HAPPY NATIONAL EMO DAY! … I guess join us, as we talk about emo music or whatever. Do what you want, I don’t feel good today. Today I guess we’re celebrating with a super cool person and we’re surprised he even noticed us: comedian and musician Cory Barringer (Twitter: @HunkyCory / Instagram: HunkyCory / The Kelps on Bandcamp)!! LET’S PARTY!!
History + fun facts about the holiday
- Definition and history–What exactly is emo, you ask?
- To start, Dictionary.com gives a two-part definition of emo as a noun
- 1. A type of guitar-based music developed from emocore but having a softer, pop, or mainstream sound
- 2. A fan of emo, especially a person who is overly sensitive and full of angst or adopts a certain style characterized by dyed black hair, tight t-shirts and jeans
- Wikipedia further defines Emo as “a rock music genre characterized by an emphasis on emotional expression, sometimes through confessional lyrics.”
- Urban Dictionary has over 1400 entries for the definition of emo, with the top entry outlining three applications of the word as: an emotional person, a style, and a genre of music, from user “One of the few people who will say what the labels are instead of my opinion on them” in February 2008. This was their only submission to the site
- According to NME, emo might be “music’s dirtiest word,” one that “attracts scorn like few others.”
- As a genre, It emerged as a style of post-hardcore from the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement in Washington DC, where it was known as ‘emotional or emotive hardcore’ or ‘emocore’.”
- The origin of the term itself is hard to pin down, though evidence shows that it was coined in 1985. Some attribute its birth to a 1985 Thrasher article in which Embrace and other Washington DC bands were referred to as “emo-core,” while others claim that Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye used it self-mockingly in a magazine, and yet other people give credit to an audience member at an Embrace show, who shouted as an insult that the band was “emocore.”
- Either way, the general consensus is that the term was intended as an insult from the very beginning, and none of the flagship bands wanted anything to do it
- Though The Beach Boys’ 1966 album “Pet Sounds” was labelled “the first emo album” by Treble Zine’s Ernest Simpson, the first Emo band is often cited to be Rites of Spring, ostensibly because of their lyrics, such as, “I woke up this morning with a piece of past caught in my throat/And then I choked,” from their song “For Want Of.” Apparently the members of Rites of Spring hate being called emo, though, with Guy Picciotto once saying, “I’ve never recognized ‘emo’ as a genre of music… the reason I think it’s so stupid is that–what, like the Bad Brains weren’t emotional? What–they were robots or something? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
- In 1980, Minor Threat frontman Ian Mackaye founded the Dischord record label where it signed many DC hardcore punk bands. Later on, it went on to sign MacKaye and Picciotto’s iconic band Fugazi. Fugazi were not emo, drawing in elements of hardcore, funk, and jazz instead, but they did inspire bands in the mid 90s to abandon conventional hardcore roots
- The first wave of emo took off with Revolution Summer 1985, which was an attempt deliberately sought by emo-core bands like Gray Matter, Beefeater, Dag Nasty, Soulside, and Embrace to break the limitations of hardcore punk in favor for a fresh idea of creativity. It was a social movement that challenged the initial wave of hardcore music, the attitudes of fans and bands before them, and also the image mainstream media protrayed of punks. The bands that spawned from Revolution Summer often took a stand against violence, especially at shows in the form of slamdancing, as well as standing up against the sexism of the scene.
- During the 90s, a second wave of emo began to spread out and started splintering into different subgenres, and became to be defined by an emotional intimacy between bands and their fans. According to the altpress.com article “What is Emo, Anyway? We Look at History to Define a Genre,” this is where we saw the birth of screamo, with bands like Antioch Arrow and Swing Kids.
- In Seattle, Sunny Day Real Estate drew elements of grunge and alt-rock, and were in fact often pegged as the “next Nirvana” by industry insiders before they broke up for the first time in 1995.
