Tired of the same-old, same-old?

January 08, 2008|By EVA NIESSNER / Pulse Correspondent

All right, if you're a fan of alternative-emo music, you know these bands are usually passionate and creative, recalling their loves and dark places in well-crafted songs and have commanding onstage presence.

You also probably know that there are hordes of fans foaming at the mouth to buy concert tickets and swoon when their songs play on the radio as though the singers are addressing them personally.

But why, you ask, is this so? What makes them so much more worth your time than, say, counting the spoons in your silverware drawer? I personally admire their spark - their drive, their love of music and their clever lyrics and instrumental talent.

I know I'm not alone in this love of alternative-emo music. At least, that's what I figured. But how could I know for sure?


I went to the online quiz, story, poem and fan site Quizilla to get my answer.

There I discovered that these bands have rabid fans all over the country, even all over the world. I wrote to some of them.

"I love AFI because the lyrics are great!" says Jordan, who writes from Indiana. Her Quizilla name even includes the name of AFI's singer, Davey Havok.

"Bands like Panic! At the Disco have deep, meaningful lyrics," says Joanna from Los Angeles. "The songs are catchy, and I could spend an eternity listening to them because there's always something to catch my mood."

Jennifer from Richmond, Va., credits Fall Out Boy for teaching her "how expressive music can be." She adds, "Music can make you feel so many things."

Teens who listen to alternative-emo often feel a connection with the bands. It's always reassuring to know you aren't alone in feeling scared or lost, in passionately loving someone or passionately hating an ex.

"Teenagers still aren't sure who they are in life, and they have a similar concept of life as these bands," Yordan from Bulgaria wrote in. "They feel that in listening to the music they have found themselves in a way."

Music can also be an escape - clichd but true. The band My Chemical Romance is known for urging fans who feel depressed or suicidal to seek help, and many fans attribute the band for saving their lives.

A milder way it helps fans is to provide a welcome distraction from a horrible day.

"I use it to drown out things I don't want to hear with something that expresses why I don't want to hear it!" says Kelly from Eldersburg, Md.

Many teens lose themselves in songs, often because of the witty lyrics or the fact that they're imagining themselves as the inspiration, which is a great way to forget you have to go baby-sit your bratty cousin in two hours.

These bands make fans feel they know the musicians.

Joanna summed up a teenager's love of alt-emo music the best.

"These bands are much more original than anything else out there," she said. "They are redefining music today."

Trying alternative-emo music for the first time? Try listening to these bands:


· Panic! At the Disco

· Fall Out Boy

· My Chemical Romance

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