Tag Archives: hot water music

Happy Birthday Is This Thing On?

September is here, which can mean only one thing. It is now one year since I started this blog and that is amazing for two reasons: Firstly it doesn’t feel that long ago that I started writing this and secondly I can’t believe I’ve found enough to write about to make this last. I gave myself about 2 weeks initially so I have surpassed all my expectations, plus I never thought that in the first 12 months of doing this that the blog would receive over 27 thousand views. But, incredibly, it has and I am more than grateful to everyone who has had a look, commented and come and made friends on twitter and Facebook etc. To celebrate this momentous occasion I thought I’d share something with you that I only recently remembered existed.

As you have probably realised if you’ve ever read this blog before is that I’ve spent a lot of the last few months trying to remember things that happened 12 or 13 years ago. Which has proven quite difficult because all the painkillers and morphine that I was taking to ease the pain of my stupid back has left me with a somewhat hazy memory. Mainly I was trying to remember what bands there were and what shows I’d been to back then. But, out of the blue, I was struck by the memory of something very cool and very, very funny. I was sure there was a game on the internet in the early 00′s that centered on emo and the battles against the corporate mainstream. Having been many years since I’d thought of it, let alone actually played it, I assumed that it must have been taken down. Trying to think of what it what was called, I decided to try my hand at googling some things but that yielded no results. And then it hit, of course, it was so simple…………………………………It was called EMOGAME!!

Excited, I just decided to type it in to the address bar and whack a dot-com after the name. It worked!! And it was all there, 4 retro looking video games (2 main, 2 mini) dating back to 2002-2004, it was just as I remembered except my computer worked a lot quicker than the one I had 10 years ago so it was even better. EMOGAME is hilarious, disgusting, hours of fun, packed with in jokes and some great music.

The first game is the one I have replayed since re-discovering the site, the story starts at a big emo show. The Get Up Kids are onstage, playing with At the Drive-in and Hot Water Music, when they get kidnapped. Cedric Bixler from ATD-I and Chuck Ragan from HWM decide that they need those guys back so they can finish the tour. So they enlist the help of some friends, first they call Starbucks to reach Chris Simpson of Mineral, who at the time is trying to avoid the whingeing of his co-worker, Dashboard Confessional himself Chris Carabba. Chris Simpson drops everything to come help rescue the Get Up Kids and Chris Carabba tags along much to the annoyance of the rest of them. To complete the crack team of emo heroes they call Saddle Creek records where Tim Kasher of Cursive and Conor Oberst are lying on the floor, wasted. They have no interest in helping the GUK but there is the promise of free booze so they jump at the chance of coming. And, finally, they call the hospital where Atom of Atom and his Package is in the middle of performing brain surgery, again he feels the need to drop everything and join the rest of them to help. Once all together it becomes apparent that the GUK have been kidnapped by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, his main reason is so he can violate each one of them in as many ways as he can think of. Through a message he can mysteriously send through Chuck Ragan’s TV he lets our guys know they’ll never catch him and then graphically displays just what he is up to before uttering the immortal line, “I just donkey punched Ryan Pope!!!”.

The gang then set off in search of Jeremy Enigk who they believe has the power to let them know how to reach Steven Tyler. On the way they must do battle with a bunch of jocks at a High School which include a very sexist New Found Glory, fight their way through a Hot Topic and a demented, money hungry Rivers Cuomo and defeat a very regretful but commercially successful Jimmy Eat World who are taking part in TRL on MTV. You also come across a Courtney Love who resembles Jabba the Hut and have to fight the Anniversary who swear they are NOT EMO armed with a bunch of 7″s, while helping you along the way is Chris Broach of Braid. The gameplay is pretty simple, I managed to complete the first one and I suck at computer games, but that’s not really the reason to play. The game is packed full of gags and observations about the scene and is all done completely out of love for these bands that they feature. The guys that made this may be a bit weirdly obsessed with anal rape but you can tell that they are massive fans and as their jokes and characters testify, they have a massive knowledge of emo circa 2002.

I’ve yet to get stuck in to the other games on offer here, I will do and can’t wait to see where they go with it, I just thought I better share this with all you guys so you cn enjoy it as much as I have. I wonder if the people who developed this will think of revisiting the game and make a new one that features the current crop of emo bands. Maybe we could see members of Joie De Vivre join forces with You Blew It to do battle with a Pete Wentz who is hell-bent on destroying Count your lucky stars/Topshelf/Tiny engines etc.. so emo can go back to being a commercial shit stream like it was in the mid noughties. Here’s hoping.

