makeoutclub missed connections: karl from atlanta

posted on September 11, 2014

when i was in high school, opportunities to see my favorite bands were extremely few and far between. the bigger bands rarely came through my town and when they did, i had to hope that it wouldn’t be an 18+ situation. 

finally i became resourceful enough to lurk makeoutclub for cool people in neighboring cities in hopes of finding a couple of buddies to meet up with should i ever decide to travel to see a show.

karl was several years older than me and seemed cooler than anyone i had ever known. he was so chill and lived a life that i envied and aspired to have. he gave no shits about his job, liked to go out and have fun, played in a band, looked how he wanted to look and had a bunch of cool, like-minded friends. the recipe for a happy life appeared so much simpler when i was 16.

karl was always down to chat about pop punk bands, cool shows and tattoo ideas. karl had a friend that worked at universal music and said if i ever wanted cd’s he could send them to me for free. i thought this was the coolest fucking thing ever (fun fact: a decade later i, too, would work at universal music). on top of that, he lended an ear whenever i wanted to complain about my trivial high school issues and he said we could for sure hang out should i ever trek down to atlanta for a show. 

finally, in november of 2002, i made secret plans to sleepover at a friend’s house when in reality we were going to drive down to atlanta to see a new found glory, something corporate and finch.

i was ready to go and karl was ready for me to arrive.

but the trip never happened. as you can see from the journal entry, there was a lot of drama in the air at the time. i’ve forgotten what the fuss was about but highly likely it was stupid. my friend bailed on me at the last minute and i didn’t have the balls to go to atlanta alone. 

karl was expecting me and disappointed when i didn’t show. i wish more than anything that i’d gone and gotten a taste of the perceived life that i’d wanted. 

there are numerous journal entries bemoaning this missed opportunity. i’d like to think that i’ve done enough in my adult life to make up for this but i think i will always be a little bit sad that i didn’t get to experience it when it mattered the most.

as for karl, i have no idea where he is now. we haven’t spoken in any internet capacity in well over a decade. 

i hope he is well!


scene tee shirt cute boy memories

posted on September 11, 2014

there was a time in my life when a boy caught my eye not with his hairstyle, the music he was into or the tightness of his pants, but with his band tee shirt.

the band tee shirt meant a lot. it represented a boy’s commitment to music - his willingness to travel, to step outside of his suburban comfort zone to see his favorite band play…an experience awesome enough to commemorate with a tee shirt. this very legit way was pretty much the only means of acquiring band tee shirts back in places & times of no cool shows and no hot topics and no credit cards for mail order.

the only other way (that i can think of) was to beg friends to bequeath their swag to him…but then it just meant he had mega cool friends. i can’t begin to describe my admiration for the boy who had enough shirts to rotate them daily for months.

here are some memorable shirts and the crushes that wore them:

1. norma jean “support southern rock” rifles tee


remember when guns were iconic in scene fashion? the first i ever knew of this was via this shirt, worn by southern christian (and usually straightedge) metalcore qt’s who rolled en masse. that’s right, entire crews of qt’s. see also high school boyfriend: the scene king.

2. bane logo tee


omg, a true classic. everyone had this shirt. everyone. no matter if your tendencies were metalcore, fashioncore, emotive hardcore or tr00 hardcore, a bane logo tee was essential. for a long time, it felt like at least one member of one band would be wearing a bane shirt at any given show. see more about the bane merch legacy here and here

3. thursday full collapse-era white dove tee


this shirt was worn mostly by approachable emos - nice guys with mainstream rapport. my realest memory of this shirt was via my emo manager at junky food service job i had when i was 16. he would layer it underneath his work uniform. he was cute, wonderfully friendly, loved talking about alternative press buzz bands and didn’t get mad at me for stealing food.

4. the locust locust tee


this shirt reminds me specifically of a skinny, black-haired dude who looked fashioncore but was too legit to get called a poser. he had a really cool dgaf attitude - he was straightedge one minute, experimented with drugs the next and didn’t bother trying to explain himself. extra crush points for anyone who had the camo version (sup) or the holy grail of scene point apparel, the belt buckle.

5. underoath dripping pink cross tee


by the time every scene dude was sporting this shirt, it was a thing to be a vain myspace webcam whore. myspace replaced the tightpants livejournal community, various scene message boards and makeoutclub as my main source for hot scene boy p0rn and oh man was there a lot of it *insert 3 praying hands emojis*. the hot pink cross on this tshirt was a nice fashioncore detail which i think paved the way at an early stage for zany neon scene merch


post-myspace era bands covering emo classics

posted on August 26, 2014

i estimate roughly 2005-2010 as the years when myspace music really carved its legacy. 2005 because that’s when i remember first hearing about bands (mainly panic! at the disco) making it big through myspace and when i used myspace as a reliable source for discovering new music…and new scenester boys. 2010 because that’s when myspace had blown up so much that it was no longer a credible niche community. it was as if the more it became polluted with glitter graphics, tweens & spam users, the more the music followed suit. soon the site would fold but the style of music it inspired would live on. 

