With the world set to come to an end tomorrow, what better time to look back and reminisce.
Confession: I used to be in a severely emo band. What do I mean by severely emo? I mean the whole nine yards, my friend—screamy singing, bleeding from playing your guitar too awesomely hard (read: incorrectly), lyrics that almost exclusively revolved around being romantically upset, songs named after Japanese bears…all of it.
Needless to say, I was pretty heavily invested in the whole genre in its mid-nineties heyday (post-DC-hardcore, pre-mall-emo).
So I was understandably psyched when it was announced earlier this week that one of my favorite mid-nineties emo bands, Christie Front Drive, was playing a reunion show at The Bell House in Brooklyn, a modest walk from my very front door. Now, I never thought I was the reunion type (as Maritime frontman, Davey van Bohlen, said of his former band, Cap’n Jazz in our earlier interview, “it sometimes makes sense to leave the past in the past”), but, after missing last year’s seemingly only ever possible Cap’n Jazz reunion show due to catastrophic weather, I now understand that it’s wiser to go see a potentially washed-up band from your youth than it is to possibly miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime awesome musical experience. So, long story short, I got my tickets.
But all these reunions—Cap’n Jazz in 2010, now Christie Front Drive, and soon new material from mid-west emo-sweethearts, Braid—all in this very specific, 16+-year-old genre, it got me thinking: What the hell is going on?
It also seems cause enough to post five of my favorite songs from this era. No, my old band’s not in there. What do you think I am? But enjoy…for, like, 24 more hours….
Braid • Urbana’s Too Dark
Braid is one of the many influential emo bands to spring forth from the rock-motional fertile grounds of the Chicago area and, happily, they’re set to release some brand new material soon. Plus they Tweet and shit. Crazy, right?
Cap’n Jazz • Little League
Another Chicago band that bore many, many bands to come, some awesome, some….very arty. Plus Davey van Bohlen et al started it when they were, what, five? And yes, I missed they’re only reunion. Ever. I’m sure it was terrible, right?
Christie Front Drive • Field
Whether this song has actual lyrics or not, I love it. Fingers crossed, guys.
Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start • Song Competition
Sadly, I don’t think these fellas are around anymore, but our old band happened to play a show ages ago with them, and I’ve been in love with their math-rock-y sound ever since. And yes, that was their actual name. NERDS!!!
The Promise Ring • Watertown Plank
Totally my favorite Promise Ring song ever, and I think the first one I ever heard.
Alright, now everyone grab your backpack straps and fingerpoint to the sky, in all its fiery, final, Armageddon-ridden glory.
Most emo end times ever.
(above – photo by me of the most emo mailbox ever, used for many a show flyer in the day)