- Farther down the West Coast in California, Green Day, Rancid, Jawbreaker, and Weezer were exploding onto the national scene
- The emo scene was particularly prolific in the Midwest at this time, giving us bands such as The Promise Ring, Cap’n Jazz, American Football, and The Get Up Kids, as well as many of the stereotypes that continue to this day–that emo is “boy-driven, glasses-wearing, overly sensitive, overly brainy, chiming-guitar-driven college music,” according to author Andy Greenwald, who wrote “Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and EMO,” a 2003 book that explores the evolution of the emo scene and how this culture has affected its largest group, teenagers.
- According to The Chicago Reader critic Leor Galil, Midwest, or second-wave, emo was critical in transforming DC emo into “something malleable, melodic, and cathartic–its common features included cycling guitar parts, chugging bass lines, and unconventional singing that sounded like a sweet neighbor kid with no vocal training but plenty of heart.”
- The 2000s saw a third wave of emo music, and saw pop-punk and emo become inexorably intertwined. It was during this period when bands like Jimmy Eat World, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, At The Drive-In, Saves The Day, and Brand New were at their respective peaks. We also saw the likes of Atreyu, the Faint, Bright Eyes, and Coheed and Cambria. As altpress notes, “one thing about all of these bands [is that] they all sound wildly different from one another. The sonic palette of emo is widening as quickly as outside influences can be embraced.”
- With the advent of MySpace in the mid 2000s, emo blew up into a full-blown counter-culture, with groups such as Fall Out Boy, AFI, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Relient K, Plain White T’s, and Panic! At the DIsco at the forefront, giving us all the inspo to go full “mall emo.”
- Through that entire decade, emo purists were incensed, claiming that “emo” is already dead, horrified that bands like the Used and Senses Fail were being called “screamo,” and referring to their precious OG screamo bands as “skramz” instead.
- According to NME, “this is an era that countless emo purists like to reject, but it saw the genre take flight like never before.”
- The last decade has seen emo take two clear paths. There has been something of an underground revival, with many newer bands finding inspiration from emo’s second wave the 90s, while the emo acts from the mid-2000s explosion have gone on to huge pop success and transitions to other genres.
- With artists such as Lil Peep, Princess Nokia, nothing, nowhere, and Ghostmane, the next generation of emo may see the continuation of blending emo elements with hip-hop. Wherever it goes, we can surely expect the OG emo gatekeepers to keep their pearls clutched close and their tissues even closer
- The most significant update to the world of emo, as least to me, is taking place practically as we speak. The return of My Chemical Romance commences tomorrow, December 20th, at the Shrine Expo Hall In LA. The saga to this reunion has been a long and painful one. First, they stomped on the souls of emos around the world when they announced their breakup on March 22nd, 2013.
- Then in July 2016, they posted to their social media for the first time in years a video with the piano intro from “Welcome to the Black Parade,” ending with a cryptic date, “9/23/16”, which stoked hopes for a reunion announcement. It ended up being the reissue date of The Black Parade with unreleased demos.
- Next, in June of this year, Joe Jonas claimed that he saw the band was rehearsing in a New York studio space. Frank Iero sort of quashed these rumors, and a lot of people speculated that Joe Jonas may have confused Iero’s band, Frank Iero and the Future Violents, with My Chemical Romance.
- Turns out that MCR just sucked at being sneaky. They announced on Halloween 2019 that they would be performing in LA, then followed up that announcement a week later with more dates in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand for 2020
- Since the reunion announcement, Pitchfork issued a retrospective review of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, giving it an 8.2 score, describing it as “an operatic pop-rock behemoth that became an icon for outcasts.”
- To start, Dictionary.com gives a two-part definition of emo as a noun
- Criticisms and controversies (from Wikipedia)
- Emo music was blamed for the suicide of teenager Hannah Bond by the coroner at her inquest and her mother, with emo music reportedly glamorizing suicide. She had an online presence in emo forums where she discussed the “glamour” of hanging, as well as telling her parents that her self-harm was an “emo initiation ceremony.” A qualitative study showed emo respondents reporting “attitudes including high acceptance for suicidal behavior and self-injury,” and concluded, “the identification with the emo youth subculture is considered to be a factor strengthening vulnerability towards risky behaviors.”