pulling inspiration from emo, screamo, metalcore, dance punk, electroclash and pop punk, myspace brought previously underground music styles to trendy, commercialized, youth-infested levels. following its demise, it had distorted the word “emo” into one that makes you picture people like this.

myspace drove a total disconnect between o.g. scene people and the tweens they’d eventually influence. after all of this, it’s quite nice to see a few post-myspace era bands pay tribute to their forefathers!

fall out boy covering “save your generation” by jawbreaker

fall out boy’s success preceded their identity as a “myspace band”  but it’s highly likely that every person still caught living the myspace life regards fall out boy as frontrunners of the genre. 

hellogoodbye covering “a picture postcard” by the promise ring

i don’t know anything about hellogoodbye except that they emerged on drive-thru records just around the time drive-thru folded and were waaay too tumblrcore in a time when tumblrcore didn’t exist yet.

hit the lights covering “snowbirds and townies” by further seems forever

i have never heard this band before but i have seen tweens wearing the tee shirts and they were once signed to the major label i worked for back when i had my ~*dream job*~ in the music industry. solid choice of song to cover though. 

the material covering “red letter day” by the get up kids

based off of my 2.5 song listen, the material seem like a more serious version of paramore. this song is actually part of a get up kids tribute album put out by pacific ridge records - a pop punk label inspired by the movielife and probably some myspace-related stuff.

also, for good measure, this memorable owl city tweet:

who were your favorite post-myspace era bands? do you think they were inspired by o.g. emo bands?

do you know any other good myspace band covers of emo classics?


high school goes acoustic: acoustic versions of your favorite songs from high school

posted on June 20, 2014

i guess when i say “acoustic versions of your favorite songs from high school”, i really mean “acoustic versions of MY favorite songs from high school” but just as long as you had high school grade emo-punk tendencies in the years surrounding 2003, you’ll appreciate this playlist.


01 absinthe party at the fly honey // minus the bear
02 cute without the ‘e’ // taking back sunday
03 nobody puts baby in the corner // fall out boy
04 knew it all along // midtown
05 the best of me // the starting line
06 woe // say anything
07 view from heaven // yellow card
08 masterpiece // bayside
09 the middle // jimmy eat world
10 i want to hear you sad // the early november
11 junesong provision // coheed & cambria
12 giving it away // mae
13 i was a teenage anarchist // against me!
14 shallow // unwritten law
15 san dimas high school football rules // the ataris
16 from california // the new amsterdams
17 all downhill from here // new found glory
18 you vandal // saves the day

listen to “high school goes acoustic” on spotify »


guys from your fav screamo bands & their new completely different bands

posted on June 03, 2014

were you into realscreamo™/”skramz"/emotive hardcore/whatever you want to call it?

i feel like most screamo bands kept pretty low profiles. i didn’t think i’d have much luck with googling where they are today - but i was wrong! and all i can say is daaaamn, guys from screamo bands sure cleaned up nice.

alex suarez // kite flying society ⇒ cobra starship

i love kite flying society and think of them as a young protégé of saetia (the quintessential screamo band, imo). like greg drudy of saetia, alex suarez was also a man of humble floridian origin who would eventually find his big break in new york city - via meeting myspace renaissance man gabe saporta (aka gossip girl coke dealer, gap jeans model, also midtown frontman for street cred) and joining his fashionable “emo pop” band cobra starship. 

(you can actually stream kite flying society’s entire discography online. it’s all up on bandcamp thanks to init records. <3)

photo credits: 1 | 2

nicholas sadler // daughters ⇒ fang island

i remember a heated thread on the scene forum of my hometown about whether or not girls should attend the daughters show. daughters’ shows were known for being prettttty chaotic and lyrics like “if every woman was a continent, i would be napoleon” didn’t make them the most favored band among the girls (case in point heard in first 10 seconds here - “you’re an asshole - stop talking about fucking women”). anyway, the guitarist went on to attend risd and start an indie rock band - fang island - who have been described as “majestic” and “giddy” and incidentally, have also made it to the gossip girl rotation.

photo credits: 1 | 2

erik ratensperger // jerome’s dream ⇒ the virgins

i once thought jerome’s dream got their biggest claim to fame via having tim heidecker as a fan…but apparently their drummer erik ratensperger went on to be the lead designer for mishka in addition to joining the virgins, a stylish band in the vein of the killers or phoenix that were also in heavy rotation on gossip girl and good friends with chrissie miller (dj, clothing designer and girlfriend to leo fitzpatrick). whew. much fame and glamour. 

photo credits: 1 | 2

marc bianchi // indian summer ⇒ her space holiday

both indian summer and her space holiday have been top favorite bands of mine at one point or another - i had no idea the two were related until this week! this blog explains indian summer perfectly and this interview is a great story of marc bianchi’s transition from post-hardcore to synthpop. and this re-pressing of the indian summer 7” by german label adagio830 is very beautiful. i own it; you should too.

oh, her space holiday has not been featured on gossip girl to my knowledge. 

photo credits: 1 | 2

i guess i should mention that gossip girl was one of my favorite teen drama shows of all time. like i was one of those people that still secretly followed it in 2012. it was the screamo link. it all makes sense now.


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