Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yeah, I still like 90s emo, so sue me

A long time ago, before advent of the commercialized tripe that passes for emo/indie today, there was good music in the genre. It was twinkly. It was literate. It was honest. It didn't involve bad hair and unfortunate piercings. Bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Cap'n Jazz, Rainer Maria, the Get Up Kids, and American Football will forever hold a place in my heart and remind me of being a teenager (I have generously provided links to youtube videos if you're curious). Even the bands that were slightly more outliers in the genre, like the Anniversary and the Dismemberment Plan, were mind-blowing amazing. I saw the Dismemberment Plan so many times in high school and every time was brilliant. And don't even get me started on Pedro the Lion. That has pretty much been the soundtrack to the past decade of my life (not as crazy about Bazan's solo stuff though).

Anyway, I don't listen to a lot of new music. It all strikes me as a bit too ironic and/or twee, and if there's anything that's worn thin with me over the past few years it's irony and bands named after woodland animals. And don't think it's just some kind of superiority thing either, I mean I actually started to genuinely like Taylor Swift last year (She may be a lot of things, but at least she's sincere in her own way). Especially compared to bands that look like this... The only new 2012 act on that list that I like is Grimes and that's only because I refuse to watch her dumb videos (tried to get into Father John Misty, but I liked him a lot better when he was J. Tillman). And, pardon my French, but the fuck kind of look is this (this is DIIV,  apparently a hot new act in 2012)? Your irony, I cannot handle it. I did look them up on spotify, and no I don't like their music either.

So when I finally got tired of listening to Pedro the Lion and Sunny Day Real Estate for the millionth time a few months ago (mixed in with a good amount of The Weakerthans, 50s jazz, and Dead Can Dance). I thought I should see what else I could find. I was really pleasantly surprised to find that mid-western 90s style emo made a resurgence in the past few years. It hasn't really been on my radar much because I'm too busy, poor, and old (my back hurts and I don't like drunk people) to go to a lot of shows anymore. But I am really enjoying the new Joie de Vivre album for example.

Anyway, the point of this post is that The Alternative Tone blog put up a sampler of bands to look out for in 2013, and a lot of them are true to the genre and I'm really liking it. So I'm linking it here for your listening pleasure. I still need to look up a lot of these bands (I know, right? What can I say except that I'm busy writing my dissertation), but I'm particularly liking tracks 4, 19, 25 (especially this one, by football etc. Always a sucker for female vocals), and 26.


  1. Replies
    1. Good point. Some of those bands were brutally honest and amazing! Heck, I'll even throw early Smashing Pumpkins into the category of 90s awesomeness.

  2. Dude. I will NOT sue you. Who doesn't love some 90s alt-rock??!!! Pedro the Lion.... yes.

    1. Hah, you'd be amazed! I'm pretty sure someone stopped following after I posted this!


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