Okay friends. I know many of you are young and not necessarily as into music as I am but DAMN do I really want to talk about this song. You may be familiar with a dubstep artist known as “Skrillex.” Well, the guy from Skrillex, Sonny Moore, used to front a screamo band called From First To Last. They had a song called Note To Self that was pretty popular, and a really whiny ballad called Emily that I used to like a lot. Still do. Whatever.
In 2003, Immortal Records put out a compilation album called A Santa Cause: It’s A Punk Rock Christmas. It featured such heavy hitters as MXPX, Something Corporate, New Found Glory, Saosin, and Fall Out Boy. (The definition of ‘punk rock’ was stretched a bit, but this is not the time for semantics.) So this firmly places it in the “early scene” category, in my mind. Please don’t fight me, I am just describing what I lived.
So FFTL does a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas on this. Fittingly (I *guess*) called “The 12 Days of xXxMAS.” I guess they were edge. I don’t know if they were but I doubt they still are. SOME of us have integrity, FFTL. Or alcoholic parents. Whichever.
Anyway, this song is such a relic of the scene now that I feel like I need to break this thing down for those who may not understand WHY things are relevant. I’ll take it line by line from the 12th day, so I don’t have to go through the entire fucking length of the song. Listening to The 12 Days of Christmas is pretty much an act of terror. Why does it exist. ANYWAY.
On the 12th day of Christmas my Friendster gave to me
– Friendster was a proto-Myspace. It was really popular amongst band kids in the early 2000s as a way to connect. I didn’t really get into the scene as it were until after Myspace was a thing, but so there. Friendster was sold a couple times, took an interest in online gaming, and went static in 2015.
12 tight black t-shirts
– The tight black t-shirt was the uniform of the scene kid that couldn’t really afford to buy a ton of band shirts. It’s cool, they looked good, nobody was gonna give you shit for a tight black t-shirt. Carry on, Sonny.
11 pair of Diesels
– Diesels were (possibly are?) skinny jeans. They were referred to as “girl jeans” back in the day because chances are if you were a skinny emo dude, you wore women’s jeans. I don’t really know why, but it used to piss me off because they’d buy up all the larger sizes and then I could never find any that fit me so I’m glad that the trend evolved so that men’s clothing companies started to sell jeans that had a similar cut and/or fit without robbing fat scene gals of their pants.
10 vegan cookies
– Veganism in the alternative music ‘scene’ has always kind of gone hand in hand (I mean, look at Paul and Linda McCartney) so yeah, vegan cookies. They have probably improved recipes since 2003 since you can buy more ingredients in stores if you live in Middle Of Nowhere, USA. One time I ran out of eggs when trying to make banana bread and looked up vegan substitutes instead. They recommended using more bananas. We did, and it was the best fucking banana bread I’ve ever had. Thanks, vegans.
9 LJ comments
– LIVEJOURNAL. Oh, Livejournal. The siren song of the emo kid internet space. Livejournal, or “LJ” as it was called, was a fairly active diary/journaling community that allowed privacy settings. It was amazing and I still use mine. I wish more people used theirs, honestly. Friends locking posts was the most useful tool on the entire goddamn internet, and this platform will never hold a candle to that.
8 kids a moshin’
– Self-explanatory. Get in the pit, you fuckin losers.
7 inch rare vinyl
– 7 inch vinyl is the diameter of most vinyl singles. I do not collect vinyl as I do not have money but this was at a time that most old school albums had not been reprinted in years and years, new vinyl was hard to come by, and all equipment was pretty much vintage. Needless to say, depending on the rarity of these 7″ singles, this might have been a very expensive gift.
6 Hot Topic gift cards
– Divisive! Hot Topic has existed for quite some time, but in the early 2000s it was one of the only places a lot of kids could get t-shirts of bands they liked. Sometimes you’d get lucky and a mail order catalogue would show up but like, very few people used things like Amazon for selling anything, let alone clothing. Internet shopping was still very new and very vulnerable. Paypal had just like, started to be a thing, but wouldn’t really be accepted outside of eBay for another few years. Y’all better appreciate all that online distro now. Bless.
I’M IN CHAOS CREW
– I don’t know what this means. Google ain’t helping me and I wasn’t part of the scene that FFTL was local to. Someone fill in the blanks because I’m pretty sure they’re not referring to a tattoo studio in Munich.
4 backstage passes
– Okay this one is a lot more self-explanatory. Backstage passes to go and meet the bands. Cool, fine, have fun. Though like, most of the time if you just hung around after the show chances are you could meet the dudes playing on stage. Unless this is for like, Warped Tour. Which is plausible, as these guys played Warped a few times.
3 drug free X’s
– sXe kids would often cop the black sharpie x’s drawn on the back of underage kids’ hands at all-ages shows at venues with bars to indicate that they too were substance-free. There is a whole subcultural thing and divide amongst edge kids that I am not going to get into here, just roll with me. Thanks.
2 dog tags
– I…don’t actually remember why these were popular. I think a lot of kids either took their parents’ or thrifted them. Again, if anyone can help fill me in on this one, that’d be great. I’m 30, I swear, I just don’t remember all the fine nuances of scene fashion at the time.
and my first pair of Sauconys
– Sneakers. Gym shoes. Tennis shoes. Whatever y’all want to call ‘em. When you weren’t wearing hi-top Converse or slip-on checkerboard Vans, you were wearing these, probably. Sauconys were favored because they made vegan shoes, if I remember correctly. You definitely had these, especially if you considered yourself in the hardcore scene. You may have owned a zip-up hoodie that said Bane on it. I won’t judge you.
Happy Holidays, everyone.