Everything You Never Wanted to Know About My Relationship to Emo’s Greatest Hits

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged for the sake of blogging and a lovely Buzzfeed post my friend tweeted earlier today inspired me to take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about some of these tracks and what they mean to me. My recollections surrounding these tracks are largely a patchwork of my misadventures in figuring out who I was and what I liked. There’s also a fair amount of embarrassing hopeless romantic moments.

  1. “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance: I definitely missed the MCR train, but I have several friends who are big fans and were devastated by their break-up. However, I do remember sitting in art class in middle school and hearing the football players that I sat by (they were entertaining) sing “Welcome to the Black Parade.” Looking back on it and my semester of sitting by them, I enjoyed eaves dropping on their laments about keeping with the cool styles–they hated the surfer hair look, but rocked the ‘do nonetheless–and retroactively feel happy that I soon grew out of liking things because they popular. Allowing myself to delve into what wasn’t popular–the alternative music scene and all its various subgenres–is probably one of the more important choices I made while growing up. I have my friends to thank for that, because if they weren’t having me constantly listen to the cool songs they’d run across then I probably would have never wound up listening to some really solid bands.
  2. “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy: I vaguely remember some girl at Jesus Camp wearing one of those Patrick & Pete & Andy & Joe shirts and giving her a look of derision for how much of a heathen her music tastes were. Yet, “Dance, Dance” ended up on the mix CD my camp session gifted us with at the end of our two week stay, so I’m not sure why I was so judgmental about it. I never really got into the Fall Out Boy craze until maybe a month ago when I actually sat down and listened to some of their stuff and enjoyed it. Over the years, I’ve appreciated what they’ve meant to the music scene and their comeback was nothing short of a brilliant marketing scheme that everyone else should be taking notes from.
  3. “MakeDamnSure” by Taking Back Sunday: Another band I’ve never really listened to (for shame). I remember William Beckett blogging about their song “Miami” and really loving it. They also played at UMW freshman year, for which I was in attendance, but was mostly terrified by some of the grizzly dudes who showed up and got a little rowdy.
  4. “Ohio Is for Lovers” by Hawthorne Heights: Another band I passed up the opportunity to get into. Their songs ended up on my iPod in a futile attempt to cover all the basics when I was just getting into the scene and getting a feel for what I liked. I do remember that my middle school art teacher took her son and one of this friends, who were my age, to a Hawthorne Heights concert. It was always a treat in art class when she put on “Jack’s Music,” which was stuff like the Gorillaz. I was in my awkward, wanna-be-cool-kid-but-still-a-geeky-Christian phase, so it seemed a little edgy for me.
  5. “Perfect” by Simple Plan: Yet another song that was popular during my fervent Christian phase. One of my emo church friends bought their CD at a convenience store during a pit stop on some Youth Group activity. I remember her attempting to convince the mother who was driving us to play the CD, but it was nixed for its language. There’s also a vague memory of my best friend rocking out in my living room to their performance on Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve and my confusion as to how she could love God and listen to that music.
  6. “Misery Business” by Paramore: I believe this was cool around my freshman year of high school, when I was beginning to get into that scene look. My jeans had gotten skinnier and I was wearing neon colored shirts. I even owned one shirt that said “Product of the 80s” and whenever someone questioned why I wore that when I wasn’t born in the 80s, I would reply, “We’re all a product of the 80s.” But I digress. Paramore definitely made it on to my iPod, as part of my trying to look like I was punk. I never could enjoy the band much, although I did get a haircut based off of the choppy cut Hayley rocked in October 2007. “Fences” might have been the only song I could really get behind, but I can’t remember the last time I gave it a listen. Recently, I’ve enjoyed their newer music and have taken some time to listen to older tracks.
  7. “I Miss You” by Blink-182: I got really into Blink-182 junior year of high school when I learned the boy that I had a huge crush on (he was basically my soulmate because he played guitar, wore thick-framed glasses, converse, and skinny jeans…or so I thought) was a huge fan of the band. I can recall spending a Saturday afternoon with Microsoft Excel open on my computer, listing all the songs, their album, and a rating from 1-5 that I’d given it. As it turns out, the boy ended up dating a girl I knew from church (WHO TOTALLY KNEW I LIKED HIM). They’d met at some drama club thing. He was eating a hotdog (the details mattered, okay?), they’d exchanged pleasantries, and she’d been pretty whatever about it, but then he asked her–a freshman–to our junior ring dance, and it was history. I remember watching from afar as they danced together to Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” Bitter, I stalked their interactions on Facebook.  Some weather event caused us to miss school, and since they’d been apart for a couple of days, which is basically FOREVER in high school relationship time, he posted this song to her Facebook wall. I remember being upset that this had occurred as I knew she’d never appreciate the gesture like I would have. In the end, their relationship didn’t last long. But as it turned out, he was a horrible candidate for my heart.
  8. “Check Yes, Juliet” by We the Kings: This band became popular amongst my friends while I was still caught up in my Jonas Brothers phase. Two of my friends and I had to do a group project for French class at the end of freshman year where we acted out a restaurant scene. I played the waitperson while they were my patrons, discussing seeing a We the Kings concert (They’d nixed my idea of talking about a Jonas Brothers concert). Eventually, I hopped on the bandwagon and have enjoyed the Flordia-based band for better or for worse. I remember walking out of an intense essay-based exam and hearing this song being blasted from Ball Circle; it was a good moment (minus the guy sitting in one of the white adirondak chairs smoking a cigar).