- Emo has been criticized for being androcentrist, with Andy Greenwald citing that there are few women in emo bands and those who are have little influence on lyrical content. “Emo’s popularity and its “lonely boy’s aesthetic” have lead to a litany of one-sided songs in which men vent their fury at the women who have wronged them. Some emo bands’ lyrics disguise violent anti-women sentiments with a pop-music veneer.”
- The emo genre experienced backlash in response to its rapid growth. Some bands rejected the label for its social stigma and controversy. The backlash intensified in 2008, when anti-emo groups attacked teenagers in Mexico City, Queretaro, and Tijuana. Legislation was proposed in Russia’s Duma regulating emo websites and banning emo attire in schools and government buildings, with the subculture perceived as a “dangerous teen trend” promoting anti-social behavior, depression, social withdrawal, and suicide. In 2012, the BBC reported that Shia militias in Iraq shot or beat to death as many as 58 young Iraqi emos.
- As we know, “emo” isn’t a term only to denote a genre of music, but also a fashion statement, a lifestyle, and a collection of personality traits
- Wikipedia succinctly informs us that “emo fashion was originally clean-cut and tended towards geek chic”, with comparisons made to Fred Rogers and Buddy Holly. As emo entered the mainstream, fashion began to include skinny jeans, tight t-shirts, studded belts, converse sneakers, Vans, and black wristbands. Thick black eyeliner and black fingernails also became common, though the most ubiquitous facet of emo fashion is the hairstyle: flat, straight, usually jet-black hair with long bangs covering much of the face.
- As emo became a subculture, people who dressed in emo fashion and associated themselves with its music were known as “emo kids” or “emos”.
- An “emo kid,” according to Urban Dictionary is: A social classification that has been bastardized by scenesters, rich preps, and wannabe goths united. A true emo kid does not label him/herself as being “emo”…often this label is foisted on him or her against the alleged emo kid’s will. True emo kids listen to whatever the hell music they feel like, and it is often poetic or expressive. Emo is not a clothing style, cutting our wrists, or being a frequent buyer at Hot Topic. Those who call themselves “emo” are most likely just trying to be “scene” and have really screwed up the genre through wearing generic, borderline gothic clothing that all their sad little friends wear.”
- In other words, a “true” emo kid is someone who gatekeeps being an emo kid
- The most common Emo stereotypes, as taken from thetoptens.com, wikipedia,
- Emos hate themselves
- They self harm or are suicidal
- They’re Emo for attention
- Emos have fake cut marks
- They whine a lot
- They’re depressed
- Their poetry is bad
- Emo songs are bad
- Emos wear their mom’s makeup (pro-tip: don’t share mascara or eyeliner with anyone unless you want some attention-grabbing eye infections)
- They wear black clothing in hot weather (this is a good idea though!)
- Have spiky hair
- Only wear converse
- Their hair covers one of their eyes (sounds painful if hair is indeed spiky)
- Worship the devil
- According to National Today, emo is responsible for starting some well known trends, including
- Ear gauges, which NT describes as “the default millennial piercing option
- Social media–”Back when you couldn’t see the point in getting a Facebook page, emos were tricking out their Myspaces with glitter, animations, and their favorite songs on autoplay”
- Selfies: “Emos pioneered the art of self-photography, before phones even had a selfie camera!”
- And skinny jeans, “the official ‘00s pants style for both men and women started in the emo community first”
- HIstory of National Emo Day
- From definithing.com, “national emo day takes place on december the 19th, and is celebrated all around the world, by emo’s and non-emos alike.
