What is Emo?

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โˆ™ 2011-05-22 20:33:21

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The term "Emo" applies to a music and fashion genre that is based on a music culture that formed in the 1980's and 1990's. The original roots were punk rock bands, but the term is now loosely applied to a range of alternative music styles. The fashion and behavioral aspects mirror some of the original trends, and have been described as dark, emotional, depressed, or moody. (These concepts are all quite familiar to many modern teenagers.)

The Original Emo

Emo was a kind of hardcore punk music that originated in the 80s. It was pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring, and spread to include many different sounds ranging from aggressive and discordant to mellow and melancholy. Examples of bands are Amanda Woodward, Christie Front Drive and Julia. There still are "emo" bands around, who fly the flag for the original sound.

The term fell from popularity, and was then taken up by the MTV crowd. It was first used to describe more emotional bands such as Dashboard Confessional and "Thursday", and then because used as a catch-all term for any band that plays dark, alternative, emotional music. Anything from My Chemical Romance to Jack's Mannequin has been described as emo.

People started using it to describe themselves. Nearly everyone knows or knows of an "emo kid"; they probably wear dark clothes, skinny jeans, have a haircut which covers at least part of their face, and follow the "alternative" lifestyle. Whether you respect, hate, or simply don't give a damn about "emo kids", at least have some respect for the genre, back when it was simply about making passionate, experimental music.

More on Emo

Emo is a genre of music, and a quickly emerging sub-culture. There are many stereotypes associated with this new sub-culture, including the stereotype that all emo kids are depressed, cut themselves, and are over-privileged kids who are acting out. Emo music, whether your emo or not, is very enjoyable. "Boys Like Girls" and "My Chemical Romance" are examples of bands that fit within the genre.

Emo History and Revolution Summer

Emo, or 'emotionally charged hardcore punk', is a genre of music pioneered by the '80s D.C. hardcore band "Rites of Spring". Their music was a mid-tempo version of hardcore punk that focused less on social/political issues and more on self-introspection. Alongside Rites of Spring, many other pioneering bands attempted to shift the D.C. hardcore scene from the more violent antics to the artistic values of the music they were putting forth. This phenomenon was known as "Revolution Summer". During the early 1990's a second wave of bands would emerge predominantly from what is now known as the Mid-west scene. Prominent bands include such as "Cap'n Jazz" and "Bells on Trike". This style of emo was based less on the progressive hardcore put forth by the first wavers and more on emo/pop, what one might refer to as 'indie emo'. Other important bands during this era were "Sunny Day real estate", "The Promise Ring", and "Texas is the Reason". When emo hit the mainstream in the late-90s, due to the success of such bands, the genre had become more pop-oriented and less focused on its origins. The contemporary form of emo is often dismissed by those who are fans of the original versions. Today, Emo is more closely related to pop rock or 'mall punk' than what was played in D.C. twenty years earlier.

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