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83.
Emo
Emo is a term that is short for emotive hardcore. Most people these days think that emo is strictly short for emotional, but this is false. If emo just meant emotional, wouldn’t it encompass all musical genres, because all music has emotion in it? If you only pick one thing out of this article, be it that emo stands for emotive hardcore, not just emotional.

Many kids have the complete wrong sense of what emo is. Many earlier emo bands only released their songs on vinyl, and they were distributed minimally, so the origin of emo is lost among most people. This is my attempt at tracing it back to the start, in hopes to educate you. I’m sure there is going to be a lot of important bands and years missing, but hopefully it will give you a vague idea of how it all started out.

With that said, let’s move onto the history of emotive hardcore. Heres where the term emo came from: When Minor Threat broke up in 1983, the hardcore punk scene was getting pretty stale. In 1984, Husker Du released “Zen Arcade,” which somewhat set the blueprint for emo bands to follow. This album had the rough vocals, but it had more melody, and was a bit slower than their previous works. Many people give credit to this as the first emo album.

In the spring of 1984, a band called Rites of Spring was formed, containing members of previous hardcore bands The Untouchables/Faith and Deadline. This band kept the speed and stylings of hardcore punk rock, but the vocals were a lot more emotional, and at times even broke into a throaty moan. The lyrics also strayed from politics, and took a more emotional/profound look at life. Rites of Spring gets a lot of credit for being the first emotive hardcore band. Ian Mckaye, formerly of Minor Threat, got into a band called Embrace. Definitely different than Minor Threat, Embrace took a more emotional side to the lyrics as well, and were a lot more melodic. These bands, and much of the other bands on Dischord Records are now labeled as “The Classic DC Sound.” This was the first wave of emo bands.These bands focused more on emotion, than punk rock energy. Legend has it that while Rites of Spring, or Embrace, or Moss Icon were playing a show, someone from the crowd shouted “You’re emo!” and that’s how the term got started. The show where it happened, and which bands were playing always differ with whoever you talk to, so I have no idea how true it is. Don’t take my word on it.

From there, more and more emo bands started forming around North America. Moss Icon, which formed in 1986, started the loud/soft alternating twinkly guitar parts, and crashing distortion side of emo. Indian Summer and Native Nod, who were around 1995-96 are good examples of this, and focused more on the emotional part of the music, rather than the hardcore part, but were still hardcore. Emo was now a bit broader.
Bands like Heroin(1992), Angel Hair(1997?), and Antioch Arrow(1995?) on Gravity Records focused more on the hardcore part of the genre, but were still very emo. The music is pretty chaotic, with just enough melody to pullthings through, and the vocals are usually hoarsely screamed.

1997 marks the release of Saetias fist 7” record, and the debut of level-plane records. I highly recommend that you pink Saetias “A retrospective” cd. At any rate, Level-plane records is probably the most famous emo label out there, and is still going strong today. It has released many important and influential albums, and is a huge part of todays emo scene.

A lot of bands are getting called emo by the mainstream, when in fact they are not. The term emo has leaked into the mainstream, and a lot of emo kids see this as the end of the emo scene, somewhat like what happened with punk rock, and bands like simple plan. I used that example because mainstream bands i.e. Simple Plan get called punk, when really, they’re not punk at all.

Emo is completely distorted from it’s original meaning, and the media is calling many bands that have no relevance to emo whatsoever, emo. Take Dashboard Confessional for example. Chris Carraba just plays acoustic ballads. There is nothing hardcore about it. The music may be very “emotional” and heartfelt, but even so, it is not emo. The same goes for indie bands like Death Cab For Cutie, and Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst is a brilliant songwriter, and I love his work, but again, there is nothing hardcore about his music. Another common misconception about emo, is that bands like Taking Back Sunday, and My Chemical Romance are emo. To me, these bands are strictly pop punk, although their lyrics may seem very emotional at times, but emo doesn’t stand for emotional, now does it?

Another false interpretation of emo is the term “screamo.” I’m sure you’ve all heard this rant before, but I figured that I’d include it anyways. The media has used the term for bands like Thursday, and The Used. Because people call Dashboard Confessional emo, they interpret emo as “whiny watered down music for depressed kids who cut themselves.” With that as their idea of emo, it’s no wonder that people call The Used, or any other “whiny emotional band” that screams here and there “screamo.”

With emo standing for emotive hardcore, the way I see it, screamo would stand for:Emotive hardcore + screaming, right? Wrong. Emotive hardcore contains screamed and/or whispered vocals in it already. Screamo = Emo. Just leave it at that. Even so, bands like The Used that are being labeled as “screamo” by the media aren’t emotive hardcore, so the term “screamo” is completely misused. The term “screamo” can be used for a band like orchid, although emo works just as well, but not for something like The Used.

Screamo is made up by the media to sell bands like The Used, Poison The Well, and such, to people who don’t know any better. As I said before, with people calling Dashboard Confessional emo, it’s no wonder that they call any band that screams “screamo.” Alas, this is false.

