Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Brad Troemel recently wrote this excellent blog post about the genre of music most often referred to as "screamo" (screaming + emo -emotion) and how this particular genre has originated and thrives entirely in the suburbs of the American landscape. It's a well written discussion of the music, lyrics, and some of the reasoning for its existence. Troemel writes, "The true reason for this self-pitying, emotionally introspective type of music is boredom. The uniformity of scenery, lack of youth venues (beyond sports), and cultural stagnancy of the suburbs make for a confined existence." He contines by saying, "The solution to boredom for this generation of musicians was twofold: 1. to over exaggerate existing relationship dramas to the point of absurdity or 2. to create new, unfounded social dramas as a kind of self destruction to perpetuate the meaning of one's own existence- sort of like slapping yourself in the face to stay awake."
Having experienced a small corner of the hard-core/screamo scene in the 1990s, Troemel's writing resonated with me. I remember the frequent weekend rock shows in youth-group centers, basements, and one of our favorite venues - the "back door" (the back room of a tattoo parlor in Fort Wayne). Each show with it's own tormented/heartbroken singer, ironic t-shirts, tattooed sleves, and asymmetrical hair. How suburban.