16 November 2009

The Blues - When Being Emo Meant You Didn't Have to Be a Bitch

"Nobody loves me but my mother, and she might be jivin' too"

That's a line from the great BB King. He's a music god. He's a pillar by which the guitar as a form of expression is built. Much like Chuck Berry or a few others, you go through a phase when you learn to play guitar where you are trying to make your guitar sound like Lucille. You will fail, as many have before you... but that's not the point.

BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson... the list goes on... but anyway... Why are they looked at as musical icons and legends when they are ultimately singing what by the lyrics is more emo than anything The Used or Fall Out Boy or whoever else put out?

Well, for me at least, it's because they play the blues as a kind of revival. They come off like like the whiney kid in high school with a self esteem issue... they sound like men in pain with crushed hearts and hard lives. Life can kick your ever loving ass. Singing the blues is a way to exalt and turn that pain into glorious celebration, and have an audience share their own with you through their attention and adoration. There is so much to it that is beautiful and brilliant, and most of all, none of it (well maybe Clapton) comes off as whiny. Why? Its all in the delivery kids...

The lyrics are as all about how bad someone has it. The lyrics are angsty. But the delivery is glorious.You feel these musicians bear their souls through their art. The soul of the music is undeniable and untouchable. But there is something forceful about it. Like they know that through this expression they free themselves of the pain. There is a sense of joy to the expression.

Emo music comes off like people want to lay down in self pity and cry the night away. It sounds like someone is saying "woe is me, my life sucks." But there is a sense that they want to wallow in that. There is no freedom, only self induced slavery to their own sadness. Who wants to listen to that? Why for the love of God would you want to wallow in pain? I mean, I've done it... its stupid and self destructive.

The blues is joy through pain... emo drags joy down to pain.

So to those who want to listen to emo bands all day and feel sorry for yourself... I say this: grow the hell up. Life sucks. Get a helmet. Share your art and express yourself, but please, stop making me want to slap you.

And yes... to those that now me... I know how odd that kind of advice is coming from me... but what can I say? I grew up... I had friends... they are awesome.

So what do you guys think?

No comments:

Post a Comment