matter? And then, "They might be." *silence*

Just check out this picspam, serious. You can see a few things there, namely Brendon being all over Ryan all the time. The two of them would also probably be a somewhat volatile couple, but adorable, with Brendon getting under Ryan’s skin and being all HI I LOVE YOU while Ryan’s all, “Fine, I guess. Geez. Cool.” In a professional sense there’s something compelling about the push/pull artistic relationship they seemed to have- with Ryan writing the songs and Brendon singing them and the two of them making music together.

There's also something so mutually raw about the both of them, sometimes, which can either be exactly why they work or exactly why they don't. In fic their dynamic sometimes can translate as Brendon loving and hero-worshipping Ryan but being a bit of a hot mess, while Ryan loves him back but is also over there sleeping with lots of scene girls and being co-dependent with Spencer.

But sometimes they're just fucking awesome:



And Spencer gets a lot of FML time in:


Spencer Smith, your hate is delicious.

I will say, while I’m on the Brendon/Spencer train these days, unlike any other pairing here I totally tinhattedly believe that Brendon and Ryan fucked around at least back in the day. (ETA: This primer by whisperdlullaby is worth reading if you're interested in a really well-researched case for how not-tinhatted I might be.)


Spencer/Ryan



Even further back than the beginning, there was Spencer and Ryan. Spencer and Ryan were best friends since they were 5 and 6, respectively. Weirdly there’s not as much out there as I’d expect for them- best friends since they were kids, you think nothing ever happened there?? There are a lot of (frankly too awkward for me) pics of them out there when they’re awkward and teenaged and having sleepovers with Brendon and shit.

Still, they are known in fic to be the co-dependent, finishing-each-others-sentences, whole-conversations-in-a-single-glance kind of friends. They have a lot of history together. Ryan trusts Spencer and Spencer trusts Ryan. And probably they would do anything for each other.

I actually really love them as BFFs even if they’re not like that, and one of the saddest things for me about Panic breaking up is the two of them probably not being as close anymore. :(


JUST LOOK AT THEM. DDDDD:


Spencer/Jon


There are probably more shippy pictures out there of them, but I got distracted by the tongue.


Spencer/Jon became the less emo fandom rider to the Ryden pairing, brought together by their mutual ability to grow a beard. Or something. No, they’re super cute, though I personally don’t feel much of an OTP spark there.

In fic you often see them as Spencer being a bit more cautious and standoffish and Jon taking him down with the sheer force of his awesome like a particularly chill lion on the Serengeti. Fic often plays Jon’s somewhat lackadaisical nature off of Spencer’s anal retentiveness to comedic effect. They can also be adorably quietly awesome and domestic and precious.

You should definitely watch this video if you like them, it’s hilarious, featuring the Spencer Censor:


Spencer Smith, ILU. So does Jon.


Brendon/Jon



Brendon/Jon is another smaller Panic pairing. I find them fairly adorable. Jon and Bden are both super dorky, and legend has it when they met for the the first time, they sang the entire Aladdin soundtrack at each other. Seriously. (And thanks to zabira for the link to that video! There's a lot of good stuff there, with Jwalk being hilarious and awesome, but the Aladdin bit is around 4:57.)

If they were dating I’m pretty sure people would come up to Jon all the time being all, “Damn, what’s up with your boyfriend, he’s ridiculous.” And Jon would just shrug and smile because he thinks Brendon’s amazing and cool and that shit is mutual so there. <3


Brendon/Ryan/Spencer



They’re definitely a bit of an OT3 here, what with being the original three members of the band. (Jon, it should be noted, has a very lovely wife Cassie IRL, so don’t feel too bad about leaving him out.) There’s a bunch of fic where one iteration of this pairing brings in the third, and personally I can believe that since all three of them have some sort of history with each other and OT3 is a natural extension of that. Or maybe it goes something like this:



Ryan/Jon



Stoner love. I've always thought that Ryan and Jon compliment each other really well. Ryan frequently can come off in fic like a bit of an artistic diva, and whether that’s true or not, Jon probably does a lot to mellow him out. I think they both can be good for each other, with Jon making Ryan calm and Ryan pushing Jon out of his more passive tendencies. You’ll find them in the background of a lot of Brendon/Spencer fic, as fandom likes to do. A lot of times the two of them are adorably shy and shuffling around each other.

