The feedback I get from this site is overwhelmingly positive. Most people seem to get the idea that I'm lovingly poking fun at some stuff on this site. Those who don't tend to write me entertaining hate mail, which I like to put here for all to see. All grammar and spelling mistakes are as I received them:
"this guy goes way to far trying to scrutinize,overanalyze,and just basically suck all life out of the music, if anyone wants to laugh, or maybe even cry, go check out the page. "
"wow,i think you really out did yourself kid,i think you single handedly sucked all fun out of the music,with that over analytical "description",of what im not sure though "
If you think that analysis sucks the fun and life out of things, maybe it's time to stop reading Thomas Aquinas and those romantic poets and come to grips with the last few centuries.
Colin wrote these words: "first of all i'd like to say that emo is a bunch a crap. it's a watered down versions of punk that is destroying the whole fucking scene. you should take off your goddamn sweatters smash your fucking lunchboxes and stop your crying. everything your trying to do just makes punk more of a corporate fad and a novilltiey for middle class white teenagers looking to reble in style with the rest of their so called friends. so cut the act and get on with your fucking life."
Wow. First of all, I think it's great that I pissed someone off so much that they lost all power of spelling and grammar. Second, most of the punk rock music, zines, labels, etc. out there has been made by middle class white teenages looking to rebel in style. Even Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins were pretty damn white middle class, and they certainly rebelled in style. How could there be anything wrong with that? I don't give a shit if people carry lunchboxes or cry on the sleeve of their moth-eaten sweaters - if they *do something* in the scene, more power to them.
This one's fun: "alrighty, I don't think your page is bad, and i think that emo is better than prozac for you depressed people, but to say it's a form of PUNK ROCK is insane. If you were to tell the germs about emo, they would spit in your face. Tell Iggy and he would probably cut you. Punk is positive and energetic. Any emo I have heard is so drab and depressing. Please, I ask in the kindest fashion, remove emo from your idea of punk. I hope you understand one day."
This gave me a good laugh. Would you write such a nasty letter to a total stranger, especially when your letter makes your ignorance plain as day? It's clear this fellow hasn't heard Rites of Spring, Heroin, or any other very well-known emo bands that are punker than most of the crap in Maximumrocknroll these days. When I told him so in a very colorful letter, he took offense at my strong language. Why the heck is this guy listening to the Stooges and the Germs if strong language offends him?
This one is either the same person, or another beer-and-leather crusty punk clone, or maybe someone whose only education about punk came from The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization, Part I: "First things first. EMO is a bunch of shit that has nothing to do with punk. The EMO clique is made up of a bunch of panty-waist bitches just like you. If somebody want to listen to some gay shit like R&B or EMO, thats fine. But when people try to call it punk they deserved to be ridiculed and harrassed like the posers they are. If you want to put me on the hate mail page and analyze my grammar like the rest of the real punks who have the nerve to say something against this SHIT, thats cool with me, i'd probobly get a kick out of it.
P.S.- Please be easy on me my parents couldn't afford to get me into stanford, i had to settle for ECU.
P.P.S.- Your a bitch.
Get a life and grow some BALLS,
Shit like this really sours me on the whole idea of punk rock, which I used to think empowered kids to take control of their lives. Now I realize how many people just use it as an excuse to be assholes.
More of same, *snore.* Fellas, if you can't read or comprehend English please don't bother me.
"two words...YOU SUCK...you have no clue what you are talking about...I have been a punk listener for the past 15 years...you must be on drugs because you don't know what you are talking about...You also deserve to be shot for the fashion tips bullshit...emo is bullshit..and you are bullshit for talking about emo and trying to make your own sense of logic by putting it in the punk class..."
All spelling errors, as always, are as received:
"well i would first like to say emo is a bunch of cheerleaders that need to stop crying and get a life.And last i would like to say you are a homo sexual.
P.S.Stanford is a poopoo"
Yeah, good one. You really got me there.
Michael wrote: "whoever wrote that page has far too much free time on their hand. i like how they broke emo up into like 7 different waves. and my personal favorite part was when they gave emo fashion tips, like the anorexic look. hopefully that part was a joke."
