By: Adrienne DayBy its nature, emo refuses to be categorized, but in his debutbook, Spin senior contributing writer Andy Greenwald pinsdown the misunderstood genre and its teary-eyed, dedicatedlisteners. Taking its title from a Promise Ring song, NothingFeels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo is an enthusiasticand exhaustive journalistic account of the music’s history, tracingits roots from D.C. hardcore acts such as Rites of Spring to earlybreakthroughs Sunny Day Real Estate to present-day success storiesNew Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World.
Simultaneously, Greenwald charts the bloodless revolution taking place onthe Internet, where the homegrown online diaries of LiveJournal.com and Makeoutclub.com connect fans to a new universe of music–and to one another.”The Web,” he says, “allows them access to this without having to get a driver’slicense or go to a scary record store.”
Like the all-inclusive scene it describes, Nothing Feels Good puts performers like Chris Carrabba and anonymous Internet denizens with screen names like EMO IS NOT A TREND on the same level, reflecting a world in which everyone is disaffected in different ways, but still equal. “Community sites arebasically like rock shows–they’re an invented space, but a safe space, where you control how you present yourself,” says Greenwald. “You can wear Abercrombie and still be conflicted.”