Tag Archives: Brokencyde

The more and more I agree with Christopher R. Weingarten

Eye Weekly has a pretty great interview with Christopher R. Weingarten, formerly of good ole’ Parts & Labor, now known most prominently for his Twitter account, 1000TimesYes.

Anyway, Weingarten has some pretty stellar things to say about the omnipresence of emo and indie in the early part of the decade, the impact of crowdsourcing on music journalism, and many more. Just take a look at what he has to say about brokeNCYDE:

What the worst records you’ve had to endure?
Well, obviously the Brokencyde record… I hate to dog on those guys because it’s kind of an internet meme to make fun of Brokencyde. And if someone pitched the idea of southern bounce beats plus screamo, I would totally say that sounds like a great idea. The only record I’ve heard that’s worse than Brokencyde is the Johnny Cash Remixed record.

Nuff said.

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brokeNCYDE leave Warped

bro1

I’m not one to usually recycle news without some sort of comment/insight (errr… at least, not on a consistent basis and based on reporting from other sites), but the following news (as reported by Aversion) certainly speaks for itself:

Much to the delight of uptight moms and punk kids alike, Brokencyde’s pulled out of the Warped Tour.

No reasons were given for the band’s departure from the last four stops on the package shoe commercial/sort-of punk festival.

I guess this is where I’d normally add some two cents to the mix, but I’m honestly a little confused by the news. Chances are something must have happened to affect one of the members of brokeNCYDE personally, which, despite any reservations one may have about scrunk/crunkcore, must be bad enough to warrant such an action and isn’t something to make fun of.

But, as of now, there’s nothing to support the following claim:

bro2

Hopefully some more info will be made available to clear up these questions…

EDIT: I knew something might be a little off about this info, as Warped Tour wrapped up yesterday… still no info about this, so unless something new comes out, put this matter aside…

Say What?

I stumbled upon this on the net: my article on scrunk. Though it wasn’t the one the Boston Phoenix published, but Oakland’s East Bay Express.

Which is all a bit odd.

I don’t necessarily mind that the paper is using my article – in fact, I’m flattered that they would choose to use it. I guess I’m more confused as to what reasoning they saw to use the piece. I’d written it for the Boston area and the Phoenix in particular. And although the article doesn’t concern a local happening, it was published almost a month ago and has been available online a few days before it was slapped onto some newsprint.

It’s just… so… odd. It’s not like wire stories haven’t existed for decades… but those tend to be for hard news stories, exported to papers that may not have the necessary funds to hire a correspondent in every section of the globe, or maybe their person just missed a story.

But this was a bit different… I find it strange that no one at the East Bay Express wrote about a fairly big annual event/didn’t want to cover it, but then went ahead and wired a full-page arts piece from another newspaper, which, considering the state of newspapers today, is actually pretty heady business… journalists fight for inches of newsprint space, and here’s my piece, something I never expected to crop up in an Oakland paper, having taken up the space that some hard working freelancer could have landed for a story just as interesting.

That’s why, to me, this is all so strange. I take pride in the existence of alternative newsweeklies. They represent what many newspapers once strived to uphold: locally-focused, indepth news stories and arts pieces, written with spry intelligence and a keen awareness for the society in which the readers are living. So why would an Oakland alt-weekly want to print the words of someone who has, well, never set foot in Oakland?

Just my perspective on this whole thing… sorry for that bit!

As I’d said about a month ago, a longer piece behind my scrunk article is due in soon… perhaps within a week! Until then, I’m going to take advantage of the new availablity of Soundcloud’s new inclusion in WordPress and… er… “treat” you to some scrunk.

brokeNCYDE – “Get Crunk”:

It Had To Happen…

I’m referring to a Get Up Kids interview featured on The Drowned In Sound website. Though it’s only been online for a matter of hours, it’s attracted a wave of attention for a rather misinterpreted quote that goes to the tune of GET UP KIDS APOLOGIZE FOR EMO on several other news sites reporting on the interview. It’s a rather brief moment in the conversation, but Get Up Kids guitarist Jim Suptic had this to say when pressed on the term “emo”:

Honestly, I don’t often think about the state of ’emo’. The punk scene we came out of and the punk scene now are completely different. It’s like glam rock now. We played the Bamboozle fests this year and we felt really out of place. I could name maybe three bands we played with. It was just a sea of neon shirts to us. If this is the world we helped create, then I apologise.

Valid points, sure enough. Surely, I tend to appreciate it when bands generally refuse to bash groups that they’ve influenced, instead taking the high road and not delving into that subject simply to not unnecessarily stir any bad blood. What’s funny about all this is that Suptic really is speaking the truth about not keeping up with the state of emo. After all, what he’s describing sounds like scrunk, a sound that’s definitely indebted to and a part of the geneology of emo, but a creation that exists unto itself.