In summary, Emo stands for emotive hardcore, not emotional. Emotional lyrics do not make a band emo. Dashboard confessional, Bright Eyes, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, From Autumn To Ashes, and Atreyu are NOT emo. Screamo does not exist.
Some real emo bands are:
Rites of Spring
Indian Summer
Native Nod
Heroin
Antioch Arrow
Saetia
Orchid
Hot Cross
Transistor Transistor
City of Caterpillar
Wolfsheim
A Textbook Tragedy
Takaru
Louise Cyphre
Boa Narrow
The Mock Heroic
What Price Wonderland
Utarid
Danse Macabre
Zann
Am I Dead Yet
Dasein
Cease Upon the Capitol
June Paik
A Fine Boat That Coffin
SL-27
La Quiete
Shikari
Daitro
Yossarian Is Drowning
Raein

by Tash (by:Evan) January 08, 2006
 
1121.
emo
bunch of fucking faggotass kids who think their lives are horrible, cutting (and sometimes killing) themselves in the process. very self-centered- they need to take a better look at their lives and surroundings, especially
in a country like America.
hey emo fag, go live in a place like liberia or romania and then tell me how bad your life is.
by keelerman July 29, 2008
 
1122.
emo
A steryotype for teenagers.
Emos generally have died black hair that covers part of the face (mainly the eyes) and wear tight fitting clothes.
The word 'emo' is short for 'emotional' and generally refers to someone of roughly the above description who 'is not afraid to' express their feelings of hatred about the world. For example, a person who openly feels wonderful about society is not emo. An emo feels hard done by and skeptical about society, and some become so depressed by their own dark thoughts that they try to 'end the nightmare' and commit suicide. The most comonly thought of way of doing this is slitting their wrists.
Some emos go a step further in expresing their feelings by being open about their sexual preferences, see 'emo boy kissing' for more info.
i hate the world, therefore, i am emo.
by Tarasia December 10, 2007
 
1123.
emo
Music that is nothing short of superfake. Emos are very dark people. Oh, and they're POSERS. and they're cheesy.
emo#1)Sara, did you see... oh GOD, my heart is breaking into fragments that are so numerous they will never be put together anymore! I'm so emo that I can't see from my tears!

emo#2)I feel you. My mind is filled with endless thoughts of falling into the deep abyss of loneliness.
by rok cheecka April 17, 2007
 
1124.
emo
another word for faggot!
all emo's deserve to die
they should all kill themselves instead of just threatening to!
literally, emo's are just people who take what is another groups style and make it their own, there all wanna-be's!
i.e: emo's stole pinstripes and drainpipes from the "punk" group

if you call someone emo and they deny it, they most likely are
and if they say they dont cut themselves, there just posers!
EMO: omgzz my life is a complete fiasco!
punk: stfu emofag!
by jack-attack March 28, 2007
 
1125.
emo
emo are a bunch of douches who cut their wrists, are fucking depressed the whole damn time and like shit emo music like MCR( My Chemical Romance). And most of all, write poems.
Emo: Hey,what do you think about cutting our wrists and draw broken hearts with out blood in the wall.

(Another one of those fags)another emo: Okay, but let's doing it while we listen the awesome MRC, that way we'll go to the Black Parade when we die.
by Not Emo. June 11, 2008
 
1126.
Emo
Teenagers that really dont know what they have.
They just want to be cool like everyone else.
Emo teenagers usually think they are the sexiest thing since Chuck Norris, but they are 98.99% wrong most of the time.
Emo children not only think they are sexy, Emo children have the worst possible hair styles in all of America.
Emo children really show what the United States of America is.
Dude 1: Dude. Like. My hair. Is so short. You can see the bottom of my bottom lip...like that guy from that Emo band..
Dude 2: Dude. Seriously. Youre gay. Oh em jee. Look at what I did to my wrist this morning.
Dude 1: What you dont care about my hair?! WHY!!?? *cry*
Dude 2: Okay dude. Seriously. My parents work at McDonalds and Burger King. Your parents are neurosurgeons okay. Im only friends with you so I can get whatever I want.
Dude 1:OH EM JEE DUDE! I LOVE YOU!! WHY!!?? WHERE THE HELL IS MY RAZOR!!?? *cry* *sob*
Dude 2: Okay....
by NickTrep May 26, 2008
 
1127.
emo
young teenage children who think that attention is never theirs, so they decide that cutting themselves will be a great alternative. they decided that listening to music like fall out boy, silverstein, and panic! at the disco, will make them seem cooler to the other teens at their school. they pretend that their lives are miserable, and complain about every thing that goes on wrong in their lives and take every thing for granted. emos are usually bisexual, or gay/lesbian. very small amout of them are straight
emo boy: uggh, my mom grounded me again. she caught me out with braxten.
emo girl: ohh that sucks, wanna come over later and watch steel magnolias, and cut ourselves?
emo boy: sure, but can we also complain about our rich lives and how every body ignores us?
by crazyxxxstefxxx April 08, 2007