It is a day for emos to celbrate their sub-culture, and for non-emos to pretend to be emo, for a day, sometimes people use the day, as an excuse tyo
National emo day
A day for the all emos to congregate together for a m-ss non-celbration, and general whine about life.
Celebrated on the 19th of december
“Oh my god… my life is like, so totally hard.”
“Yeah me too… i hate my life, like so much”
“Go to national emo day”
I mean, like. Okay, whatever, man.”
Also known as-ned
Its where you act emo, dress emo, be emo! Its always on may 4th. Its to make fun of the fake emo kids who are scene!
“Hey are you celebrating national emo day?”
“H-ll yeah i am! I cant wait to act depressed all day!”
- Now according to Uncyclopedia, National Emo Day “was created in 1927, created by a group of Christians who wanted to reach out to more people. In a desperate attempt they had 10K people sign a document stating they would created a holiday to celebrate the life of Emos. As they continued to publicize the petition to create the holiday they got little to know [sic] results so they decided to change their approach on the topic, They decided to instead of publicising it as an emo holiday to publicise it as a petition to make “Girls Gone Wild” videos for free. Within only 6 days they had achieved 10k signatures.”
- But for real, the earliest reference I could find to National Emo Day was an Urban Dictionary entry by BlackSouledBeast from December 5th, 2009, which states, and this may sound familiar, “National Emo Day takes place on December the 19th, and is celebrated all around the world, by emo’s and non-emos alike. It is a day for emos to celbrate their sub-culture, and for non-emos to pretend to be emo, for a day. Sometimes people use the day, as an excuse tyo”
- There was another UD entry from December 5th, 2009, by user Johnatronn, which stated, “a day for the all emos to congregate together for a mass non-celbration, and general whine about life. Celebrated on the 19th of December.”
- There are a grand total of 4 entries on Urban Dictionary entries for National Emo Day. The other two were added May 1st, 2018, by CRIMSON_WOLF, and June 9, 2018, by Moncricket Killer. So take that information for what it’s worth
Activities to celebrate
- Take part in our National Emo Day social media challenge, which is to post as many sad sack updates as you can throughout the day, ending each of them with the hashtag #NationalEmoDay and the 🙁 emoji
- Become emo! WikHow gives a helpful breakdown of precisely how to be an emokid.
- First, look the part and get an emo appearance.
- Start with getting “emo hair,” which usually refers to a layered haircut in which long bangs are swept and styled to one side usually held in place with mousse, hair gel, or pomade. The color is mainly natural, but sometimes “emo hair” is dyed black and sometimes features a bright highlight of blonde or other “punky” colors
- Then break out the black eyeliner and don’t be shy with it. Get your full waterlines, and don’t skimp on the corners of your eyes
- You’re also going to need nail polish, specifically black. Don’t be afraid to wear different colors or mix them
- Consider getting piercings! Snake bites in particular are a very common piercing among the emos
- Dress in emo fashion. Stock your closet with skinny jeans, hoodies, vintage t-shirts, and checked shirts that will pair great with your concert tees. Wear emo bands t-shirts, even if you’ve never seen them live
- Wear thick horn rimmed glasses, even and especially if you have perfect eyesight
- Shoes should be converse or vans. WikiHow says that you do not have to buy them new, and that’s a lie. If you don’t have an outlandish collection of limited edition high-tops and canvas slip-ons, you’re a poser and not doing emo correctly
- Accessorize with scarves, stripy socks, wristbands, studded belts, safety pins that are doing nothing, badges, and fingerless gloves.
- Embrace androgyny.
- Don’t forget to cuff your jeans, cut thumb holes into your hoodies, and be sure to own at least two items with characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Next, you have to understand Emo, so learn all about it. You’re off to a good start with this episode. Learn about the history as well as the subgenres, including emocore (Rites of Spring); post-emo indie rock/Midwest emo (Sunny Day Real Estate); Emo pop (Jimmy Eat World); screamo (Heroin); and emo rap (MC Lars).