How do I know it’s scrunk Suptic is referring to? Well, the neon shirts are a dead give away. But so is the part of his following answer:

We at least can play our instruments.

Same ole’, same ole’. But, to each his own. I never particularly liked much of the Get Up Kids stuff to begin with… I can understand the role they had in both accelerating emo’s ascent to the top of the charts and providing support for the Vagrant business model, but most of their tunes I just can’t dig. But, as Suptic reveals in the interview, they certainly do fit into the 2nd wave emo lineage:

Fugazi is the reason I am in a band today. When I was 14 I heard Fugazi and started a band the next day. We grew up on indie rock. Superchunk, Rocket from the Crypt, Sunny Day Real Estate, Cap’n Jazz. That’s the kind of stuff we were listening to when we started.

Sounds familiar. And though Superchunk and Rocket aren’t emo bands, Superchunk is noted to have a pretty solid influence on 90s indie music, including emo (The Promise Ring anyone? That’s all Pitchfork could do when talking about TPR was to compare the two), and Rocket are a Drive Like Jehu offshoot of post-hardcore. Basically your out-of-the-ordinary ordinary roundup of influences for a second wave emo act.

This whole thing could potentially snowball into the Tim Kinsella vs Max Bemis free-for-all, though Tim had a more malicious rant against the emo acts he inspired, and Max had just as much venom when tossing insults right back. Good for Suptic for generally foregoing all the drama of attacking every band in Alternative Press and generally letting them be, even if he can’t give them credit for their music. Oh well.

The Get Up Kids – “Action & Action” (video):

VS

The Bamboozle fare… BrokeNCYDE – “40 oz” (video):

Neon Shirt

Saw the above t-shirt at Warped on Tuesday. It may just be a shirt, but nowadays fashion is oft as important – if not the important – as the music that a band chooses to define itself. In My So Called Punk, Matt Diehl notes the clashes between “emo” kids and traditional “punk” kids at Warped came out in the t-shirts they wore. Just like during the earlier part of this decade, the same thing is happening currently, but pitted between scrunk and traditional “punk” acts. There were more black punk shirts in support of traditional punk virtues – though none as straightforward anti-scrunk/crunkcore as the photo above. And they faced a host of bright, neon colored shirts from acts such as 3OH!3, brokeNCYDE, Millionaires, Jeffree Star, etc. Take a look at some of the designs below:

3OH!3 shirt. They also had a shirt that said "This is a 3OH!3 Shirt," which I wasn't sure if it was a humorous send up of the "This Is Not A Fugazi Shirt" or not

 

brokeNCYDE shirt. Their crowns, when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

brokeNCYDE shirt. Their "crowns," when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

Even check out the Babycakes shirt, which screams (pardon the pun… or play on the situation) scrunk:

Anyway, that was an interesting aspect of Warped I took notice of.

As another aside, while stopping by the Vagrant merch tent on Tuesday, I noticed the tip sign by the guy running the tent. Most tip signs usually have some gaudy or humorous note to get people to drop a buck. The Vagrant guy’s merely asked people to donate to fly his girlfriend out to Warped. In many ways, this image (and I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but the weather was really hit-or-miss, and this was a miss moment) is perfectly representative of Vagrant’s take on emo: there’s a clean cut guy with a simple message trying to get his significant other to come accompany him on a big event for the summer. And the guy was nice to boot and quite enthusiastic about their selection of $5 Dashboard Confessional albums. Couldn’t have been a more perfect match. Needless to say I dropped a buck.

That’s all for now… check in to Bostonist in the late morning, as the Warped piece should be online at that point.

Scoop?

Well, I haven’t gotten out to Warped just yet, but even so, it seems that I got the jump on the New York Times with my piece on the whole scrunk thing for The Phoenix.

Ok, perhaps that’s a huuuuuge overstatement, but Jon Caramanica did notice the combination of electronics and screamo as sure as I did:

Each summer the Warped Tour traverses the country, surviving through big-tent optimism and style agnosticism. A few years ago it was selling emo, and after that, screamo. But 2009 will be remembered as the year the Warped Tour transmogrified into a rave.

Well that should certainly prove something to the kids commenting on my article on Jason Tate’s AbsolutePunk blog that I’m not the only one who can see an aesthetic realm where Attack Attack and brokeNCYDE coexist as peers.

Gonna check out Warped on Tuesday… I’ll be interested to see how Massachusetts kids react to bands like Millionaires, who (according to the Times article) got quite a trashing.

Also, I apologize for a bit of a lag on many writing fronts as of late (especially with America Is Just A Word). Summer has finally hit New England and I’ve taken to a bit of relaxation here and there. But, I shall continue onwards soon enough!

