Emo music, a rock music variation that is characterized by less guitar chaos and more melodic overtones has created subculture that is a curiously different even among its adherents. A product of the DC area in the 1990s, but with an Austin Texas and Seattle Washington influences, emo (which stands for emotional hardcore) has spawned a new wave of musical disciples mostly in the teen and lower 30s age-group and fueled by music from such entities as One Last Wish, Embrace and Fire Party.
The emo/indie culture, has gathered certain stereotypes in its wake. Remember when Tower Records was a hub for indie and altenative rock music gatherings? Emo music started off with many unsigned artists and Tower Record stores used to be the vortex of indie/emo culture and emo adherents could be easily identified there by their gothic persona.
Chalk-white faces, hair, nails and clothes completely black and Celtic jewelry was and still is the emo signature appearance. Some emo fans also dye their hair into other colors such as blue, green yellow and even red but there is always an aspect of black.
Teens who have embraced the emo subculture can be seen widely spotting fashions that can be linked to the 1950s rock era; ragged tight jeans, black t-shirts with “tattoo” designs and even black suits in some instances. Most emo adherents also spot crosses from the medieval era, mostly Celtic in addition to body piercing in odd places.
Emo teens have raised a furor among conservatives. The emo subculture, which is inherently gothic, has not been received well by a myriad of parents and political groups within the school districts and other academic communities. This gothic persona has been associated with social detachment, school violence, drugs, a record suicide rate, poor grades and even occult practices. In the movies “The Craft” and “The Blair Witch Project” the actors can be seen spotting emo/gothic garments and the lead players radiate a gothic presence.
The rock star, Kurt Cobain, who was idolized by many emo teens, committed suicide on April 5, 1994, after a troubled life and a fight with drugs. Another rock star, Marilyn Manson, portrays a gothic image in many of his public appearances and his lyrics, which have called for suicide and murder, have sparked many protests among conservatives in every field. Perhaps a curious twist is the association of emo and gothic music with vampires. Most vampire movies portray the vampires in emo/gothic clothing and emo music has been heard to lace many a vampire movie.
The emo culture is also closely associated with the punk-rock movement which is rampant in the US and Europe and which has also rapidly spread throughout the rest of the world. Fans can be seen spotting tattoos, body-piecing on the tongue, navel, and eye-brow area and even on their nostrils. Hair is particularly dyed to attract attention. Glues are applied to hold it up and in then 80s the Mohawk style was widely worn by teen punk-rockers.
Traditionally, punk-rockers have not been associated with acts of lawlessness or other criminal acts but in some European countries such as Germany and Russia, punk-rockers have been linked to supremacist groups which have ran afoul of the law after attacking or defaming members of other races.
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