Check Out a Free Mini-Mix From the Diary Emo/Pop-Punk Party at Pop's Bar
Diary is a monthly party at the inimitable Pop's Bar featuring the best in late-'90s and early-'00s emo, pop-punk, and screamo. Starting this week, Diary -- which is put on by Patric Fallon, an occasional SF Weekly contributor and expert blogger over at XLR8R, along with Kristopher Hannum -- will bring its three-chord romps and noisy breakdowns to Saturday nights. In honor of the move, Fallon and Hannum put together a special mini-mix for All Shook Down featuring some of their favorite purveyors of whiney-boy choruses and heart-shredding adolescent poetry. Catch Diary this Saturday at Pop's, and snag the mini-mix -- with the DJs' commentary -- after the jump.
1. The Get Up Kids, "Holiday"
This song ranks very high in contention for the most popular Diary jam. It's the first track on The Get Up Kids' wildly influential second record, 1999's Something to Write Home About, and it's usually the first track we play when it's time to kick the party into high gear. Nothing gets people quite as pumped as the sound of the pick scraping across guitar strings in the intro.
2. Blink-182, "Josie"
We've never seen so many kids stage-dive (or table-dive, in this case) in a bar with no live band as we have to this song. There's so much happening here: classic sing-along lyrics about a perfect high school love mixed with references to fellow punk bands (the Diary crowd just about drowns out the music chanting the words every time we play it), quick little breakdowns, and plenty of big guitar riffs, among other gems. And do you remember the video? Alyssa Milano, hello.
3. Saves the Day, "You Vandal"
This is one of the numerous sappy, poppy love songs by Saves the Day, a band largely responsible for transitioning the term 'emo' away from its roots. Despite all of that, "You Vandal" is still a total jammer, and the lyrics to this song depict a pretty solid definition of the word "bittersweet."
4. The Promise Ring, "Why Did Ever We Meet"
The Promise Ring is one of a handful of bands that splintered off from the now legendary Cap'n Jazz outfit (who will show up later in this mix) back in the mid '90s. But while Tim and Mike Kinsella, Sam Zurick, and Victor Villarreal went on to do more experimental indie music (Joan of Arc, American Football, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka, etc.), Davey von Bohlen struck an ideal balance between pop and DIY rock as the frontman for this fantastic band, and helped write one of emo's most beloved chapters, the seminal Nothing Feels Good album. This track is one of our favorites from that record's 12 amazing songs.
5. Jawbreaker, "Boxcar"
Jawbreaker is San Francisco's number one claim to emo fame. These guys helped pave the road for lots of pop-punk and emo bands throughout the '90s and beyond. During the decade they were a band, Blake Schwarzenbach and Co. maintained a gritty and driving punk sound whilst dishing out socially conscious lyrics that rang all too true for kids at the time. "You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone/ Save your breath, I never was one."
6. Alkaline Trio, "San Francisco"
This one is a given. "San Francisco" is a classic pop-punk song written by Chicago's Alkaline Trio about our own fair city. An anthem for homesickness, it even references drinking in SFO. And, c'mon, who hasn't drowned their sorrows in a beer at the airport?
7. Braid, "First Day Back"
Though maybe not as widely influential as some previously mentioned Midwestern bands, Champaign, Illinois' Braid was an integral and equally loved part of mid-to-late-'90s emo, and Frame and Canvas was the quartet's best and last studio LP. "First Day Back" is Diary's favorite cut from that album (finishing very close to "A Dozen Roses"), as it perfectly encapsulates the sound of that era with its earnest vocal yawps, ramshackle guitar riffs, and explosive punk rock energy.