There is perhaps not a single term when discussing musical genres that invokes more emotion and friendship-shattering arguments than emo. From the outside, it may seem that the genre and term have faded into obscurity: Chris Carrabba plays hokey folk rock now, The Get Up Kids are a shell of their former self and The Promise Ring and Texas is The Reason both managed to reunite and do some touring, but have since been placed back on the inactive shelf. If you think emo is doomed to be forever shunned to the darkest corners of your iTunes library, you clearly have not visited Milk Tiger on a Monday night.
Sad Bastard Mondays is the emo/pop punk/hardcore DJ night ran by Dan Hanycz and Brian Vandekamp (both of the gone-but-never-forgotten skramzcore band, Violence) along with Stephen Stewart. They spin all the hits of this wide genre, mapping a musical timeline from Jawbreaker and Rites of Spring straight into contemporary bands like Dads and Their/They’re/There.
The four of us met in the darkest booth of The Ship to brood and get sad.
BeatRoute: What’s a good album to start with if you’re new to the genre?
Brian Vandekamp: Nothing Feels Good – The Promise Ring. The quintessential classic emo. It’s poppy, it’s sad.
Stephen Stewart: Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie. Ben Gibbard’s lyrics encompass everything emo should be.
Dan Hanycz: American Radass (This is important) – Dads. Perfect reincarnation of the classic emo sound.
BR: What are some current emo bands you think people should know about?
DH: Posture & The Grizzly and Old Gray.
SS: Touché Amoré and Old Gray for sure.
BR: What’s something you’d like people to take away from coming to emo night?
BV: It’s OK to acknowledge, that, as a genre it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
SS: Agreed. Someone came up to me one night and said, “Isn’t emo dead? Haven’t you outgrown it yet?” But, to me, these bands and records are timeless.
DH: Anything that conveys emotion you could use the term emo to describe it. Fuck the terms; just enjoy the music.
BR: What makes Sad Bastard Mondays special to you?
SS: Us growing as a group of friends and the owners (Nathan Head, Rich Adams) being incredibly supportive and allowing it to grow organically. It’s become something cool and popular, I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else.
Sad Bastard Mondays runs every Monday night 9 p.m.-close at Milk Tiger Lounge.
By Alonso Melgar