Friday, April 14, 2006

Proof Screamo has 'Jumped the Shark'

I have an admission to make: in 2000 or 2001 Thursday's 'Full Collapse' was my favorite album that I listened to endlessly for almost a year. I was a screamo fan- it made sense- I loved hardcore music, from Youth of Today to Turning Point and Lifetime, and I also like indie music like the Smiths and the Cure. So there was nothing revolutionary about listening to a form of music that combined my two favorite genres in one preprepared musical meal. Since the heady days of the earlier naughties- I think screamo has been on a slow and steady decline as it sold out it's more authentic elements to the music industry. Screamo became marketable and lost it's truth, it's dignity and it's passion.

It's been a death of a thousand cuts but some are suggesting that screamo has finally jumped the shark. Like any genre there are bands that do screamo well, and I predict they will continue to be successful. But the foul tide of shit screamo bands has reached its highwater mark. The music industry has cannibalised yet another genre- pumped it up, used it up and then made it totally unpalatable to most thinking music fans. Screamo has become detached from young peoples real life experiences- and has been subsumed into the record industry and the market economy. Kids no longer see a group of like individuals performing before them when they attend a screamo concert- they see a product being pitched to their hip pocket. Screamo has become a commodity, and people are being invited to treat it the way all other commodities- as disposable.

But my three sure signs that Screamo has jumped the Shark are as follows

1. Stadium extravaganza tours featuring screamo acts
2. discovering screamo about 5-6 years after the firstwave of the current screamo bands realeased LPs.
3. This article from the Washington Post.

'Their momentary musical identity crisis comes at a time when identity means everything, and anything could change in a matter of months. But perhaps it's the underlying question that drives their anxiety: Could their music, so much a part of their lives now, be a meaningful part of their future, or will it amount to just another passing fad?...

Within months, the band was performing nearly every weekend and changing its look to match the scene. They grew "emo hair," long in front with streaks of color; O'Masta and McClain started wearing girls' jeans. As a "cool band thing," they all got white belts, and the guitar players wore the buckles on the side. A few of them pierced their ears with rubber or metal plugs, stretching the holes wider and wider as the year went on. Schumacher gave himself a lip ring, but "it was a huge family ordeal," and he took it out until he turned 18.

With their new tight pants and salon-styled hair, they were some of "the most made-fun-of kids at school," said drummer Zak Cantner, 16. But at shows, surrounded by similarly clad musical compatriots, their star was rising. Their MySpace accounts filled with new friends and admirers. Schumacher, who was credited as the first to bring the music to his school, became known as the "king of screamo," said his friend Jenny Erice.'

It's a pretty funny read- the poor kid wants to quit the band because he gets a sore throat from screaming. What a cat! And what a sad situation- the music they produce is a product to be sold at market like a dry sheep, and their identity is just a passing fad- an image rather than a message.

Thank god screamo has jumped the shark!


Anonymous Jenny said...

that was a pretty hilarious read. Ive never heard a truly eloquent argument on the topic of screamo(other than its 'gay') whether it is for or against it. This is Jenny Erice, by the way. And I completely agree. Also, I gotta say, the only person who "credited" Erik as the first person to bring the music to the school was me. And I also, was the only one to call him the "king of screamo." Not that that makes the whole thing less ludicrous.

9:55 PM  

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