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Old 05-16-2007, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My take on the corporate whoring of emo.

This was taken from the Emo Bands group on facebook, where I spent an hour of my time writing this 1000 word essay.

None of the bands on this list are actually emo bands. The sad thing is I would at least expect Thursday on the list (do they not get MTV/Fuse exposure anymore), because at least back when they started they were playing basment shows with bands like You and I (you know, real emo/screamo?), and were influenced as such.

The truth is, you have a list of a lot of alt-rock bands who have a bad screamer and some post-hardcore influence thrown in the mix. You have nu-metal bands on their too.

I'm just going to tell you where the confusion probably started that totally turned this genre upside-down and into a trendy corporate mechanism:

First a little background - Way back in the 80s (a lot of you probably weren't even alive, I was barely) in the flourishing DC hardcore scene, a couple bands by the names of Rites of Spring and Embrace (Husker Du is a possibility depending on who you ask) turned away from the traditional hardcore scene. By instilling more dynamic song structures along with more passionate vocals driven melody driven guitar lines, they created a branch of off hardcore (originally called emotive hardcore punk). Several acts followed, some major ones being Indian Summer, Moss Icon, and Mineral. This created a new, less popular scene (many of the true hardcore punk fans didn't respect the budding genre as much due to it's somewhat softer side). Ian MacKay (of Minor Threat), started a band called Fugazi at the turn of the 90s, which essentially created the post-hardcore genre. This is where emotive hardcore essential took two paths.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One the one hand, you had some true hardcore fans that considered themselves punkers through and through (bands like Angel Hair), who brought the emo influence into their (now less punk, more jun juns) hardcore music. These bands used screamed vocal approached and heavier riffs along with varied dynamics to create the genre know as screamo. A vast majority of bands of current bands that still stick to these emo roots would now be considered screamo. A few names to check out would be - La Quiete, Funeral Diner, Welcome the Plague Year, Amanda Woodward, Ampere, Pg.99, With Horses In Her Eyes, and Circle Takes the Square. Now back to the 90s. Another groups of bands decided to take what Ian MacKay had done, and combine it with the emotive hardcore to create a softer, more melodic sound. This created what was essentially the indie-emo genre. Some bands that originally made this transition were Cap'n Jazz (Davey von Bohlen later started The Promise Ring), Sunny Day Real Estate, and The Get-Up Kids. *Note: My knowledge of indie-emo really starts dropping off at this point. Several mid-90s bands (and musicians) that gained fame in early 2000s were strongly influenced by this genre spinoff (Jimmy Eat World, John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday, Max Bemis of Say Anything... although they are more recent), drawing influence to create a more alt-rock (inherently more popular in the late 90s with bands like Third Eye Blind and Eve 6) inspired sound, while still drawing some influence from the indie/post-emo bands that came before them.

Last edited by A_Perfect_Sonnet; 05-17-2007 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is where the media took over. When bands like Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, etcetera, started hitting the big time and putting out records - Taking Back Sunday and Thursday especially (thanks to Victory, who have a knack for whoring out bands and mislabeling everything under the sun in regards to music) - the media saw they were influenced by these older acts, yet somehow misunderstood them emo sounds, labeling those bands themselves to be emo. I believe it's safe to say the people who did this never looked into what emo actually was, otherwise the conception would be totally different. Eventually fashion came into play (damn you, Rivers Cumono) which of course was pushed onto bands to sell a different style of music, or give it some flare, so to speak. What we now have to day is a totally underground emo/screamo scene where the educated seem to thrive off their obscurity, along with a hip, mall-driven Hot Topic seeking MTV/Fuse scene, where fashion and attitude have over-taken any ounce of musical ability (obvious in bands such as MCR, The Used, and Hawthorne Heights).
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A major development took place when the band screamo band Hot Cross (who has vocalist Billy Werner of Saetia - another mid 90s screamo act) was signed to Equal Vision Records (The Fall of Troy, Chiodos, Coheed and Cambria). They released an album on EV, but as far as I know it hasn't picked up much popularity among the general population.

To everyone in the group: don't tell me off, don't argue, don't piss yourselves. All the history is available if you know where to look, and I think if you were to put the pieces together you'd see my (and others) points. You can't be emo, emo is a genre of music.

You can still dress how you want. You can cut yourself, wear dark make up, write bad poetry (all the corporate fashion hype that you were so easily drawn into). You can still listen to all these bands (I personally love Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional), there's nothing wrong with any of that.

What you can't do is let yourselves remain uneducated and continue blindly following media hype and misdirection. There is nothing wrong with knowing that there is a history behind everything.

To whoever read this: thanks. Look into this list of bands (for starters):

Versoma, Cap'n Jazz, Bells On Trike, Make Me, Kite Flying Society, Piglet, Love Like... Electrocution, June Paik, Suis La Lune, Zann, Anger Is Beautiful, Dispensing of False Halos, Das Oath, Envy, Daniel Striped Tiger, The Plot to Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Devar Toi, and anything else you might run across in your search for new bands.

Broaden your tastes, and keep learning about music.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You spelled MacKaye wrong and you should probably link my site because I had the hardest time finding albums when I was first trying to get into emo.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The only response I got was.

The people in this group do have broad taste in music. I was too lazy to read the whole thing so I only read the last part.

I told him he missed the point.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice. I doubt you will get through to the majority, but if you can save even one soul it will be worth it.

Even here in Wyoming most people have the total wrong idea of what emo really is. This didn't bug me before, when I even knew MTV "emo" wasn't real emo but I didn't personally listen to real emo, but now I get annoyed when people use the term emo in a derogatory manner. Just the other day I shut down a friend of mine (kindof) who was going to research emo for a social issues paper. He thought "emos" were a threat to society. I asked him to name some emo bands, and you can guess who he named. Then I told him those were as emo as punk bands on MTV are punk. Since he at least realizes that those bands do not represent real punk, I think I was able to make an impact on him. He knows I'm into the underground music scenes and respects my opinion on that kind of stuff (I'm not sure if he should or not).

Sorry that that was pretty long and not really on topic, but there's only one other kid around here who knows about real emo music, and its nice to vent to some people who understand. Good luck with your facebook crusade thing, hopefully some kids take the time to check out those bands and learn about some great music.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was told I was retarded and that I should "get the hell out of the group pussy", even though the kid admitted to only reading the last line and basing his entire rebuttle off of it.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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lol sorry dude. You can't explain it to these people. They're closed minded and retarded.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good effort, pretty well-written article.
It's the bag of chips, they probably just weren't appetizing to the kids on Facebook.


But seriously, **** Facebook.
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