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16 Things All Former Emo Kids Remember
Yeah, we wore a lot of black, but we weren't goth! Being an emo kid wasn't easy. Constantly made fun of, ostracized and branded as "cultish" or "goth", we towed the line that generation X left behind. Hot off the heels of a new wave punk explosion, emo kids ruled the scene. 1. That feeling when a new My Chemical Romance album came out. Honestly, they're still one of my favorite bands, and I don't consider them emo, but they were Gods to us. I can't imagine living out middle and high school without this band. 2. Jelly bracelets. We didn't know what they meant and we didn't care. All we knew was that they looked hella cool with our band T's. 3. Collecting band T shirts. If you went to a concert your shirt was your medal. If you didn't buy a shirt, you didn't go. It's like "Insta, or it didn't happen" but for cooler people. 4. Dying the shit out of your hair. My hair is fried to all hell because of some of my early mistakes. I dyed my hair green for God's sake. Enjoy this photo of 16 year old me with William Beckett and Adam Siska of The Academy Is...yeah. My hair was messed up. 5. Buying every edition of your favorite band's albums. OKAY I NEED THE US, UK AND JAPANESE versions because there's different bonus tracks. 6. Wearing out your favorite pair of skinny jeans. It's not a good pair of skinny jeans without the worn out knees and holes everywhere. It's tough being an emo kid. 7. Rocking that thick, Billie Joe Armstrong eyeliner. Hey! I still do sometimes. Nothing was better than showing up to school with your fierce raccoon eyes. 8. Buying every issue of Alternative Press because some small photo of your favorite band could be hiding within its pages. Seriously, Gerard Way could be in there. I can't miss it! 9. Screaming the lyrics to Make Damn Sure by Taking Back Sunday every chance you could get. Because there's nothing better than a bunch of angry, spiteful, pissed-off teenagers. 10. All black everything with little pops of neon. I wasn't this brand of emo, but I knew of it. Kind of the pastel goth style of 11. Converse tennies were the ultimate shoe. If you didn't have a couple pairs of these, you weren't shit. 12. Defending your "scene". I wasn't technically an "emo" kid, more of a punk kid, but I still had to defend my favorite bands. God forbid someone try to shit on Fall Out Boy, Green Day or MCR. I was out swinging. 13. Saving up all your money to buy merch. Asking for a new band T shirt for Christmas every year was pretty annoying to everyone, so you just had to start buying things yourself. 14. Taking pictures with your favorite rock stars. Whether it's at the Merch tent at warped or their table at the House of Blues, you tracked them down and got that memory. Here's a picture of me with Gabe Saporta from Cobra Starship. I was 14. Thanks, bye. 15. Skipping school to go to concerts. Here's me as a 15 year old. We were front row for the Believers Never Die Part II tour, the last FOB tour before the hiatus. Thank God they're back. 16. Starting your own bands. The bands we listened to inspired us to make music ourselves. Whether we were good or not didn't matter, just the idea of being similar to our heroes was enough.
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8 Fall Out Boy Lyrics That Changed Your Life
Fall Out Boy is one of those bands that will stay with you long after you get older and start to forget who you used to be. Everyone who lived and died by the words written by Pete Wentz and spun into melody by Patrick Stump knows that some songs just speak to you on a level that nobody can ever understand. Here are the Fall Out Boy lyrics that tugged at my heart strings, and made me feel like I wasn't alone. No matter what happened the headphones delivered the words I couldn't say. Miss Missing You / Save Rock and Roll Aside from the brilliant wordplay and incredible melody, this lyric from Miss Missing You ended up defining a point in my life where I had to let go of two important people in my life. Boyfriends come and go, but the pain still lingered, and this song was there to help communicate what I was feeling. I remember listening to it on repeat, remembering what I had screwed up. Things were never the same. When you're hurt, and you still have feelings for that person, it can feel like you're putting your life on the line. Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year / From Under The Cork Tree This is the high school feeling most of us had, all wrapped up in one concise package. A lot of people who listened to Fall Out Boy felt some kind of disconnect, and some of us still do. In the haze of new psychology, the idea that "there's something wrong with everybody" and the notion that we aren't all the same, this song filled the gaps between us and them. Growing up in a small town can take a lot out of people who feel like they're "different" and this lyric nails that. Thriller / Infinity on High This lyric became our unofficial battle cry as fans. It gave all of the misguided and underestimated young fans something to cheer about, that our heroes were just as conflicted as we were. And now, looking back, this song still holds great meaning to me. It chronicles the rise of the band, and that no matter what people will come and go out of your life. You have to always be prepared for the worst, and even if