Depress me Elmo; er, Emo

I have myIPod, and am busy getting all my music on it, like some deranged neural tunes addict.  As I create play lists for myself, I find I have almost every category known except country pop (can’t STAND it.  Give me old-school country and bluegrass, sure, but not this computer generated lyrics and sound that to my ear is all the same) and some metal bands (enough already with the banging glam), and Emo.

Emo?  My niece told me two summers ago that it meant emotional.  I did not believe her, saying that would be the dumbest thing I had ever heard.  Emotional- all music is emotional.  But it was true, Emo stood for emotional, and stands for the whimpering, simpering, whey-faced boy-bodied musicians who exaggerate emotions like bad mimes. As my Husband recently said, “It’s just Depress me Elmo, the music of the everybody is supposed to get a trophy generation”, well give me a break. All adolescents are self-involved and often moody, it’s part of the developmental package.  But music designed to provide the soundtrack for that is annoying.  “Let me tell you about my belly button lint, it makes me want to cry”, well I’ll take angry hip-hop over that drivel any day. One of the Emo cross over singers, who had an entire fan club of tweens and teens, recently came out of the closet- this former American Idol singer really thought no one knew? Or is it the fact that he was completely non-threatening (as most Emo singers seem to be) that made him popular with young girls?

When I was young Pink Floyd was the moody music of choice.  Young men drank their alcohol, or did their drugs and let themselves go dark for a while, getting out the blues.  I prefer the mean reds myself (Truman Capote got it right in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), which are all about getting loud,active, and angry; not unlike a lot of rock and hip hop.  The red necks listened to old George Jones, and the Man in Black- drinking beer and feeling united against all the things they believed oppressed them. They still do.  But Emo?  What kind of music is that?  Resigning yourself to feeling persecuted, isolated or blue and then expecting people to listen to you drone about it with no point?  Come ON!  Even the Goth kids of recent memory could do better than that. Where is the youth movement? Where is the activity?

I guess my copious lists will be absent of Emo. I don’t mind.  There are a lot better ways to sing the blues, and a lot better people to listen to describing them.  I’ll start tonight with Martha Hayes from 1954, as I figure out how to get my vinyl digital.  Let the music play on.