Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo
  • Alternative view 1 of Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo
  • Alternative view 2 of Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo

3.8 24
by Andy Greenwald

View All Available Formats & Editions

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo tells the story of a cultural moment that's happening right now-the nexus point where teen culture, music, and the web converge to create something new.

While shallow celebrities dominate the headlines, pundits bemoan the death of the music industry, and the government decries teenagers for their morals


Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo tells the story of a cultural moment that's happening right now-the nexus point where teen culture, music, and the web converge to create something new.

While shallow celebrities dominate the headlines, pundits bemoan the death of the music industry, and the government decries teenagers for their morals (or lack thereof) earnest, heartfelt bands like Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, and Thursday are quietly selling hundreds of thousands of albums through dedication, relentless touring and respect for their fans. This relationship - between young people and the empathetic music that sets them off down a road of self-discovery and self-definition - is emo, a much-maligned, mocked, and misunderstood term that has existed for nearly two decades, but has flourished only recently. In Nothing Feels Good, Andy Greenwald makes the case for emo as more than a genre - it's an essential rite of teenagehood. From the '80s to the '00s, from the basement to the stadium, from tour buses to chat rooms, and from the diary to the computer screen, Nothing Feels Good narrates the story of emo from the inside out and explores the way this movement is taking shape in real time and with real hearts on the line. Nothing Feels Good is the first book to explore this exciting moment in music history and Greenwald has been given unprecedented access to the bands and to their fans. He captures a place in time and a moment on the stage in a way only a true music fan can.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Greenwald's take on emo progresses the way one would expect when a senior contributing writer to SPIN magazine treats a musical subgenre. He grabs hold of its roots (in this case, the Washington, DC, 1980s hardcore scene and bands like Rites of Spring), walks readers through its stages (dropping the names of emo heroes like Sunny Day Real Estate and the Promise Ring), paints a vivid picture of contemporary darlings (mostly through Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba), and ties the entire presentation together with critical analyses and the occasional first-person portrait. As this is the first book on the mostly underground emo movement, writing a simple history would have sufficed. But by diving into emo's fan culture of Internet alter egos, Greenwald makes a strong argument for emo's being more than a musical classification; it's a youth movement thriving under adult radar. One quibble: Greenwald barely mentions a key point-that nearly every band associated with the genre hates the word emo. For comprehensive music collections.-Robert Morast, "Argus Leader," Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Blender Magazine
"This thoughtful, inquisitive book is, like the genre itself, really all about the fans...It's Catcher In The Rye with guitars."

