The Emo Night Nashville series is a rock concert-screamy karaoke hybrid with Middle Tennesseans of the emo, pop-punk and hardcore persuasions gathering to see some of their favorite singers and instrumentalists of especially emotive bands. Saturday, May 6 is the next Emo Night at Marathon Music Works, and so I had founder Jonathan Myers (who’s a full-time Sales Manager with East Nashville Beer Works, just emo’ing recreationally these days) on as #ThematicStatic co-host. We ran through a brief sonic history of the sub-genre(s) and also gave away some Emo Night tickets to a rapid-speed first caller.
What does so-called “emo” music really sound like, how does it influence listeners, and how has it progressed over time? Stream the show (👇🏼) to learn more and maybe scream-sing along. Seeing as this is far from comprehensive, do you think we should do another emo #ThematicStatic? Regardless of your affinity for or aversion to this type of radio, please lob your requests for future shows via our station’s socials @WNXPNashville!
#ThematicStatic Playlist – 5/4/23
Chapter 1: 20th Century Roots
Fugazi – “Waiting Room” – The late ’80s “post-hardcore” scene in Washington, D.C. paved the way for more hard-but-melodic outfits all over the country, like…
Sunny Day Real Estate – “In Circles” – This Seattle band was requested by Justin and this song was on their 1994 record Diary, released by the legendary Sub Pop label.
At The Drive-In – “Transatlantic Foe” – Drew cited this El Paso, Texas band, which ultimately split off into also influential acts Sparta at The Mars Volta (which is playing U.S. and international shows this year, including this weekend at Shaky Knees Fest in Atlanta).
Chapter 2: Early Aughts Onslaught
Saves the Day – “At Your Funeral” – Early records Can’t Slow Down and Through Being Cool cemented these youngsters as fixtures in emo, but Stay What You Are in 2001 had even more crossover appeal with singalongs like this one. Jonathan reminded us that guitarist Arun Bali, who’s performed with Saves the Day since 2009, lives here in Middle Tennessee! So does Mike, who requested this one on Instagram.
Thursday – “Understanding In a Car Crash” – Another New Jersey band emerging at the turn of the century, Thursday played three Vans Warped Tours in the early 2000s. (Whoa, look at this grid counting performances at the fest! Who did you see at a Warped Tour over its 25-year history? I smell a Warped-themed show on WNXP…) Thanks for the request, Dylan!
Dashboard Confessional – “Hands Down” – Singer-songwriter Chris Carrabba took time to pour his heart out acoustically while simultaneously fronting his Florida band Further Seems Forever, releasing a solo record called Swiss Army Romance as Dashboard Confessional in 2000. The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most followed in 2001 and this definitively emo catalog of songs struck such a chord with fans, he expanded DC to a full-band sound for 2003’s A Mark – A Mission – A Brand – A Scar. That record kicks off with a reinvented “Hands Down,” first laid down acoustic on the So Impossible EP.
Yes, I confessed on-air, Carrabba signed a blank page in the back of my pocket-sized New Testament Bible outside a Cincinnati show in 2002. 🙈 (Emo Christian millennials, IYKYK.) Dashboard released a new record just last year and Carrabba lives here!
New Found Glory – “Hit or Miss” – Listener Andrew was the first to call up and correctly identify this song by another Florida group, winning tickets to his first Emo Night Nashville. Boy does this riff sound like the summer of 2001!
Thrice – “The Artist In The Ambulance” – Both Trent and Alicia requested this song from 2003.
Chapter 3: An Evolving Scene
Paramore – “Pressure” – We wouldn’t dream of leaving out Hayley and Co., one of the world’s biggest Middle Tennessee exports outside of country music, and selling out shows this year in support of their new one This Is Why. Here’s Jonathan’s vintage Paramore favorite from 2005:
Fall Out Boy – “G.I.N.A.S.F.S.” – Mikayla, who produces at Nashville Public Radio’s daily show This Is Nashville, left a super personal voice memo about the significance of this band to them — and specifically this song from Fall Out Boy’s 2007 record Infinity On High.
Pierce The Veil – “Yeah Boy and Doll Face” – Both Causey and Chris mentioned this SoCal band I admit was past my time rabidly sourcing and downloading tunes from emo bands. This one comes from a record also released in 2007, A Flair for the Dramatic.
Chapter 4: 2020s Revival + The Future
Turnstile – “Mystery” – These Baltimore bros busted through to be one of the hottest tickets of 2022 and this year they’re opening for Blink-182 on a massive arena tour. Get LOUD!
The Linda Lindas – “Too Many Things” – We ran out of time to air this one in the #ThematicStatic hour, but I see these L.A.-based teenagers as a harbinger of great things to come in pop-punk and feelings-forward rock. ICYMI, I covered their debut album in 2022, and they’ve since released this new single and played shows with elder punks The Breeders, Jawbreaker and Nashville’s own Paramore. 🤘