Tag Archives: scrunk

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.

Kids Today

What is happening to the youth of today/tomorrow?

They say drugs have a negative impact on children; that video games and TV brainwash them; that violent movies desensitize them; that sexually explicit music cause them to do bad things. But does anyone blame the parents?!?!

R&Bemo?

It seems that the Seattle Times‘ Andrew Matson has stumbled upon the formula that came to fruition in popular culture a bit over half a decade ago:

“random genre/culture/thing/idea/word” + “emo” = combination of the former two concepts!

Back when emo first really hit it big, it seems everyone was trying hard to configure the term with, oh, just about every other term out there for a while, such as emo rap. (Curiously enough, this was the same thing that occurred within post-hardcore punk communities in the mid-80s which begat the term emo.) There’s no question that this equation has yet to cease, but it’s certainly faded as a large chunk of the media limelight has hoped the “indie” bandwagon.

However, in a recent piece on the musician Drake, Matson doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that he’s making pointed calculations to his audience. It’s all in the title:

R&B + emo = R&Bemo | Drake – “Successful”

So, what exactly defines R&Bemo?

“Successful” takes place in the most gothic of R&B batcaves. Vocals waft in, fade out, and a sparsely decorated hiphop beat is revealed. Snare and bass hits echo. A lone synth’s electro-organ warble is a single candle. The music is beautiful.

The music is also Drizzy’s cold, cold soul.

Mmm… sounds a lot like… well, R&B, potentially sans the echo. Also, “Drizzy?” Really?

Matson continues:

From the very beginning, “Successful” is broody and forlorn, a perfect example of the new R&Bemo (R&B + emo), a mini-movement in contemporary rap and R&B.

The new R&Bemo is different than singing the blues. It’s post-that. The blues is direct; it’s crying. The new R&Bemo is also about pain, but it’s post-crying. The new R&Bemo is psychiatric. It’s picking up where Prince’s “When Doves Cry” left off, marrying minor-key pop jams to lyrics that show an awareness not only of one’s own pathologies and neuroses, but potential causes and fixes. For the latter, the new R&Bemo is psychopharmacological. It’s about drinking, driving, smoking, spending, having sex, and sing-rapping your way through this crazy life.

At this point, it seems that the “R&Bemo movement” sounds a lot like, say, the new Kanye West album (and the oft-incorrectly attributed connotation to emo). (And I’m not entirely sure what Matson implies with the term “post-crying,” but isn’t the performance of music, blues especially, a means of psychologically dealing with one’s pain?)

It’s not just that Matson’s description makes Drake and 808s sound similar. They sound similar too. Take a listen…

Drake – “Successful”:

Kanye West – “Love Lockdown”:

All Drake needs is a little more autotune and a more grandoise fashion sense…

I’m not one to deny that this exists or to say “shame on you” to Matson for his emo mathematics after I’d put together heapings of words dedicated to scrunk. (After all, my Phoenix article was also up front about screamo + crunk = scrunk.) And I’m not one who’s well versed in the modern R&B world… I couldn’t have told you who Drake was before reading this piece. But, until someone shows me a handful of artists aside from Drake and Kanye who are making minimalist electronic beats to be crooned over – R&B style – and derive some musical inspiration from any, and I mean any, emo artist (ilk included), I just find this whole term, well, kind of odd. But, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open.

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”:

Umm… What?

Rolling Stone, you take the cake:

…so we can pretty much pin the entire state of emo at this point on Minor Threat.

Why do I even bother? Do the folks at RS even know what music is anymore? They’re probably too busy catching up with The Beatles circa 1966 to even try to recognize what music is being made now, never mind back in ’82.

This news byte by Daniel Kreps landed on the site about a half hour ago and references yesterday’s Drowned In Sound interview with Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids. Obviously, this is a little side snipe that is supposed to be funny, but considering the entire article is based off of a snippet from another interview, there’s no stopping the nitpicking on this one.

Because it’s not just that one sentence that display’s RS‘s inability to perform as the kind of magazine it advertises itself as, it’s the entire article. The entire article is based off of another person’s hard interviewing skills, and the fact that Rolling Stone merely ripped off a few questions from that person’s interview (and it may have taken a lot to get that out of Suptic), made it the basis for a big news article, AND STILL CONSIDERS ITSELF THE TOP OF THE MUSIC JOURNALISM HEAP is absolutely ridiculous. Sure enough, I wrote an entire post based on the same responses, but I don’t pretend to be the source of important music information today. And, I beat RS to it to boot.

And as for Kreps, the auteur of this fine piece of RS BS? The one who insinuates that Minor Threat is the reason emo sucks today, simply because Suptic referenced Fugazi as an influence and Ian MacKaye was in both bands? (As an aside, I’m sure Suptic would have something to say about Kreps’ idiotic pandering.) Well, who knows much about him, but, if this happens to be his Twitter account, the following isn’t unsurprising:

dktw

Is the “bio” comedy through Irony? If it is, I can’t say that I entirely get it.

Minor Threat – “Filler” (live):

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):