Why The World Needs An Emo Council

One of the last great independent music genres to exist without the Internet is in dire need.

To help, a group of dedicated curators and protectors of the forgotten origination of emo, the Emo Council, debate and discuss for one last time about their favorite bands.

That’s Ian MacKaye above. His record label and bands are whom I most signify with setting me on a course of independent music. There would be no emo or me for that matter without Ian. His influence on the culture of punk rock will be felt for generations. I hope I’m around when his statue goes up in D.C. or there is a some official knighthood for him like they do in England. Ian and his label, Dischord Records, are that important to the world.

Wait, you don’t know who that is above? Dischord Records isn’t even on your radar? There in lies the problem I’ve seen recently. The band and label that provided so many bands with a sense of purpose, work ethic and ideals is essentially forgotten by many today. Some are shaking their head which is fine, you get it. Yet, there are many around that aren’t aware of this important person, record label and time period prior to the Internet taking over our lives. The same thing is happening to emo, again.

The pop culture interpretation of emo is mostly from the mid-2000s with the “hair metal” and pop-punk phase of Hot Topic stores, guy-liner, MTV and Fuse TV, tour buses, crab-core and swinging guitars. I advise not to look up crab-core but definitely look up on YouTube swinging guitars around your neck. Forget it, I’ll do the work for you.

This video takes me back to Warped Tour 2005 each time I watch it.

In recent years, nostalgia for that mid-2000s era has proliferated again starting around 2010 with countless Buzzfeed or college newspapers riddled with lists and articles about “emo.” Their “listicles” about the mid-2000s era are interspersed with rare mentions of some of the higher profile acts from the late 90s/early 2000s that rattle off your tongue easy like when your dad or grandfather mentions his favorite bands from the 60s. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Stones, The Beatles… which is now just Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, The Promise Ring, The Get Up Kids… It’s expected but not the whole story.

Since starting Washed Up Emo in 2007, I’ve met many with views very different from mine. I liked having the opinions of others a lot to round out how I was and felt. Recently, this current nostalgia for the mid-2000s got me talking to many of those that I did back in 2007 when I was initially frustrated. Being older, I thought, let’s put these discussions to good use. Around the same time I was putting together the final touches on IsThisBandEmo.com with a friend. The site was something I’d always wanted to do and finally it was a reality. Again, I called on friends to help with responses, missing bands, etc. I jokingly referred to them as the Emo Council. Funny enough, the phrase took off on the site and the catalyst to this actual group today.

The Emo Council is a group of our peers that are in bands, work at record labels, writers and those from the scene. To quote one council member, “it’s like The Avengers of Emo.” We may not be fighting evil but we’re sure as hell looking out for the forgotten.

The Emo Council members will remain anonymous to protect those involved and comments made about bands and genres. The debates will be posted on this Medium account periodically.

The goal? To provide a final debate and list of the best albums, songs, eras, etc for the bands from the era forgotten by MTV, Buzzfeed millennials and all those relishing in Hawthorne Heights reunions. It’s time to remember those that came before and celebrate one of the last great music genres before the Internet took over.

Feel free to send any questions, comments, or threats to emocouncil@washedupemo.com


Emo Council Code:

  1. Educate all who are open to listening about the early days of emo.
  2. Your days in punk must stay punk and not stray into ska.
  3. Pop punk is just that, pop music.
  4. Judge fairly all aspects of a band including tours with Earth Crisis and/or Brother’s Keeper.
  5. Debate openly about the albums and bands freely, without any fear of repercussions or hurt feelings.
  6. Involvement is voluntary.
  7. Care about the genre and what it stands for.
  8. Keep involvement in the council anonymous.
  9. Fugazi is God.

Emo Council Rules:

  1. Every member of the council ranks the albums/songs, etc. from best to worst.
  2. Members will submit stories, reasons and facts to back up rankings.
  3. Discussion among all the votes and stories are debated between all members.
  4. A final list is compiled from the council’s debates presented alongside selected commentary anonymously.
  5. Fugazi is God.

WashedUpEmo.com, IsThisBandEmo.com

Fugazi — “Target”

It’s cold outside and my hands are dry
Skin is cracked and I realize
That I hate the sound of guitars
A thousand grudging young millionaires
Forcing silence sucking sound
Forced into this conversation
So i say shine let their planets collide
This is the darkening down of my mind
We could be making it oiling like crime
We could be making it staking last dimes
If you want to sieze the sound you don’t need a reservation
The torch is pased it’s yours to return
Lay at their feet now use it to burn
For marketing the use of the word generation
A false alliance of money persuading
Forcing silence sound sucking
Forced into this conversation
Now if you want to sieze the sound you don’t need a reservation
So open so young so target I can smell your heart you’re a target