A Brief Scribe on Scrunk

The behind-the-scenes (or rather, behind-my-thoughts) on the Boston Phoenix piece I did on scrunk and Warped Tour is still to come, but consider this a little preview. A lots been said online since the piece went on the net about scrunk/crunkcore and its impact on Warped Tour, which isn’t to say that my article caused these comments (that would be a tall tale), but it’s certainly part of the ripple effect since the announcement that bands like brokeNCYDE and Millionaires.

I’ll discuss a chunk of that soon, but I think the most audacious claim is that the music of kids today is worse than yesterday. To hear “punks” say something like that is more than a bit odd and even counter-intuitive, making these folks appear no better than the old rock dinosaurs and their fans that helped spawn punk in the first place. Whatever you may think of Warped Tour, put that aside for the moment. True be it, the sheer number and impact of scrunk acts on the tour this year is more than noticeable, which is the reason I wrote the article in the first place. But, these bands are not a reflection of all of “kids today and their music,” or even Warped Tour for that matter. As of now, these bands currently fill a simple niche, that being a combination of being in the limelight, riding the tipping point of a trend in mainstream, teenaged alterna-rock, and yes, “controversy,” for whatever that word means nowadays in this context (I honestly think that, at this point, these bands words may be offensive and their music rather tasteless, but their actual existence is hardly controversial). And so, because of their infamy, many of these bands are highly regarded as the epitome of why music today sucks.

And to that, I call bullshit. Since the dawn of time when humans found rhythm, there were countless individuals who followed in the paths of those who could morph these sounds into art. And a lot of the followers created stuff that is hardly up to muster. I hardly know the history of music in humanity because I wasn’t alive at the dawn of time, but simply looking at recent musical history, how many shitty bands and musicians tried ripping off everyone from Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Elvis, The Beatles, Ray Charles, The Sex Pistols, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Prince, Metallica, Public Enemy, Fugazi, Nirvana, Liz Phair, Nine Inch Nails, The Fugees,Notorious BIG, Green Day, Moby, Ani DiFranco… hell, even any big-hit internet sensation today, far be it that they extend past their net-worth 15 minutes. Because for every Nirvana, you’ve got a Creed. And for every Creed, you’ve got a Nickelback. So to say that a band like brokeNCYDE shows why the music today sucks is not fair to brokeNCYDE (their music isn’t really deserving of that kind of responsibility) nor is it fair to youth or music fans. It’s a conceit that just pleases music fans who’ve decided to tune out on what is going on with people who are making music today and not make them feel bad for missing out, all the while claiming they were alive for the best music ever.

It’s all false.

If you want to talk Warped Tour, fine, let’s go ahead and do it. I’m particularly excited about Warped Tour this year because the more “fringe” acts may easily upstage those acts on the bigger stages. For the “punk is dead folks,” there are the NOFXs and Less Than Jakes to go around: those bands will never stop playing Warped, so please stop complaining about how Warped has “totally changed for the worse,” because the older acts are some of the highly considered groups on tour. 

But look elsewhere and you’ll find some really fantastic acts. Like P.O.S., who has really grown into his skin and rhymes to craft some of the best hip-hop in the past decade and puts on one hell of a show. Or Gallows, the UK hardcore band that took that country by storm for bringing passionate performance back to punk, on record and in concert. Hell, there’s even Shooter Jennings on tap this year, and his Southern country might be the most abrasive sound to a young “punk” on Warped. Considering punk is supposed to embrace anything that challenges the usual rock norms, the inclusion of these acts brings some heft and yes, cred, to Warped. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

So feel free and go ahead and bash the “music of today” for being shitty, but your scope will be fairly close-minded. True, I focused on a particularly insidious trend on Warped, but that’s because I was drawn to the “genre” and its mere existence to begin with and that inspired me to write the article. The idea to write a piece on the “non” “punk” acts would be a little odd simply because there’s a healthy dose of diverse genres and trends every year – hell, that’s what I look forward to catching if I check out Warped on a particular year. But the meteoric rise of scrunk really caught my eye/ear, and I felt it reflected a particular takeover of a chunk of Warped that hasn’t been experienced since the summer of 2004. The rest of it is merely a continuation of what Warped has excelled at: provide a mix of old and out-there acts among the trendy thing for 13-22 year olds.

Anyway, now I’m going into all sorts of odd directions and getting off the beaten path… I’ll be sure to cover some of this stuff a little more in due time.

In the meantime, below is the new video for the P.O.S. song “Purexed” (a highlight from his new album, Never Better), and a pdf of the scrunk article, which is in the Phoenix that hit newsstands a few hours ago. Enjoy.

P.O.S. – “Purexed”:

Scrunk Happens:

*Sorry it’s soo teeny, but I think you get the picture (as it were)