Also, seriously, watch this video.



They’re high as fuck here, FYI. I’m pretty sure this is what Thursday night looks like on one of their couches. Just look at them cracking each other’s shit up. It’s adorable to me, even though they're both kind of lovable assholes. (I'm pretty sure the Aladdin line is Ryan doing an impression of Bden.) I love how Ryan keeps looking at Jon like he's trying to make Jon laugh. It's like Ryan thinks Jwalk is awesome and wants Jwalk to think he's awesome too. <333


This picture cracks me up.

Ryan and Jon were for a time clearly musical BFF, appreciating and respecting each other. They work well together, and there’s something just so cute about them both singing and playing guitar and Ryan not exactly being the lead singer of TYV because they *shared* it. Also, depending on your interpretation of events, they gave up being in a really successful band so they could run away together and make music and tour out of a van again. Or something. Sigh, Panic divorce. Obviously TYV splitting was a bit of a blow here for this ship but I still love them.


Brendon/Spencer

Anyone who's seen my delicious feed lately (sorry people in my delicious network who don't care!) might have noticed that these guys are my faaaaavorite: the oblivious failboat married boyfriends in love.




I think they're fighting over a set list or something. Booooys.

Oh, where to begin. It took me forever to write this part of the primer because I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS. Brendon/Spencer was kind of a darkhorse pairing in Bandom for a while, and yet is fairly popular these days, especially in the post-Panic world for obvious reasons.

In fic perhaps the most common way these two play out is Brendon having this huge no-so-secret (it’s Brendon) crush on Spencer and Spencer liking him back but being an oblivious idiot. Or, less frequently, Spencer all stoically pining and Brendon being an oblivious idiot. Or them both being oblivious idiots. There’s a reason they’re known as the ‘failboats in love’ ship. (Or, married boyfriends, because, well, married boyfriends.)

Spencer also seems to fall into the class of people thoroughly entertained/delighted by Brendon and all his goofy hijinks, whether it’s openly or just quietly fondly bemused- something pretty crucial if you’re going to be friends with and work with AND live with Brendon Urie. (Yeah, they lived with each other for I think about 8 months when they both moved to L.A.)

More than that, though, I like to think that Spencer has become good, maybe the best, at letting Brendon be Brendon, in that ‘love you for everything you are (even if I’m mocking the crap out of you)’ sort of way. And, as anyone who subscribes to the Brendon Urie: Bravest Little Toaster school will tell you, Brendon really could use someone to love him like that.

Really, at the end of the day, I think they both just make each other happy. (TIN HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT.)

I could gush more, but this primer's probably biased enough, so maybe you should just go look at this epic picspam. Or this hilarious picspam. Or even this one. Or you could start with some of the fic I have saved in my delicious.


Panic 2.0 GSF Fic



Do I really need to explain this? Panic mix and match, and if they’re good at squishing together on couches they’re probably good at doing that in bed as well. \o/ Gayest band ever, the end. A lot of Panic GSF fic seems to go from two pairs of them hooking up, or frequently some form of Brendon/Ryan/Spencer bringing Jon into the mix and making him feel all loved and not an outsider and stuff. OT4! HUGS *AND* DRUGS! YAY!


Brendon/Dallon



Sometimes known as 'Brallon,' they are latest pairing to become popular in the fandom, mostly due to the crazy amounts of stagegay they have going on- on a level some would say far surpasses anything Brendon and Ryan ever managed. (I tend to agree there.) For example, one time this happened and it basically killed the fandom:



Yeah. I don't even think you have to ship it to appreciate that. I haven't seen that much in the way of fic yet, but it's pretty early days!




Anyway, there you have it. Originally this primer was going to actually have a fic reccing part, but this damn thing got really long (OVER 5K WHAT) and I got tired. Seriously though, anyone who wants a pointer toward anything, just ask, I really genuinely enjoy finding fic for people. There's a reason leupagus and [personal profile] twentysomething call me Marion the Fandom Librarian.


ETA: For the record, because I am like George Lucas, I will probably keep updating/tinkering with this as time goes on and things happen and I'm still stupidly overinvested.
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merelyn: yes, that is panda from skins hugging a giant fluffy cupcake pillow. (Default)
my mom thinks i'm cool

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