you're a car crash, you can still come out swinging. Disloyal Order Of Water Buffalos / Folie A Deux The first line of this song is "I'm falling apart at the seams / pitching myself for leads in other people's dreams." This entire song is perfection. You have those lyrics that speak to you, and then you have an entire song. It centers on the idea that nothing you ever do is good enough, that you're just trying to improve yourself so you can screw up again. The elements of constantly falling down, while constantly setting yourself up for failure completely embodies the feeling I've been trying to express through my songs, writing and other mediums for my entire life. The fact that Fall Out Boy can say it so concisely is just amazing. "I'd promise you anything for another shot at life." A lyric, perfect for those times when we can't imagine continuing on the same path. The Phoenix / Save Rock And Roll This entire song is another one that you can identify with. It's a complete barn burner. It can pump you up for nearly anything and honestly, I can't imagine a better lyric than, "Time crawls on when you're waiting for the song to start, so dance alone to the beat of your heart." to encourage you to stand on your own. "Put on your war paint" She's My Winona / Folie a Deux This pretty much defines my ethos as a human being. The Clash called it "death or glory" and honestly, for me, there is no other way to live. If you don't wake up each day with the thought that today could be the day everything changes, then why do you even try? It's a mentality that has led me down some snakey roads, but honestly I wouldn't trade it for the world. Don't You Know Who I Think I Am / Infinity on High I was hired on as a freelance writer for a lot of places that just wanted me for the car crash. Like people would be really interested in someone who was going downhill fast, it's a vicarious living through someone else's pain. The thoughts of a persona responsible for constant chaos, in my writing, haunt me to this day. This lyric really hit me and helped me understand why people were rooting for me to fail. I'm glad that I discovered what the real message behind my writing should be: to help people understand that just because you fuck up, doesn't mean you're an evil person. And there is always another chance if you want it. The Kids Aren't Alright / American Beauty/American Psycho Fall Out Boy's latest album came out when I was just about to graduate from college. A lot of things were changing and I think this line in "The Kids Aren't Alright" hit me especially hard, because I was leaving all of my friends, and my entire world behind. I still wanted to play music and act, but I couldn't keep doing it the same way I had been. I was going through a time of transition with my career, my physical being and my mental health. Sometimes things feel horrible, but hopeful at the same time. Bonus: Saturday / Take This To Your Grave One of my favorite FOB songs of all time. Saturday is all about missed opportunities and realizing that you haven't really lived. Hopefully we've all caught ourselves missing out, and still have the opportunity to fix it. Fall Out Boy reaffirms the belief that it's never too late. What band's lyrics speak to you? Do you love Fall Out Boy? Let me know! What's your favorite song?
Dear David Bowie: A Thank You From Yet Another Odd Kid
I thought about immediately taking to the keys last night, upon hearing the news of David Bowie's passing, but I thought against it. When people don't have time to process things they end up creating these jumbled messes, that don't come out as tributes. They're more akin to shocked streams of consciousness, where neither the reader nor the writer can properly put things into place. After further inspection, I realized that Bowie wouldn't have wanted a proper tribute, because as a champion of all things individual, he valued the pure ideals of hope and art over everything else. I guess the sadness stems from the knowledge that anyone can fall prey to the sickle of cancer, and that just doesn't sit well with us, because if it can get Bowie...where's the hope? But that's not the point, it never was. So the following, is a mis-mosh of thoughts aimed at the cold blooded bummer we're all feeling today. So here is a letter, a bit out of sorts, but exactly what I wanted to say. David Bowie, you are more than a musician to most. You are someone who gave every single person on this planet permission to be themselves. The idea of creation can only go so far as the brain will let you, and for some reason, Bowie, your brain just went a little bit farther than most. From early in your career, you were constantly pushing boundaries, as if to say, "Hey world, you can be whatever the hell you want to be, except boring." And that sentiment always spoke volumes to me. As a kid who was never on the right side of anything, it was an incredible feeling that someone who came before, was brave enough to blaze the trail for the rest of us. Especially considering the societal implication of being an alien at the time, you held down the fort, creating a legacy that nobody would ever touch. I wore glittery makeup and strutted around like I was from a different planet too, and sometimes people would say, "Huh. There's a touch of Bowie in you." I could only be so lucky. Bowie, you never let gender define you. You didn't let society define