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Andy Greenwald is a senior contributing writer at Spin. His writing has also appeared in The Village Voice and The Washington Post, and he has made numerous appearancs on MTV, VH1, the BBC, and ABC Radio. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and EMO 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like Dashboard, Blink, Jimmy Eat World, or anyone like them... they're here! This book is a must read for anyone who's interested with punk rock and interviews with bands!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was awesome. It gave all the bands mentioned in it justice and it showed their loyalty to their fans. It was great how it showed the tour life of Jimmy Eat World, and the lyrical mind behind Chris Carabba. They started out basically with the 80's and 90's hardcore underground scene. They explained the scene, the fans, and the bands, such as Jawbreaker, Texas Is The Reason, and The Promise Ring. But as the book goes on they expand into modern day bands like Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New. They have interviews with the singers, and commentary on their live shows and the connection and energy produced there. It also talks about real kids and how the music helped them and their own experiences at shows or wherever. This book is best suited for any teenage music lover from the age of 13 to 21. I live for this music and having a book that named almost all of my favorite bands and mentioned key lyrics of their most memorable songs meant a lot to me. Up until reading this book, reviewers or people in this industry never really understood what this was all about. They never got why kids were so emotional when they were at a Dashboard Confessional concert, or why Jimmy Eat World's Clarity became one of the best known emo records. They just didn't get it. It was all about money to them. We were just emotional freaks to some, or cry babies to others. After reading this book it can change your whole perspective towards this music and I think that's exactly what the author had in mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would have to say this book was very interesting. I'm not sure if I totally agree with everything he mentions but, I did enjoy reading it. Emo is just emotion...all music is emotional. The lables we place on music and the people who listen to it are lame. Everyone is emo in their own way...some people cry, some people scream, and others just plainly sit there. Music is music we should all just love it for what it is. And I agree...Listen to Saves the Day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
1) The Used aren't emo 2) You can like a genre of music, and still like bands of another genre 3) You can't 'be' emo, just like you can't be music. You can be a 'part' of emo, but i'd advise against it. Just be whatever the hell you want 4) A lot of Weezer's music actually would fit into the emo genre 5) Listen to Saves the Day
Anonymous 6 months ago
I sometimes wonder if im worth liking or worth being here. I sometimes think that this world would be better off without me. I sometimes think that i was just a mistake, that i wasnt meant to be born but apparently i was wrong. I feel like im not important and idk why i have so many good friends. I wonder most of the time "Will they miss me if i die?" "Will they be happier if i die?" Things like that are running through my head and it is scaring me. I am moving soon and it is killing me on the inside. I have already been dying on the inside but this is just making it worse. My name is Ariana and im 14 and ill see ya later.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Check out Sleeping with Sirens and Skipknot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where my chemical romance. Three days grace. Green day. The redjumsuit apperatuss. I mean seriously if your gonna give people the wrong idea at least give them the right music
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont like to hate on books but this book is kinda lame has nothing to do with emo )': <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm almost positive that the book is not meant to force views on people or tell you exactly what genre specific bands are. It is supposed to give you insight on the different cultures so you can form your own opinion. By the reviews here, its already caused the same controversy that it was meant to change.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished reading it last night, and I loved it a lot!!!!! He uses beautiful discriptions and metaphors, and he really caputres the teenage sense of hoplessness. Just read it, you won't be sorry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its not something that I had to force myself to read but its not something I would read again. It was quite pointless and honestly I wouldn't recomend anyone buying it. find someone (if you can) who alreayd boughtit and borrow it for awhile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For all of you that are saying that this book just adds on stereotypes, read it again. This book takes words like 'emo' and 'punk' and takes them OUT of their stereotype and INTO an entire culture. Which is what those words are, they are entire cultures that people live by. Oh great, you listen to Dashboard Confessionals. Your emo. But you also listen to 50 Cent. Now what? This book was an excellent read and the author talks about excellent bands and musicans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All this talk of catagorizing is boring me. At the same time, I am the biggest hypocrite...I don't think that Weezer is Emo..., I don't think that Dashboard Confessional is Emo....Emo is 'Emotionally Hardcore', people!!! Sure, they have catchy tunes..., but really... This book was....not quite my kind of read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book just adds to the idea that music must be catorgized with words like 'emo' 'punk' etc. (which sorry I don't believe in, if you can give me a straight defination of what is the difference between inde, rock, punk-pop, post-punk, funk, disco, country-pop, country-rock emo alternative, metal, hevy metal, death metal, alternative-punk, alternative-pop and more then I stand corrected. MUSIC IS MUSIC people) If you are into that kind of stuff read this book and form your own opinions. I skimmed this book and it had some gloom and truth to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because it talked about my favorie bands (like Dashboard, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and the Used). It also explained what 'emo' really is because no one seems to understand it. I recommend this book to anyone who likes punk rock music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Im a fan of just about every band he mentions (Dashboard, taking back sunday, brand new, etc.) and i most enjoyed this book because 1) i could relate to the teenagers he interviewed and 2) im a fan of the music. the 'review' on the cover that says the book is like the music...about the fans, is very true. it was hard to read the book without my headphones on. i could have done without his frequent quotes by Jessica Hopper, she was entirely too pessimistic for my taste. But otherwise, i really liked it. it was neat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you ever listened to their first or seconds albums you'd be overwhelmed with their emoness. All the songa are emo on both of those albums and all those other bands are not emo. Bright eyes is emo. That is punk and other stuff like that. Not emo. That is all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this book, because it gives you a chance to understand a very complex genre of music. I'm not sure about people trying to be emo, but i wouldnt quite agree with the argument that like emo, you cant be music. it's like punk. people can be punk, that doesnt nececcarily mean they cant listen to other music. thats just the stereotype or image. To 'be' emo in my opinion, would mean that you have a great appreciation for the music, and can realate passionatly. it doesnt mean you have to walk around in sweater vests with tin lunchboxes. anyway, nevertheless, a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Emo' is a mocked and highly misunderstood subgenre of punk rock. Unfortunately, Greenwald takes the most common misconceptions about 'emo' and calls them true.If you want to know 'emo', you first need to know punk rock. Because after all, 'emo' is punk rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ummm, rebekah, if you are trying to be emo, then i would advise you to stop obsessing over weezer. they are not emo. If you want some help, i woud advise you to start listening to true emo bands like Brand New, Dashboard Confessional, Thrice, Thursday, Sunny Day Real Estate, Senses Fail, Yellowcard, The Used, Straylight Run (and so on.... all of those wicked sick bands)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love trying to be emo! This book has helped me find my wanna-be emo self! I love this book. Go out and buy it right now!WEEZER RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WEEZER FOREVER!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
emo is a music scene that gives punk rock and hardcore a bad rap. its a bunch of repetitive music with a negative message, besides rap. they should write a book on how most sub cultures like oi, street punk, real hardcore, psychobilly and others show their anti emo ideals at underground shows. thats whats really going on in the underground!