Wikipedia tells me it originated in Washington, D.C., which makes sense to me because it's utterly depressing there if you might want to express yourself through any channel that isn't a political campaign. And fashion is like shopping at a country club uniform warehouse, so we can deduce that the emos "rebelled" in a sensitive yet angry manner. But I don't believe that it's a version of punk in the least.
Genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who dont smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts with tight wool sweaters, tighter jeans, itchy scarfs (even in the summer), ripped chucks with favorite bands signature, black square rimmed glasses, and ebony greasy unwashed hair that is required to cover at least 3/5 ths of the face at an angle.
I've compiled my own short list of bands I think are emo that you may or may not want to avoid, and here they are for your warning pleasure...
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy
30 Seconds to Mars
We had three dishwashers over the summer who qualified as emo (I think). The first one, Emo Tim, age 19, looked emo. He even had an ever-bloodshot eye and a Friar Tuck haircut with the I-could-care-less-if-I-get-anywhere saunter. One day I asked him what emo was and he said, "It depends on who you ask." His protege, a lad about five years younger than Emo Tim, whom we lovingly referred to as Mr. Frodo because of his tiny stature, modeled himself after Tim, but couldn't quite pull it off with his blond hair and 14-year-old cherubic face. He did, however, have an emo-bang that covered his eye, so maybe he's gonna make it.
Really quick, I'd like to add Coheed & Cambria to my list. Here's a picture of the lead singer. He's on the far right.
The third dishwasher came after Mr. Frodo and Tim and claimed he was the one who Tim got all of his fashion ideas from, which pretty much were limited to fashion eyeglass frames, very thick belts, and skinny jeans. His name was Andrew and I asked him if he'd rather be called "Andy" or "Andrew" (I'm bossy, I need to know people's names so I can boss with convincing faux-authority) and he said he didn't care. This alerted me immediately to his feigned emo-ness. I think the correct emo answer would have been, "Drew," or "Robert Smith of The Cure." Not really. None of those dumbasses even know who Robert Smith is.
You can be pretty sure that any bands with a completely unnecessary "The" preceding the lame band name can secure a place in the emo bizzarro world along with some or any of the following characteristics:
-Any band members who wear eyeliner
-Music videos in grayscale
-Hair that "appears" dirty or flat-ironed (or both) or over an eye
-Too short/tight t-shirts
-Fabricated and practiced sullen or pained facial expressions
Do we know what emo is yet?
Post Script: I just saw a commercial for Rockband.com, where the actors address the "The" phenomenon I wrote about a couple of months ago. Collective subconscious? I think not... Who's reading my blog besides Jaime?