Good job, A+ in advanced reading comprehension! You've recognized tongue-in-cheek tone. It's the first step into a larger world.
Ronnie wrote: "andy...for your sake, i certainly hope that your "what the heck is emo?" webpage is supposed to be satire, because if it isn't then i'd recommend that you ask the easter bunny to bring you a life in your basket this sunday"
Oops, D- in advanced reading comprehension.
"The other divine miss M." wrote: "this just reflects the joke the scene has become. i'm getting over it and you should too. it's all about the rock, forget everything else. "
A+ in jaded scenester witticism.
"Hey in your categories you forgot "punk ass bitch-core" and also "i have way too much time on my hands to sit around and think of ways to stereotype myself and others-core" "
That's a good one!
Guido wrote: "is andy radin a guy or a girl? i can't tell from the picture. i think the site is somewhat affected, but the fashion tips are useful if you are an emo-nonconformist. "
The picture was a submission from a reader and clearly labeled as such. F in basic reading comprehension.
John wrote: "i'll keep it short and say that, in a word, your site is silly. i wonder just what your motivation is."
Clearly outlined on Page One. Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth, kids. An F for you too.
I get a lot of people asking, "Is this band emo? What about that one," which is fine. Then sometimes I get stuff like this: "I read about the different styles of emo on your site, but what about slocore. Bands like Low and Codine are totally unrepresented on your site. I like dreary slow tempo music. This is what emo is to me. Not the poppy teen beat stuff that some how gets past as emo." *NO ONE* thinks Codeine is emo, least of all Codeine. A lot of kids like to make up their own definitions for emo. What if some baggy-pantsed alternateen told you "Yeah, I consider Nine Inch Nails to be punk rock because I associate loud angry music with punk rock." It doesn't work that way, kids. There's a history behind these terms, and you gotta try to learn about it or you'll really look like an idiot. Once in third grade I told someone "Hey, no big deal, don't have an orgy." I thought it meant something like temper tantrum. Learn your vocabulary!
Here's a well-written attempt to divide emo from its historical context: "I don't believe that you can just define emo music. I realize that while trying to explain the music to someone who is completely lost that certain key words pop up, but I've heard songs that are completely emo and entail only a guitar and one vocal. I understand what you're attempting to do and I think it's applaudable; I just hate to see this fresh new music genre with such vast potential box itself while it is still an infant. I believe emo could become one of the rare forms of art that just keeps evolving and growing stronger and more diversified while still retaining its original intentions - to drop all the hype and speak to people on the same level while bringing them into your world and sharing your hopes, dreams, fears, beliefs, and convictions - all through a music so emotionally charged, so energetic and yet hypnotizing. Punk Rawk could never offer that. Some bands are attempting to pass their brand of punk off as emo. But there is a difference. With any other genre of music a person can study and copy the generally accepted sounds and wham! that's the style. However with emo, the music comes from your heart, your soul, your spirit and that gets translated into vocals and riffs and beats and so on. But you must have some sort of spirit, that special something which gets projected from the music - even through a cd - and reaches a person, an individual and touches them."
Fifteen years running and it's still an infant? I meet a lot of people who use this definition of emo music being anything with a lot of emotion in it. Well, by that definition you have to include a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam. I've met plently of people who thought some Fleetwood Mac album really touched them in some special way. Just listen to any other genre of music - you can clearly hear songs that came from the heart and soul and spirit. The emotion argument is way too subjective and all-inclusive for my taste, especially since there's *so much* variation in emotional intensity within emo itself. Compare Navio Forge to the Promise Ring, who are a straight pop band these days! I much prefer to look at the style that was originally called emo back in 1985 and what developed from that. Lastly, unfortunately there are *plenty* of copycat emo bands who simply imitate the accepted sounds. Some of them have a lot of heart and feeling and sell records, some don't but sell records anyway. Some fans can't tell the difference and just like catchy riffs. Same as any other scene.
