Now, I may not envy Emo musically, I far prefer my angular guitar pop and skinny ties, but I really wish I’d had the belonging of the horde and the crush. Whatever tabloid idea of Emo exists in the minds of parents of today, the fact remains there are kids out there sharing this experience en mass… I was so very, very nearly there, but when I moved to London I realised I was too damn pale to look good dressed all in black. I got the music, but missed out on the make-up and androgyny.
I wrote that almost two years ago. I’ve been thinking about emo a fair bit over the last day or so, and it was triggered by thinking about the collective experience of the music. Emo’s rise coincides with the explosion of social networking, the fracturing of commodification, the emergence of micro-trends, the mainstream adoption of alt-porn tropes… Emo’s the musical centre of a pop-culture whirlwind that doesn’t really seem to have been explored much, and when it has it’s often been addressed either in dismissive or alarmist tones.
I’m still convinced there’s a positive impact at the genre’s heart, wrapped up in finding a collective social experience against the odds in a fragmentary popular culture. Brand New are ten years old now. Anyone who listened to Your Favorite Weapon on release probably never expected that.