him. You didn't even let yourself define you. You were utterly unique, do you know how valuable that is? You, and only you, were created from space dust and glitter, roaming the earth among us mortals, gracing us with your presence when when was worth so much more. You stand as the singular voice in a world full of people who couldn't give a shit about being themselves, and you made that cool. You made individuality and sense of self cool. Could you imagine a world without that? Without you, almost all of our artists today either wouldn't exist, or they'd be infinitely more boring. From the 70's onward Bowie provided all people with something otherworldly, something that anyone could sink their teeth into. You know, when your parents and you are mourning the same genius...that person was completely transcendent. It didn't matter what race, nationality, gender or creed you were a David Bowie fan, because some people just can't be ignored. And though the world tended to criticize and marginalize your efforts, nobody ever said you weren't talented. The true heart of an artist takes a beating, and with every single hit, you came back stronger, better, more creative. There was nobody like you. Nobody before or after you will ever touch you. The mark you leave on this pitiful world makes it a little more brighter, a little more glitter filled. You took the music of yesterday and splattered it with technicolor. The rules of the passed were smashed to smithereens, and Bowie, you had the sledgehammer. No musician ever, could dispute the raw influence of you. In fact, I would say that no person who has ever come across your music could dispute your raw influence, and we are forever grateful. You see, without someone tending the gate of creativity, none of us would ever have the courage to open it. Now you're tending another gate, somewhere high up in the stars, where you always belonged: because Bowie is not from this planet, he can't be. He can't be mortal. And that's the hardest part. You see, he isn't mortal. He never was. He's now off to another place where he can really shine. He's the spaceman after all. The world changed when this man picked up a microphone. And in the halls of Gods and monsters, Bowie will sit atop a shining pedestal of stardust, waiting for another trip to the moon. On behalf of all people, musicians and freaks alike, I want to extend this fervent and sincere thank you to our very own alien: Mr. David Bowie. Returning to space must be an incredible feeling, and we hope to someday meet you there. It took me a full 12 hours to realize that I was experiencing the stages of grief, and that I should give myself time and all of that...but you never gave yourself any time right? You never stopped for anyone. You accomplished more in your 69 years than most of us could in three lifetimes, and for that reason, I will continue on. I will not stop to cry or hold my breath. I will sit at the desk, cry on the keyboard and continue my journey. "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." Until then, I'll be holding down the keys, making sure that whatever tears that fall are not in anger or sadness, but celebration, that our world could even begin to hold such an incredible talent, spirit and genius. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. --Tess
10 My Chemical Romance Songs You'll Never Forget
Some songs live in your head forever. They're the tunes you hear late at night when you turn off your mind and close your eyes. Most of the songs I hear are MCR songs. During a very specific time in our lives, My Chemical Romance filled the voids left by our friends, families, teachers and anyone else we felt alienated by. They saved our lives. Whether you were a fan, musician or just an observer: MCR became your strength. It is extremely hard to narrow it down to 10, and I'll probably regret not recognizing a few more songs since their entire catalogue is a testament to greatness...but I tried. In the dark days of teenage angst, missed love connections and general confusion about life itself My Chemical Romance called us to arms: We are stronger than we think, and we will never let them take us alive. Here are 10 MCR songs that had a profound impact on me, I'd love to hear yours. 1. Famous Last Words / The Black Parade This song was the anthem. The song that we could all turn to when everything else was lost in the shadows. Whatever got us down, high school, family, other people or the future: we had Famous Last Words. The legendary chorus screams, "I am not afraid to keep on living / I am not afraid to walk this world alone." And those words helped us validate ourselves. Things are not as scary if we can own our independence. Realizing that you're incomplete, or working on something is the first step into the light. These words are our weapons. This song is a powerful message that some of us tattooed on ourselves, wore on shirts, and committed to memory. There is nothing we can't do. 2.Headfirst for Halos The catchy beat and poppy chorus of this tune gave us an intimate look at the duality of MCR. Most people have two sides to them, the one they show the world, and the one they keep to themselves. Most of us have a little bit more going on inside than we like to admit, and Headfirst For Halos proves we're not alone. Depression, anxiety, and other internal struggles were talked about by this band. They helped us fight. Whether we were on the brink of a breakdown or just struggling for a moment, we realized that nothing is ever so bad that it can't change. 