  9. “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” by Panic! At the Disco: While I didn’t hop on the Panic! bandwagon until they’d released Vices & Virtues, I haven’t looked back since. I sweated off pounds at a sold out show at the NorVa during my senior year of high school, giving myself over to the music along with the rest of the crowd. It was an amazing moment to say the least. And I’ve had some truly incredible shower sing-a-longs to their music. I even incorporated the song into a Punk Goes Congress CD I made for an AP Government project (I aptly retitled it “I Write Bills, Not Tragedies”).
  10. “Only One” by Yellowcard: Yellowcard is yet another band I neglected during their peak popularity. Still, there were too many rainy bus rides home where I listened to “Holly Wood Died” and just felt all the feelings (typical Maggie) as often occurred during bus rides. It was a great way to decompress after a long school day.
  11. “Scars” by Papa Roach: I honestly don’t think I ever crossed paths with this song until now.
  12. “Numb” by Linkin Park: I remember a lot of rich white boys who probably played lacrosse liking Linkin Park and acting as if they were really edgy and tough because of it. I could never get into it myself.
  13. “Dark Blue” by Jack’s Mannequin: “Bruised” was the first song I heard by them, but this was most likely the second song. Everyone knows it and I remember dramatically dancing to it with my friends when I saw him in concert during my junior year of high school. “Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room” will never cease to be a lyric that truly gets me and touches my emo core.
  14. “Miss Murder” by AFI: I believe this song appeared on a mix CD a friend gave me one year for my birthday. I never really hit it off with AFI, but I can enjoy this song, casually nodding along to it.
  15. “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional: This is my first time hearing this specific track, but I got into The Swiss Army Romance senior year of high school thanks to a blog post by William Beckett. “Screaming Infidelities” will never not be my anthem and lest we not forget “Hands Down” and those lyrics that never fail to devastate me.
  16. “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” by Brand New: My short-lived introduction to Brand New occurred the spring before freshman year of college when I randomly met a prospective UMW student at a Discovery Day and continued to Facebook message him. My hopeless romantic self wanted to believe this chance meeting and his interest in the same genre of music meant that we were soul mates. He loved this band, I soon learned. But my interest in them lasted about as long as his interest in me. He soon ended up dating another Maggie and he withdrew from UMW by the end of the fall semester.
  17. “With Me” by Sum 41: This band was a bit before my entrance into the scene, so I don’t have any personal associations with them. I do remember a raccoon-eyed girl with bleached blonde hair wearing their band t-shirt. We’d been friends for the duration of fifth grade, but parted afterwards. By high school, her boyfriend was living with her and her parents.
  18. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day: Yet another band I’ve put on my iPod to appear that I’m musically with it. I remember this song being popular and some freaky girls (they attempted to perform open heart surgeries on earthworms on the playground in the fourth grade; they’d also temporarily stolen my best friend from me) in middle school being really into it, so I was a bit wary of it. I’ve run across a lot of other odd Green Day fans, although I’m sure there are some really fantastic fans out there too.
  19. “Miserable at Best” by Mayday Parade: I saw this band on Halloween on my junior year of high school. I remember the girl standing in front of me called her boyfriend who was at work and put it on speaker so he could hear the song I presume he really loved. But who doesn’t love a stripped down song that incredibly heart-breaking. Mayday Parade never fails to be the band I turn to when I want some of that quality emo melodrama that speaks to every hyperbolic wallowing in feels moment of lying on my back looking up at my ceiling fan and having an existential crisis.
  20. “Dear Maria, Count Me In” by All Time Low: This was one of the bands that really got me into this genre of music. I remembering spending hours in my room trying to learn the dance from the “Poppin’ Champagne” music video, and realizing I needed three more people for this to even have a chance of looking like anything (oh the woes of being an only child). My mother definitely wondered what all the thumping was about, and I passed off my sorry attempts at doing the worm as “just trying to learn a dance.”
  21. “Adam’s Song” by Blink-182: I enjoy this song more and more the older I get. I don’t think I appreciated it as much when I was in high school and still listening to music in hopes it meant greater compatibility with my crush du jour. This is probably one of the more timeless songs in the list that isn’t just good because of the era when it entered my life, but because it’s a legitimately good song.
  22. “I Don’t Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)” by Good Charlotte: Eighth-grade Maggie definitely had this song on repeat for a good while. It still spurs the occasional unabashed sing-along (EVERYBODY PUT UP YOUR HANDS). If nothing else, it carried me through my more jaded years of misadventures of the heart. And I’m pretty sure Radio Disney introduced me to this gem, if I remember correctly.
  23. “Helena” by My Chemical Romance: My best friend and I swooned over Gerard Way in this music video. I also remember a guy who looked like the love child of a hobbit and Gene Simmons performing this song in a high school talent show. He dedicated it to his dog, Muffins, who had passed away that morning.

If nothing else, this list has caused some of the weirder memories from my younger years to surface. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this wordy blog post about the emo kid in me who is still very much alive and well.

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