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In Defense of Emo Music

#1 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:47 AM

So, yeah, flamebait I know, but I've made my preference in music and fashion known before. I just thought I'd lay it out a bit more clearly. The trouble with things that are the in-thing is that people naturally avoid it if possible and stereotype it, and of course thats often a good reaction. Emo, however, shouldnt be equated with its many adherents who are idiots, since everything will have many adherents who are idiots, unless its astrophysics. I've never met an astrophysics fanboy. But I digress.

First of all, I think emo is comparable to the grunge thing in that it basically originated as a fairly small scene on a northern coastal area and then turned into a pretty big deal on the national scene. It speaks well of them that there were a bunch of bands already messing around with this concept, and that they didnt have to be manufactured after the explosion in popularity of MCR or The Used.

Another cool deal with the emo musical scene is that it is generally thought of as being a gay and female friendly scene. MCR and other bands have been actually pretty good about not objectifying women either in their music or their actions. There's a pretty well noted example of some shitty band MCR were touring with offering free tickets to girls who would show their tits, and Gerard Way telling them to fuck off.

There has been some controversy over their lyrics supposedly advocating violence towards women. Well, yeah, to an outside obeserver a LOT of their songs are basically "boy meets girl, boy kills/vampirifies girl" or something of that sort. Well, yeah that does look kind of bad, but I have to point out that it's just as often the girl killing the boy, or the boy asking the girl to kill him. Also, in at least two songs, the boy or girl is ALREADY dead and just needs to be rekilled. There are a lot of horror themes.

Which brings me to my list of the top ten good emo songs you probably don't know.

1: Vampires Will Never Hurt You by MCR: So this one is different in that its boy meets girl, boy asks girl to kill him before he turns into a vampire. From MCR's first album and full of some great creepy imagery. Also, somehow I find it romantic because I'm fucked up.

2: Hang Em High by MCR: Another movie inspired song, but this time Western influenced. Great opening, and generally solid stuff.

3: I Am The Killer by Thursday: I've met quite a people who, upon hearing this song, insist that it's actually pretty good. The only problem is that Thursday's lead singer likes to intersperse screaming the word BLAAAAAAARGH into every other line. The general beat is great though, and fairly hard.

4: Running From The Rain by Thursday: Their lead seems to have suddenly outgrown his obsession with random screaming and the results are both rhythmically and lyrically impressive. The lyrics are suggestive of some great climactic event, probably death, and the music matches that pretty well.

5: Early Sunsets Over Monroeville by MCR: So, they watched Dawn Of The Dead, listened to, I guess, unchained melody or something, and then wrote this. Guy meets girl, girl turns into zombie, guy shoots girl. The music is slower this time and once again somehow romantic. If I had a girlfriend I would certainly discuss with her a policy regarding in what situation I would expect her to execute me, and vice versa. Come to think of that maybe that's why I DONT have a girlfriend. "Hey baby, if you were turning into the walking dead, I'd totally murder your face off."

6: Wake The Dead by The Used : Nice sort of Halloween song for this time of year, and really nice guitar solo with the chorus, kind of reminiscent of Arena rock like Black Parade was but not awful.

7: Of All The Gin Joints in All The World by Hawthorne Heights: Putting aside the Casablanca reference, once again some decent lyrics and guitar work. Also, not about murder or suicide.

8: Silver Bullet by Hawthorne Heights: Sort of a mellow whiney song, but somehow also quite nice. Good sort of acoustic thing going on.

9: Desert Song by MCR: Another rather nice. Beautiful acoustic work here and great vocals. Not entirely sure what it's about so I'll just say death.

10: My Way Home Is Running Through You by MCR: It's not about death, it's about murder, possibly in a uniform, and at that point it's not even murder anymore!

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#2 User is offline   Casual Icon

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 05:03 AM

I honestly never thought you could be an emo JM. But you're right just because some emo's are drama queens it doesn't mean the scene as a whole is stupid. I'm quite partial to a few of the emo bands you listed above.
QUOTE (arien @ Jun 29 2008, 03:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So this baby, while still inside its mother, murdered his twin brother and STOLE HIS PENIS.

That is one badass baby.

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#3 User is offline   Heccubus Icon

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:41 PM

Fucking Christ, are you kidding? I stepped up to the plate long ago and tried to defend Emo and no one gave a shit. In fact, I think more people just used it as an excuse to make fun of it even more. Also, you've only addressed three bands, all three of which I wouldn't even classify as being "emo" bands. I still say for an appropriate primer on what emo music actually is, you need to deal with the following artists:
Fugazi
At The Drive-In
Hot Water Music
Rites Of Spring
Christie Front Drive
Orchid
Jimmy Eat World (specifically "Static Prevails" & "Clarity" )
Cap'n Jazz
Jawbreaker
Sunny Day Real Estate
The Promise Ring
Antioch Arrow
Texas Is The Reason
Braid
Mineral
Heroin
The Get Up Kids
Saetia

Fuck I could go on like this for pages. Emo to me, is worth exploring for the artists who came before the bullshit black-clad goth posturing and eyeliner. It's worth exploring for the magnitude of the scene that birthed the whiny little attention-seeking fashion whores that ruined the entire genre and turned it into a joke.

This post has been edited by Heccubus: 22 September 2008 - 08:48 PM

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#4 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:51 PM

Casual - Not necessarily an emo, just listen to it and dress it. There is very much to be said for classic black spliced with red.

