Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
Last week I caught an interesting radio show during my lunch hour. The radio host was lamenting the demise of true emo rock and the rise of indie rock and alt rock. His argument was that emo rock was all about feelings and that indie rock does not have any of that passion. He says that alt rock has sold out to the point that it should stop pretending it isn’t pop rock. He was so negative and whined so much that I have decided to not link to his website. I’m not rewarding him for bad behavior.
For the most part, I think he is full of crap. This isn’t the end of music, and fighting against change is only going to give you ulcers.
There are two factors at work here: 1. Evolution of music, and 2. Growing up. Music is going to change over time. It is like a sponge, soaking up bits of everything as it meanders through the social landscape. This is also the reason why country sounds like pop rock, and why pop rock now sounds like electronica. Emo grew into indie rock and alt rock.
As the mother of a two-year-old no longer counting her 29th birthday for the first time, it has occurred to me that I’m getting older too. Songs about making eye contact across a crowded room don’t resonate with me the same way they used to do. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still enjoy the same kind of musicality, but the subject matter needs to be deeper than epic puppy love.
Elliott – Drive on to Me
Teenage angst is something I remember well, and it is a hallmark of emo rock. I spent way too much time wanted to kick and scream and rage because, dammit, I felt ways about things. (Forgive me for the inside joke. In the Futurama episode Luck of the Fryish, Fry finds his record of The Breakfast Club soundtrack. He hugs it to his chest and says, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to feel ways about things.”)
Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
Indie and alternative rock are the big brothers of emo rock. Alt rock got a hair cut, a real job, and is someone you can take home to Mom. Indie is still “keeping it real” with a job in food & beverage and a second job in social media marketing every moment of his life. I think emo rock had to grow up because the wave of kids listening to music after us were into electronica, which is the antithesis of the garage rock sounds of emo.
I enjoy discussing music, but I’m no more an expert on it than anyone else. I don’t think ten years of piano lessons qualifies me for much. However, I would like to think that if I was in a rock band, I’d be freaking good at it.
“I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.” Lady Catherine in Pride and Prejudice
As I’ve said before, music is important to me. It helps fuel my heart and my imagination, perfect for when I am struggling at the keyboard. Music reminds me of old experiences, or it can help me dream up new adventures. It always amazes me because you can say so much more with so many fewer words than it takes me to say in prose writing. /shakes fist at talented wordsmiths
A Silent Film – Danny, Dakota, and the Wishing Well
I want to write stories about this song. All the stories, then hug them to my chest and whisper to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to feel ways about things.”