Play the game at www.emogame.com

As always, cheers for reading. Come say hi on twitter (@alextb3) or on Facebook www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog

Thanks x

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THE ‘IS THIS THING ON?’ TOP 100 EMO SONGS OF ALL TIME PART 8 (30-21)

#emo100

Previously on the Top 100 emo songs of all time…….

100 – Reggie and the full effect – Thanx for stayin

99 – Roadside Monument – Sunken Anchor

98 – Boilermaker – Slow Down

97 – Hundred reasons – If I could

96 – Jets to Brazil – Chinatown

95 – Coping – F For now

94 – Inside – Ray Brower

93 – Basement – Grayscale

92 – The Jazz June – Viva La speed metal

91 – Everyone Everywhere – I feel fine by Everyone Everywhere

90 – Hunter Gatherer – Low standards for high fives

89 – Football, etc. – Safety

88 – Race Car Riot – Raincheck

87 – Taking Back Sunday – Bike scene

86 – Leiah – Tiglio

85 – Brandtson – Still life

84 – Polar Bear Club – Bottled wind

83 – Starmarket – Losing track

82 – Sunny Day Real Estate – Guitar and video games

81 – Grade – Stolen bikes ride faster

80 – Bob Tilton – September

79 – The Autumn Year – Little lost words

78 – Koufax – Going to happen

77 – Wavelets – Julio won’t get out of the car

76 – The Get Up Kids – Forgive and Forget

75 – Hot Rod Circuit – At nature’s mercy

74 – The Appleseed Cast – Steps and numbers

73 – Stapleton – International departures

72 – New End Original – Lukewarm

71 – Hundred Hands – A Replay

70 – Knapsack – Cellophane

69 – Elliott – Dionysus Burning

68 – The Lapse – We Must Move Backwards To Progress

67 – Owls – Everyone Is My Friend

66 – Suis La Lune – Quiet, Pull The Strings!

65 – Sunday’s Best – Winter Owned

64 – CSTVT – Hiccups

63 – Vitreous Humor – Sharin’ Stone

62 – Beezewax – Dead End Kids

61 – Death Cab For Cutie – A Movie Script Ending

60 – Grown Ups – Three Day Weekend

59 – Funeral Diner – We Become Buried

58 – Snowing – I Think We’re In Minsk

57 – Imbroco – You’re My Lionkiller

56 – Maritime – Tearing Up The Oxygen

55 – Engine Down – The Offer Of Something

54 – Boy’s Life – Sight Unseen

53 – Benton Falls – All These Things

52 – Further Seems Forever – Madison Prep

51 – The Casket Lottery – Ever Since Sulfur

50 – Ghosts And Vodka – Sex Is Popular

49 – Transit – Footwork

48 – Jejune – Solar

47 – Hey Mercedes – Quality Revenge At Last

46 – Jeremy Enigk – Lewis Hollow

45 – Cursive – The Radiator Hums

44 – Joan Of Arc – Post Coitus Rock

43 – Pianos Become The Teeth – Cripples Can’t Shiver

42 – The Get Up Kids – Coming Clean

41 – At The Drive-In – Heliotrope

40 – Owen – O, Evelyn..

39 – This Beautiful Mess – Don’t Go There

38 – Rites Of Spring – Remainder

37 – Rainer Maria – Artificial Light

36 – Sunny Day Real Estate – Theo B

35 – The Gloria Record – Grace The Snow Is Here

34 – Saves The Day – Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots

33 – Penfold – M

32 – The Promise Ring – A Picture Postcard

31 – Mineral – If I Could

To read more about these tracks click HERE for numbers 100-91, HERE for no’s 90-81, HERE for no’s 80-71, HERE for no’s 70-61, HERE for no’s 60-51, HERE for no’s 50-41, HERE for 40-31. And for some background as to why I’m doing this list click HERE

30 – Sense Field – Building

 One of the shortest, if not the shortest, songs on the list, the title track from the classic album of the same name zips by without giving you time to think. Just lose yourself in one and a half minutes of superb, energetic, punky pop brilliance. The guitars at the start, the verse, the catchy chorus, Jon Bunch’s killer voice and the way the song rocks out at the end all make for one hell of a song.

