Want to get into rock's most misunderstood subgenre? Here's where to start.
Has there ever been a style of music as misunderstood as emo?
Though rock's angstiest subgenre might get a bad reputation, there's a lot of history behind it—as well as great albums. Before bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Paramore boomed in the mid-2000s, emo fire rose to prominence from Washington, D.C.'s hardcore punk movement in the '80s. It's been a long road to get emo where it is today, but the genre wouldn't be what it is without the many bands who passed the torch over the years. There are many great albums to dive into, many of which timestamp Midwest emo's massive spike in popularity in the '90s.
Sunny Day Real Estate, Diary (1994)
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The Randonautica app led me to a mysterious empty road. Researching it led me to conspiracy theories, quantum physics, simulation theory, manifestation techniques, and chaos magic.
The trip began with a wrong turn.
I drove confidently down the street until I realized I was going in the wrong direction, and veered down a dead-end to turn around.
Immediately, I wondered if this was symbolic, a sign from the universe that I should turn back. On a randonauting trip—at least if you adopt the open-minded and deeply superstitious mindset of many of the app's roughly 10 million and counting users—everything takes on a weird and ominous meaning, adopting a number of possibly divine implications.
The app led me down the street, out of my immediate neighborhood and up some of the windiest streets in my town in upstate New York. Treacherous even on the sunniest day of summer, the serpentine road set me on edge. Suddenly, a car veered towards me out of nowhere, forcing me to swerve.
When I arrived at the destination, all I saw was forest on both sides, two parallel ravines on the edge of the paved road. I opened up the Randonautica app as if it would give me some kind of wisdom about what I was supposed to find.