3. Desert Song / Life On The Murder Scene (Bonus Track) Arguably the darkest song the band ever released, Desert Song is never far from my memory. It describes something very close to me, the idea of mortality. I fight it every day. Most of my anxiety stems from the feeling of running out time, the feeling of not ever being able to live. One sequence of lyrics sets itself apart as the though I can never seem to verbalize myself, "From the lights to the pavement / from the van to the floor / from backstage to the doctor / from the earth to the morgue." It's madly melancholy. It alludes to the idea of performance as an escape, or a way to avoid the inevitable. I know a lot of musicians, actors and entertainers can feel this. It's a musical representation of the hollow feeling you get after you leave the stage, or the place you really belong. It's inhuman. Sad. Longing. Desperate. It's remarkable. 4.Early Sunsets Over Monroeville / I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love This was actually the first track Frank Iero tracked with the band, and it's truly unique. We get introduced to the macabre, gray world of MCR and we get a sense of the band's identity. Hauntingly beautiful, Monroeville is a stand out track because of its personality. You can imagine two ghosts dancing to its beat in the moonlight, their steps treading lightly on a concrete floor. The chorus moves them unlike any earthly thing could. That is the essence of MCR. 5.This is How I Disappear / The Black Parade This song appeals to that carnal side of us that just wants to destroy things. It's angry, brash and more akin to the hardcore side of the band. You can feel the influence of The Misfits and other Jersey bands that ended up shaping the vibe of MCR. "Away with the boys in the band." We all wanted to go away with them. There is still that theatricality to the song, which lets us know that we're in the middle of a rock opera, and not just another run-of-the-mill rock record. The Black Parade as a unit could not have worked without this song. It is an essential moving part. 6.Kill All Your Friends / The Black Parade (B Side) I have a very specific memory associated with this song. You ever remember exactly where you were when you listened to a song? I remember being on the bus, headed to school in 8th grade. I was fighting with a few of my friends. My world was changing. I was about to enter high school and I had a lot of thinking to do. This song made me feel better about leaving people behind. Although it was blunt, a little brash and altogether emotional, I knew that this time would prepare me for crazier times as an adult. 7. I Never Told You What I Did For A Living / Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge As macabre and theatrical as this song is, it's rooted in reality. I think it takes the idea of who you are when the lights go off and magnifies it. What is our reality? Who are we when nobody is around. There's a lot of mischief and mayhem that happens when you're figuring out who you are, and this song made us feel more included. Plus, it was incredibly energetic, loud and everything we wanted out of an MCR song. 8.Helena / Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge Yes, this was the single that everyone knew, and yes it was commercial, but it reached millions because it was passionate. An ode to Gerard and Mikey Way's grandmother, this track opened every wound and helped it heal, by exposing real, genuine sorrow. Losing things or people can lead to a lot of heartbreak. It can force you into the dark corners of your mind that you didn't even know existed. MCR made you realize that all of the darkness is okay. Most of us realized when we saw this music video, that MCR was not your typical band. They were on our side. In order to move forward we must use our issues, our sorrow, our setbacks. We ignite them. We can survive. 9. The Only Hope For Me Is You / Danger Days This is one of those songs that a lot of people missed. Danger Days was an album that a lot of people missed. I remember listening to this when I felt as if nothing could be done about my life. Darkness comes to mind. The lyrics describe a desperate call for comradeship in a cold, cruel world. It's a masterfully written rock and roll track with a swelling, emotional chorus. It uses all the elements that make MCR so relatable, and swirls them around in a blender, creating this devastating track. The desperation you feel when you're trying to connect can be felt in each word. It's beautiful. 10. The Kids From Yesterday This is my favorite My Chemical Romance song, hands down. Coming out near the end of their career, The Kids From Yesterday is the perfect blend of melancholy and joy. It sheds light on the reverence you have for the times you were innocent, carefree and genuinely excited about life. Admitting that something is over can be the saddest thing in the world. How we get out of that by having the ability to look back without anger is the real goal. When the band said their goodbyes, lead singer Gerard Way saith that MCR can live forever, because it is not a band, it's an idea. That idea stays with us to this day. MCR will never die, and the words still mean something. Everything goes away, but music is eternal.