"Where were you when MySpace died?
I was in mall stealing bracelet when phone rang.
Tom said MySpace is kill... rawr XD"
This is T-Time and you're listening to The Action Index-- the podcast that takes a deep dive into the emo scene. In today's episode, we're going to take a look at MySpace.
MySpace is a website synonymous with early 2000s internet culture, and even more so with emo culture. Founded in 2003, with musicians in mind, it exploded in popularity and became a social media hub.
Remember Owl City? Of course you remember Owl City, he got his start on MySpace. Adele, Sean Kingston, the Arctic Monkeys they all got their big breaks through MySpace. And in the context of emo, bands like Attack Attack, Panic! At the Disco, Never Shout Never, and the Skrillex-fronted From First to Last all made it to where they are today through MySpace.
Now I could talk at length about the cultural impact that emo fashion and MySpace had on early 2000s teens and young adults, but this is a music podcast, so I'll just summarize. Hot Topic, fringe bangs, skin tight black denim, dyed hair, emo fan art of popular cartoon characters, "I maked you a cookie, but I eated it," rawr XD... you get the gist.
Even today, the image of the 2000s Internet emo is typically what people imagine when they hear the term "e mo," which isn't inherently a bad thing in my mind. Emo in its origins and DC punk are all about inclusivity, social justice, and standing out from the crowd. Internet emos of the early 2000s weren't much different, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and access to sexual and mental health.
To be fair, I am looking at this cultural phenomenon through MCR tinted glasses. A lot of the punk community hated this, because they saw it as a trend. And that's kind of what this was. It's a trend. Think of the TikTok E-boys and people like Machine Gun Kelly, capitalizing on this caricature of emo culture in the early 2000s.
It's not really the music that's the trend. It's the style and the attitude. It almost seems like MySpace emos were a sanitized bastardization of the punk ethos.
But that didn't stop these whiny teens are making some of the best emo records to ever come out. And many arm chair Reddit emo historians view this brief resurgence in real emo, "emo revival."
From here, you get groups like Algernon Cadwallader. Oh My God Elephant!, Midwest Pen Pals, Merchant Ships, Snowing... they all capture this sort of internet-age interpretation of mid to late 90s twinkly, Midwest emo. It was more energetic, loud, lighthearted and quirky than the 90s counterpart.
At this point, most people had access to home computers and free recording software, so recording an album and releasing it on the internet was easier than ever.
In fact, over 50 million songs by over 14 million artists were uploaded to MySpace at its peak.
Maybe you have a favorite Myspace artist? Maybe you’ve been trying to find their music for years with no luck? Well, in 2019 during a “botched server migration,” all music uploaded to Myspace from 2003-2016 was permanently deleted
There are groups of internet archivists and loss media enthusiasts who've recovered a small fraction of these mystery MP3s, and uploaded them to archive websites for veteran emos to browse through and are working hard to correctly attribute these tracks and uncover more.
For those interested it's called the MySpace archive project. Taking a look through there are some early demos by Silverstein, Taking Back Sunday, MCR, and more. At this point in time, everybody used MySpace, so it wasn't just emo artists uploading music. In the archive, there's a fair bit of techno and metal as well as other
The MySpace archive project is a great resource if you want to find some early demos of your favorite bands. Or if you just want to find some really underground music. I took a listen through some of the uploads on there and found a few that really stood out to me. Winter Demo 2001 is a demo tape put out by the group ...Of Death. It's less than five minutes long, and I think it's definitely worth the listen if you're really into emo violence. It's drenched in reverb, and it's almost like if Norwegian black metal met 90s Hardcore Screamo.
Another demo tape I recommend checking out is My Chemical Romance is attic tapes.
It's a four track demo, containing early versions of cubicles, skylines and turnstiles early sunsets over Monroe, and Our Lady of Sorrows. These tracks would later be featured on their first album, I brought you my bullets, You brought me your love. One last release, I recommend checking out is Elysia's is masochist. It's crazy, loud, cathartic deathcore
what more could you want? It's 2006.
Thank you so much for listening to the action index with t-time, a deep dive into emo culture.
You can give the podcast a follow on Instagram at the action index underscore. I'll start posting stuff there eventually, I guess.
The music you heard today was blue mood by Robert Munzinger, Sunday stroll by huma huma and manic, no depression by Jeremy corpas. All thanks to the YouTube Audio Library. Thank you for listening!