Hands down Chris Carrabba front manned the best emo band ever in Dashboard Confessional. For all of you out there who find my crestfallen friend a tad bit whiney or annoying – you’ve probably leveled the same charges against me, and so I’m not even going to listen to you.
However, this is not a love note to my heartbroken buddy, but rather I wanted to explore what emo looks like in other cultures!
Now, we’re all probably familiar with the stereotypical emo garb, kindly displayed on my friend Ben bellow (I snuck Paul in there too because he was probably playing some hella melancholic tunes at the time). You’ll note the black clothing, hair in the face, and dissatisfied expression – please keep that in mind for the remainder of this rambling.
Despite the derision of my peers (if one can call them that), I adamantly believe that I am not, nor have I ever been, emo. If costuming suggests anything, I did not garb myself in black. If lamenting past loves was a requirement, I certainly couldn’t have accomplished that in High School. So, let’s just put to rest this whole Eric=Emo business because it is nothing more than hot air.
“Eric,” you may interject, as you often seem to, “why are you so worried about being emo if you started off this article defending its avatar?”
Well, my astute reader, I do not want to be likened to emo music because the majority of it is really bad, and emo kids can be a bit whiney. For a while there were stickers circulating with the lowercase words: “cheer up emo kid.” These emo kids wanted to be sad, so I fashioned a sticker of my own, cleverly bearing the title of this post.
“Eric,” you’ll no doubtedly persist, “you’ve done a bit of griping today, but you have yet to discuss emo in other cultures. Please share your thoughts.”
Thank you reader, I can always trust you to keep me on track. I discovered this picture on Google images while searching the term “lederhosen” (please don’t ask why).
I was startled to see the hipster haircut, the downcast eyes, the hands digging into his pockets, the curling lips. This was either an emo kid in Bavarian disguise or in fact something I had never considered before. Had emo reached our Germanic friends? Were their Emokindern? I can only imagine heartfelt ballads about punctual scheduling and flipping coasters in bars. Has an accordion ever appeared in a song by bands named something like Dunkelaugen? This whole going international thing could really be what emo needs to become a serious genre.
Now, perhaps some of you are thinking up mean jokes about Germans not having feelings, and thus being unable to be ‘emotional,’ but I assure you, that this is plain not true! Hannes Wader sings a lovely song about wild swans and birch trees courting one another, and the most famous German drinking song laments, “you don’t know how good I’ve been to you.” So, let’s slap some black Lederhosen on and stand in the middle of polka concerts, scowls on our faces, and deride the other listeners because we’ve known about polka music so much longer than they have.