Tag Archives: punk

Fashion Fallout

When little kids get their first haircut, there’s usually crying involved.

When Pete Wentz gets his hair cut (or shaven?), the crying apparently stops:

Take to the messageboards, Facebook feeds, and Twitter tweets, you FOB fanatics out there!

Wentz has proven to be something of an intelligent individual in music: his lyrics have the kind of verbiage that the College Board kills for, he’s proven himself a mogul in his own little music realm, and he’s probably a lot more articulate and well read in punk than people give him credit for. (His appearance as a player in a pivotal band included in Brian Peterson’s Burning Fight, all on 90s hardcore bands, is probably stunning for many who are not up on their hardcore punk reading.) With the emo-publicity train currently has its eyes focused on Brand New, Wentz picked the perfect opportunity to get rid of a fashionable doo that’s become the target of so much scorn. With the focus no longer just on his band, he can be free to play whatever he wants and wear whatever he wants. Hopefully, this will get some kids to rethink the emo-as-purely-a-fashion-statement, because I for one cannot see Wentz changing his tunes just cause his head has less hair.

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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.

Mayday, Mayday

 

Gallows Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Gallows' Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Got back from Warped Tour a handful of hours ago. For those eager to hear what went down at the Boston date, check out Bostonist in a day or two for a review with a smattering of pics such as the one I took of Frank Carter at the start of this post.

Sure, I felt a little “old” throughout the day, but that’s not all to be chalked up to the waves of teens, some of whom are a good decade younger than me (yikes); in actuality, the constant rainfall and sheer exhaustion is what did it to me. Many individuals consider Warped Tour to be a staple of their youthful summers, and it’s wonderful that one can rely on something to be a consistent part of their experience growing up (as there is so little that one can foresee and rely on when you’re growing up). For these folks, it’s easy to see how they may feel old once they age out of the 13-19 age range that Warped founder Kevin Lyman aims at appealing to; they took every moment at the day-long festival as a wonderful part of growing up, and with each new band they’re unaware of that ends up on the main stage, it can be a little odd. Scary even. Not I’m-so-old-there-goes-my-hip type of scary, but scary that something so comforting and reliable seems to have completely changed at the drop of a pin.

So for many, it’s easy to see how the appearance of scrunk bands comes as an affront to what they’ve loved and understood Warped to be. Granted, Warped has always had a thing for including acts of all different genres and ideological backgrounds (Eminem anyone?), but this may be the first time that such hatred towards one specific act/sound is as directed as scrunk. Nu-metal had it’s bumps; so did the emo-pop wave. But scrunk bands seem to have appropriated the festival, at least in the eyes of some… because going from 0-60 in the span of a year is a sign of… well, something.

What’s so odd is seeing not the 19 or 20 year olds shocked, but the 16 year olds scared straight by the 13 year olds who fawn over Millionaires. They already seem nostalgic for a summer one year past, and that’s when you certainly can understand a kid for getting so angry at the appearance of brokeNCYDE.

I unfortunately (or fortunately? who knows) missed brokeNCYDE, but certainly made up for that by catching Millionaires, Breathe Carolina, and Attack Attack! of the scrunk stratosphere, as well as countless (literally, countless) acts that happened to be on whatever teeny stage when I swung around. Head to Bostonist soon for a full round up. Until then…

Situation On Mars: An America Is Just A Word Update

A new week, another great musician who’s words and work will be included in America Is Just A Word. Justin Pearson – currently the bassist and half of the vocal team that is grindcore/noise-rock/post-hardcore group The Locust – will be talking to me about his experience fronting the mid-90s emo/screamo/post-hardcore/whatever weirdo term is out their act Swing Kids, as well as his role as owner and part-operator of San Diego-based record label Three One G. Swing Kids were known for their manic, mathy and impossible-to-guess-what-will-happen-next take on the ferocious, caustic emo sound that was brewing in San Diego at the time. Pearson’s work in Swing Kids, The Locust and the other half-dozen-plus bands he’s operated in have really helped to challenge the constraints that emo and various other post-hardcore subgenres have fallen into today.

Recently, the Swing Kids had a couple of reunion shows in support of a handful of local charities and as part of the release celebration for Brian Peterson’s book, Burning Fight. Peterson’s book is about the continuation of hardcore past the “death” of the genre as written in American Hardcore. Soon enough, I’ll have a copy of the book in my hands; you can pick up your copy here.

Swing Kids (live):

Still Jamming Econo…

 

Mike Watts feet, on the move

Mike Watt's feet, on the move

Caught Mike Watt and the Missing Men at TTs this/last evening… quite a set and great to see a genuine punk rock legend (not to lead into paradoxical statements, just take it as you will). Considering the impact the Minutemen have had (including on emo, as the Minutemen’s DIY ideology was a shared practice in the Revolution Summer circle and even before in the harDCore scene), it’s great to see Watt remains such a genuine guy after what many would describe as a whirlwind life and musical career. He was quite an inspiration back in the day and onstage, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to see him in action…

Be on the lookout for a gig review on Bostonist in the next day or two.

The Rap on Emo Rap

P.O.S. said emo rap “sounds pretty unfortunate,” so one must wonder what Kanye West must think about the term. Sure, various blogs abound on the Internet that didn’t meet a song with any emotive content they couldn’t shake a finger at and immediately label it have tied Kayne’s newest 808s and Heartbreak and emo in twine. But what happens when XXL Magazine, the most credible source of hip-hop news next to The Source, sticks a “hello, I make emo rap” name tag squarely on Kanye’s heart-shaped patch?

 

 

Theres that heart-patch...

There's that heart-patch...

 

A feature article titled “Emo Trippin’” is published, that’s what. Sure, over half a decade after Atmosphere ignited the term around the time that emo burst into the cultural definition and no major word in XXL. But when Kanye does it… Feature article. 50 Cent can attempt to rag on Kanye all he wants, but there’s no question Mr. West continues to set and define culture in a way Fiddy can only dream of.

 

You’ve got to give XXL credit for observing a tired out genre-name that was, for all intents and purposes, a dead term, resurrected for time to time to describe acts such as Gym Class Heroes. The XXL staff do a pretty decent description as well:

 

“Emo rap—emotive hip-hop of pain and introspection, the antithesis of swagger—is now seemingly as mainstream as Main Street, suitable for serenading a new president, lucrative enough to generate bags full of dead ones.”

 

However, the connections to Coldplay and the lack-thereof of any indication to emo’s hardcore/punk roots is a bit of a misnomer for what is a well-written piece. (It was Atmosphere’s connection to underground punk, as well as the introspective notions and self-reflection within the lyrics, that had the duo receive the emo rap title.) Though, I’ll have to pick up the full article – as smart as XXL is, only a portion of the article is published online.

Nothing Nice To Say About Emo

Then (Circa early 2000s/beginning of emo’s third wave):

Emo

Emo

Now(ish) (Circa late 2007):

Bike Gang, Part XVIII

Bike Gang, Part XVIII

Mitch Clem’s punk webcomic Nothing Nice To Say is surprisingly on-point when it comes to making fun of emo. Whereas the general consensus of the term had dramatically changed within the same time frame, Clem remarks on the subtle changes within the greater stereotype and gets some good licks in. And anyone with a sense of humor and a taste for old school emo could sure get a kick out of this baby:

Frosted Blakes

Frosted Blakes

Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate jokes in the span of one panel. Nicely done.