Hec- Fawk and I missed it? Also, the 4 bands I mentioned were all frequently refered to as emo, and at least 3 of them hang around together anyhow. It could be subgenred as the Jersey scene but I'm still calling them emo for convenience.

Also, I HOPE making fun of emo has finally gone out of style after it got, well, troutkrieged for a while there. I'd consider most emo jokes to be far more lame than even the cuttingest of emos.

This post has been edited by J m HofMarN: 22 September 2008 - 08:52 PM

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I don't know about you but I have never advocated that homosexuals, for any reason, be cut out of their mother's womb and thrown into a bin.
- Deucaon toes a hard line on gay fetus rights.
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#5 User is offline   joshofalltrades Icon

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 08:04 PM

Have any of you ever listened to the Impossibles?

Fucking rad band.
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Posted 25 October 2008 - 12:53 AM

You...came into a thread about emo...to talk about a ska band?
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#7 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 02:02 AM

So, anyone heard this Elvis guy?

Hecc- these Jimmy Eat World people I've heard of, perhaps I shall experiment with the songs you reccomend from them. Although I would hardly say you were defending emo if your defense was just to say that all the popular bands equated with emo aren't emo enough. They're emo enough to say they're not emo, so that's pretty emo. Emo.

This post has been edited by J m HofMarN: 25 October 2008 - 02:06 AM

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I don't know about you but I have never advocated that homosexuals, for any reason, be cut out of their mother's womb and thrown into a bin.
- Deucaon toes a hard line on gay fetus rights.
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#8 User is offline   Heccubus Icon

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 04:03 AM

QUOTE (J m HofMarN @ Oct 25 2008, 03:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Although I would hardly say you were defending emo if your defense was just to say that all the popular bands equated with emo aren't emo enough. They're emo enough to say they're not emo, so that's pretty emo. Emo.

You didn't even read what I said. It shows.
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#9 User is offline   joshofalltrades Icon

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE (Heccubus @ Oct 25 2008, 12:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You...came into a thread about emo...to talk about a ska band?


Actually, I was living in Austin at the time the Impossibles were still together and was good friends with Rory (still am, kinda). They always resented being categorized as ska, and a lot of stuff they played live and never made it into the studio was more emo than ska.

If you want an example of the kind of stuff I'm talking about, they actually recorded some of it, but it wasn't until after they broke up and reformed as Slowreader.

But yes, I can understand why you would see them as ska and not emo.

EDIT: And I like Jimmy Eat World, too.

This post has been edited by joshofalltrades: 25 October 2008 - 08:40 AM

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 08:00 PM

Jimmy Eat World are emo? I always thought of them as more alternative than anything else.
QUOTE (arien @ Jun 29 2008, 03:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So this baby, while still inside its mother, murdered his twin brother and STOLE HIS PENIS.

That is one badass baby.

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#11 User is offline   civilian_number_two Icon

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 10:07 PM

Hecc, are you saying that there were emo bands before the black-clad posturing goth kids wearing eyeliner?

I suggest that there were not. Unless you are discounting the goth movement altogether, which is much older than emo.

Don't worry; I know what you meant to say, but boy howdy did you ever say something different.

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 12:33 AM

I have absolutely no idea where you're getting that from. I described the way they look. Which is to say that they posture themselves like goths dressed entirely in black, eyeliner, etc. In what way did I "discount the goth movement altogether"? I compared the two, I didn't rule out the latter.
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Posted 26 October 2008 - 01:37 AM

Ok Hecc, I got it from this: "Emo to me, is worth exploring for the artists who came before the bullshit black-clad goth posturing and eyeliner."

That reads like "there were good Emo artists before there was bullshit black-clad goth posturing and eyeliner." And no, there weren't. In the early days of the black-clad posturing and eyeliner, which is a post-punk look, those emo artists hadn't even been born.

Unless you mean that goth kids now also like emo bands. If that's what you mean, so what? The goth look has precious little to do with music. Like I said back in my high school days, "Goth isn't a musical style; it's a hairstyle" (I also used to like saying that if the look defined the genre, then the Cure were a Goth band, with mixed results). I don't see any reason folks who choose to dress that way and to wear makeup should lose the street cred necessary to like certain bands.

You should be aware I am not at all serious in any of this.

"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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#14 User is offline   Heccubus Icon

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 02:34 AM

I'm not saying you are, I'm trying to explain the apparent miscommunication. And I still can't understand where you're getting that insane take on what I said, particularly that last part about goth kids liking emo. Where did THAT come from? laugh.gif

I'm saying there were emo bands around before the current crop of bands labeled as such that dress like goths and went out and ruined the entire thing for everyone; my point being that if people are to be at all "educated" with regards to emo music then there are plenty of bands that are actually good and forgo the whole "whiny goth kid" image that people seem to have slapped the entire genre with nowadays.

Emo in the mid 90s:




Emo today:



(Bonus points to anyone who can name the band pictured in the first photo)
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#15 User is offline   Spann Icon

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 04:16 AM

People are forgetting Dashboard Confessional. 'The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most' is one of the most glorious albums I have ever heard.

But yeah, I don't get when all these skinny guys playing Metalcore were suddenly 'Emo' - Emo to me is bands like Jimmy Eat World, Gratitude, Dashboard, maybe even Weezer. All todays Emo kids are is goths with a different name and different haircuts.

This post has been edited by Spann: 26 October 2008 - 04:16 AM

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