The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers took their name from a 1986 speech by televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who referred to rock ‘n’ roll as “the new pornography”.

When our son was very young and liked some of their songs, we told him the band was called The New Photographers, so he wouldn’t go into school and tell his fellow first-graders about this band he liked, etc.

They have a new song. It’s good.

I Missed Emo Entirely Somehow

Tonight I attended a local vinyl night. Cafe, records spinning, etc. It was emo-themed. I was informed by an educated friend that emo emerged out of the hardcore scene in the 80s, but really became capital-E emo in the 2000s.

I’ve always been a music obsessive and can’t for the life of me remember what I was playing in the early 00s. Whatever it was, it wasn’t emo.

Emo makes me extremely uncomfortable, because I know it’s something I would have been super-duper emotionally into if the movement had exploded during my college years, when anything intense seemed to be Directly About My Own Personal Experience.

I have a similar discomfort with Modest Mouse, another band I straight-up missed. Some people I know have deeply personal relationships with Modest Mouse records, but since I wasn’t at that magic age when they were big, I can only imagine some alt-dimension Dennis having powerful emotive connections to their music, probably as I was unrequitedly loving someone and feeling sad about it.

Michael Stipe once noticed that most fans’ favorite R.E.M. album is the one that was released when they were high-school seniors (or college freshman). This is true for me: it’s Automatic for the People. I actually think Life’s Rich Pageant is a better album, but I love Automatic more, because it was mine.

For many people, emo was theirs. I guess I was listening to Wilco and Radiohead at the time? Some obscure non-emo indie band Pitchfork told me to like? I remember my teens and 30s very well, but my twenties are something of a haze, and not a haze I especially care to dwell upon.