Here's a variation on the one above: "you make emo out to be a fashion statement, and the newest way to make kids at school think that you're worth making friends with. The truth is its all about the music, but its also about the rejected people who found a style of music that binds all of the real life nerds, and impassioned people together. Its raw its real, its music. Its not high pants, its not veganism, its not stuck up guys with no sex drive.Its love, its morality, its music. i can't stress that enough. No one is a model of "emo". emo is the dirivitive of emotion. And emotion stems from the soul and heart not from the knowledge of whats "in", or the styles at hand."
Somebody didn't get the joke about the fashion tips stuff...
This one had me perplexed: "I think your page is cool and all. i had a hearty laugh at the fashion tips. also, i don't know if you were making fun of the hardcore sXe kids, but if you were, good. congratulations on a job well done. my only problem with this site is this: you make newcomers to this scene feel inadequate. i had my friend look at this page. he's the most emo kid i know, and even he didn't know some of this shit! how do you think that makes me feel! ...now i feel like emo has already molded itself. this is why people become "punk rock"; to escape exactly what you have done with your page. all of the younger, more impressionable kids try to escape this feeling that they are not making a difference, and they go "punk" and people like you throw this in their face. Also, it doesn't help that a lot of bands that I know aren't on your page (braid, burning airlines, and even Ben folds five, to a certain extent). Thanks a heap for making me feel this way."
Wow, a lot of problems here. First of all, if you feel inadequate because all of a sudden you realize that you're not as much of an emo scenester as you make yourself out to be, then you have some real self-esteem issues that I can't help you with. Second, I've done nothing more on my page than break up emo history into a few different groups with similar sounds, and try to explain the history of those groups. This is unpunk? In fact, emo has molded itself - as has every music scene older than about five minutes. Very few bands play totally original music. That stops no one from starting bands to play the kind of music they like, and it doesn't stop people from listening to bands they like even if they sound like, oh say for instance, Sunny Day Real Estate or Promise Ring. Third, if someone is going to suggest that all of history be kept a big secret, lest someone get discouraged by finding out that their big idea has been done already... Well, we don't need people like that in the scene to start with; let them listen to corporate alterna-rock where you truly *can't* make a difference. Which brings me to my last point: Ben Folds Five?
These were some interesting thoughts on the emo scene: "i did not hear the term emo used as a genre/identity label until a few years ago--and when i did hear it, it was used derisively. just recently, i've read people calling themselves 'emo.' my impression is that it caught on as a term with the generation slightly younger than me. (i'm 25). we were all into "indie" bands and definitely Dischord. early 90's jawbreaker was just straight-up indie to us. "emo" became a label, possibly, because the younger generation of punk kids needed to distance themselves from Warped Tour/NOFX/etc. 'punk' that was going on in their high schools. just go to any punk chatroom and witness the beavises is full effect. it's pretty depressing the stupidity and anti-intellectualism within the punk kid scene. many times i've heard them say stuff like, i'm not interested in politics i just like the music. of course some of the art-rock crowd are equally indifferent to social issues. as for your HATE MAIL, i'd say it's clear you've touched a nerve. as long as its on a hard-to-find website that's alright, but i think i'd be depressed too if Spin took up where you left off. i think it's the fashion part that bothers people. obviously what we wear is recognizable to one another, but we do it to be in a scene and to try to share something with people we think might have common sensibilities--that is the point of subculture (at least one of the more high-minded ones). emo is basically a pretty subtle style (compared to, say, 70's british PUNK or the 70's MOD revival, see Quadrophenia), so to have it exposed is like being naked in the headlights. imagine when the british tabloids got a hold of punk and skewered it, or when Vogue magazine did its GRUNGE fashion spread. indie and grunge were very closely related but we had to give grunge a public execution to save ourselves. the more the "emo" label gets thrown around, the sooner someone will declare it DEAD. but there will still be music left to write."
"Phillipe rock fucking star" wrote under the subject "This guy gives me a run for my money:" "And here I thought I was the smartest and deepest mofo on the emo web ring. Damn you, Andy Radin. Damn you to H-E-double hockey sticks!!!!"