Sunday, December 28, 2008

an Un-ironic yearning for Emo.

I would have been perfect as the vocalist for an Emo band. We're past the time when that is the sort of music I can play un-ironically. I love that frank, heart on the sleeve feeling. The Get Up Kids, and Saves the Day. The Rites of Spring, and Hot Water Music. I was cut out for bands like that. I have a voice that's pretty but just expressive enough to sound hurt. I have enough strife to write about. I feel things strongly enough to respond with the sort of softly voiced anger that suits Emo so well.

I even know the musical structure well enough that I could write Emo songs in my sleep. I'm so well versed in the intricacies of selling out and the value of poor recordings that I could argue purity with those guys who only listen to music on seven inch vinyl.

I was built for harmony and painful realisations regarding a lack of self worth. I was built to write songs that show how much I rely on other people for approval. I could have put all of this effort into great music rather than personal growth.

What brings all this to the fore is the music I want to listen to while up in my hometown. I want to listen to this music that whines, because I feel justified in a place like this. I have small town anger that I could have let out in the powerchords of my songs.

I was in a screamo band in highschool. This was before the tight pants and eyeliner was a must for any show goer. I was into screamo (still am) at a time when the only similarity in dress was based on practicality. I had my band shirt, hoodie and jeans, mostly because that's all I had. I was into it before it was cool. And the fact that I make that statement un-ironically is a sign of how hip I felt I was.

I'm cut out for that posturing, and for the life of sleeping on peoples couches, eating ramen noodles from a styrofoam cup, and drinking too much. I am made for a world in which my music is the only thing that gives me purpose. But it's too late now.

If I were to play something easy, that I could just fall into without challenging myself, that would still be it, Emo, with it's strong chords, and it's tendency towards self confession. Emo is simple, and to me marks a time when the troubles we were facing really didn't have much to do with the rest of the world. Emo reminds me of a time when what I did was my business, and the hole I was in wasn't one everyone else could share. It was a time where suburban middle class white males could whine about how bad their lives were, and still feel justified. It was a time when being aware of the strife of the world was all well and good, but worrying about yourself wasn't narcissism, it was just natural.

I could have done that. Dropped everything for a tour of couches and houses, and small clubs. I could have done that, having rabid fans, but not very many of them. It isn't possible now, and won't likely be ever again, but I still feel that those young men singing about girls who scorned them have something in common with me. I still love emo even though it isn't cool anymore. I still love the way it sounds, and the cheesy things about it. I un-ironically feel nostalgic for a scene I never was able to fully immerse myself in.

That simpler time is gone, and my ranting about it doesn't change that, but maybe it will remove some of the shit people give emo. Just because someone decides that their problems are important enough to sing about, doesn't make their music in valid. The sooner people realise the actual worth of good emo music, of what emo was before this popular shit took over, the better off musical history will be.

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