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.
Lately I’m torn between a deep need to connect with people and a deep desire to vanish. Smeared between is more accurate.
Both inclinations come from vulnerability, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially in the connection department. I know this but still half-want to vanish.
My wife is on the West Coast for the week so I’m in a spaced-out novel-writing place, and instead of writing anything personal here tonight, please accept a photo of Bones and flowers.
My son and I made apple cobbler tonight. Sometimes a thing is satisfying despite being laughably easy.
- We set the oven to 350F.
- We put a stick of butter in an oven-safe bowl in the oven.
- We peeled three apples with a dull peeler, which was both hard and unsatisfying. I made my son peel two of them because Dads pull rank sometimes.
- We sliced the apples into a baking dish. There was too much apple, so we took some out and chucked it outside for the squirrels.
- The squirrels were like, “Aw, yeah.”
- We mixed 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and an egg together.
- We dumped that mixture on top of the apples.
- We poured the melted butter over everything.
- We put the dish in the oven and watched Fury Road for thirty minutes.
- We gave our dog a piece of venison.
- We ate apple cobbler.
Coley and I are hosting a Lumen Night party tonight.
Lumen Night is a midwinter holiday I once invented for a story. It’s a night of companionship, lights, food & drink, and music in the dead zone of late February, when winter’s worn everybody out, spring is still a ways off, and the traditional holidays (St Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s) are underwhelming.
I recently learned about Danish hygge, a spirit of gloom-fighting coziness and connection. Firelight is important. Friends and loved-ones are essential. That’s how I always envisioned Lumen Night — as an evening of rejuvenating warmth, or as a glow against the physical and emotional dark.
So we’re having a few dozen guests tonight. We’ve deployed dozens of candles around the house. I’ve got a ten-hour playlist ready on Spotify. We have food and booze. It’s going to be good.
This year the weather is bizarrely warm and vernal; we hit 70F the last two days. But we’re expecting a cold front, with rain and maybe thunder, right when the party begins, so we’ll have a proper gloomy evening to ebulliently defy.