- Understanding emo includes appreciating emo music. You can listen to the classics of the subgenres, as well as explore using music streaming services like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Pandora, Spotify, and Youtube to find less well-known emo bands.
- Develop a passion for different kinds of music. Generally speaking, all emo music has two things in common: big, sweeping, extremely melodramatic guitar-based music, either aggressive and harsh or acoustic and gentle, that contain confessional or explicitly personal lyrics, often about heartbreak and loneliness. You can listen to Death Cab for Cutie or My Chemical Romance or both (you lunatic) and still be emo.
- Learn to tell the difference between emo and other subcultures.
- Emo is a subculture that is based around music, and deals with emotions, self-expression, and self-exploration. Being emo means you understand your roots, listen to emo music, and participate in the community
- Scene is a subculture which emerged from members of the chav subculture in England experimenting with alternative fashions. It’s a mixture of several styles including emo, indie pop, rave, and punk. Scenes tend to wear brighter colors, and have teased or backcombed hair which may feature “cool tails.” Scene kids tend to listen to genres like metalcore, deathcore, and crunk core
- Goth is a subculture which emerged from the British post-punk scene in the late 70s/early 80s. Goths primarily listen to goth rock, cold wave, deathrock, and darkwave.
- And finally, participate in emo culture by going to shows, cultivating a creative persona, picking up an instrument, or making or customizing your own clothes (pins, patches, color on your shoes)
- First, look the part and get an emo appearance.
- If you don’t know where to start with your emo music adventure, you have some options. If you’re feeling brave, you could throw a dart at Wikipedia’s list of emo artists, You can get some recommendations from Rollingstone’s article “40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time”, which lists the top ten as
- 10. MCR “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)
- 9. FOB “From Under the Cork Tree” (2005)
- 8. JEW “Bleed American” (2001)
- 7. Cap’n Jazz “Burritos, Inspiration Point, For Balloon Sports…” (1995)
- 6. American Football “American Football” (1999)
- 5. Braid “Frame and Canvas” (1998)
- 4. Jawbreaker “Dear You” (1995)
- 3. The Promise Ring “Nothing Feels Good” (1997)
- 2. Rites of Spring “Rites of Spring” (1985)
- 1. Sunny Day Real Estate “Diary” (1994)
- Make sure to check out our NATIONAL EMO DAY Mixtape. This is the first one I’ve made that intentionally doesn’t have a specific listening order, though I did put them in order of their album release dates. Since I don’t know what kind of ~emotions~ you’ll be needing to connect with when you listen, I encourage you to hit shuffle and keep clicking “next” until you find your emo unicorn song.
- Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys (1966)
- For Want of by Rites of Spring (1985)
- In Circles by Sunny Day Real Estate (May 10, 1994)
- Buddy Holly by Weezer (May 10, 1994)
- Here Come the Rome Plows by Drive Like Jehu (1994)
- Red & Blue Jeans by The Promise Ring (1997)
- Napoleon Solo by At The Drive-In (1998)
- Never Meant by American Football (1999)
- At Your Funeral by Saves the Day (2001)
- The Middle by Jimmy Eat World (2001)
- A Favor House Atlantic by Coheed and Cambria (2003)
- A Decade Under the Influence by Taking Back Sunday (2004)
- Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional (2004)
- I’m Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance (2004)
- All That I’ve Got by The Used (2004)
- Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy (2005)
- Streetcar by Funeral For A Friend (2005)
- I Write Sins Not Tragedies by Panic! At The Disco (2005
- Everything is Alright by Motion City Soundtrack (2005)
- Misery Business by Paramore (2007)
- 20 Dollar Nose Bleed by Fall Out Boy (featuring Brendon Urie) (2008)
- In Exile by Thrice (2009)
- Your Eyes Are Bleeding by Princess Nokia (2018)
- Uncomfortably Numb by American Football (featuring Hayley Williams) (2019)