29 – Death Cab For Cutie – The Ice Is Getting Thinner

 Death Cab are one of few bands that can keep on going for years, releasing multiple albums whilst keeping the quality at a premium. Tucked away at the end of the 2008 album ‘Narrow Stairs’ is this beautiful gem of a song. ‘The ice is getting thinner’ has a special place in my heart as it’s my wifes favourite song, which is appropriate as it is amazingly beautiful just as she is (brownie points!!!). Ben Gibbard’s effortlessly lovely voice with simple yet brilliant guitars make this song a real treat.

28 – Dashboard Confessional – Turpentine Chaser

 You don’t get much more emo than Dashboard Confessional. It’s amazing how much energy that one man and his acoustic guitar can invoke in a room full of like minded people. My wife and I got to see him play at the tiny Metro Club underneath Waterstones in Oxford Street towards the end of 2002. I had heard about how the crowd would sing-a-long but it was still a shock when the crowd was united in one voice as soon as Dashboard started playing. ‘Turpentine Chaser’ is taken from his first album ‘The swiss army romance’ and is an emotionally intense example of Chris Carraba at his very best.

27 – Beezewax – The Snooze Is On

 In the latter part of the 20th century my friend Paul was asked if he’d be able to sort out a local show for a Norweigian band who would be coming to the UK shortly. He was given a copy of their debut album, ‘A dozen summits’, and from the opening chords of the first song ‘The snooze is on’ we (the whole of Margate) instantly fell in love. It is one of the most perfect slices of indie pop ever committed to tape, Paul put them on and then several times more and Beezewax became one of our scenes most loved bands. Brilliant.

26 – The Anniversary – All Things Ordinary

 The Anniversary are sometimes forgotten/written off/overlooked which is a damn shame as they made 2 very good and different albums. ‘All things ordinary’ comes from their more classic emo rock debut album ‘Designing a nervous breakdown’ and comes complete with awesome keyboards and excellent male/female duetting vocals. I saw them a few times live and I seem to remember at the 2nd show the drummer had adopted a look resembling a tennis player from the 1970′s which has to be said added to their appeal.

25 – Dismemberment Plan – What do you want me to say?

 I have been debating with myself as to whether or not I can count Dismemberment Plan as an emo band and I came to the conclusion that I don’t really care because this song is so good I would try and include it into any ‘best of’ list I was writing, even if it was a list of novety 90′s rap songs by kids who wore their clothes backwards. It is seriously good, one of the most instantly catchy choruses you’ll hear all year followed by the crazy where they keep yelling “hey!”. Amazing!!!!!

24 – The Appleseed Cast – Forever Longing The Golden Sun

One of the biggest problems you face when compiling a list of top 100 songs by yourself is choosing which songs to include and what to not, which ain’t good when you’re indecisive like I am. The problem is further exasperated when you are faced with an album as entirely brilliant as ‘Mare Vitalis’ where any of the 10 songs could make the list. I think I’ve made the right choice in ‘Forever longing the golden sun’, It’s classic Appleseed Cast, epic, beautiful and completely exhilarating.

23 – Far – Really Here

 This song subscribes to that old showbiz adage of ‘leave them wanting more’. It’s teasingly short in the fact that for 2 minutes the song builds slowly with Jonah’s sweet voice carressing your ears before launching in to the uplifting finale. As soon as ‘Really here’ ends you’re left shouting “Noooo” in a bad Darth Vader voice because you are just dying for it to continue. ‘Water and solutions’ the album ‘Really here’ is taken from is a classic which everyone should have in their collection.

22 – Pop Unknown – Half Of Ninety

 I love the way this song builds on the quiet, muted guitar riff that starts the song, gradually bringing in the drums, followed by the lead guitar melody and vocals. It has a real laid back beauty to it, the riff gets in your head and always makes me want to listen to the song again as soon it’s finished. ‘Half of ninety’ is taken from the bands first full length ‘If arsenic fails try algebra’ and Pop Unknown are one my favourite of the many brilliant Deep Elm bands.

21 – Hot Water Music – Remedy

 Hot Water Music have an extensive back catalogue of classic, brilliant albums but it’s on one of their later records that you’ll find this peach of an opening track. It’s the perfect song to blast out of your car speakers with the windows down as you pull away, makes me feel cool when I do (well, as cool as someone who drives a yellow Skoda can look). Brilliantly sung and briliantly loud as always. Still popular as ever, Hot Water Music recently sold out their upcoming show at the Old Blue Last in London in 12 minutes!! Such is the massive love for this band.

Thanks for reading again, its getting close to the end now. Again, let me know what you think either here or on Twitter (@alex_itto). The next part will go up soon. Cheers x

The Spotify playlist has been updated, click below for the link

Emo 100 (100-21)

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