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donatos
02-22-2011, 08:25 PM
Hi, I need help on understanding Teens today in the high school demographic. It's hard trying to find out what they're up to at a time when you can't really turn on Mtv and find out quickly like you used to. I know there's some teen writers on this site and I know there's some parents of teens as well. So anyway, this is the info I'm looking for.

Are goths and emos the same thing? Do they hate each other? Where do the metal kids fit in on this society? Are there other groups that represent misfit culture?

What music bands would misfit kids listen to?

What indie rock bands are popular with kids? I know that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are someof the biggest acts now, but I know dudes in their 30s into them, do they matter for the youngsters?

These might seem like simple questions but I live in a college town. Most of my teenage experience is from the early 90s. Thanks.

cryaegm
02-22-2011, 08:45 PM
From what I know, emos don't want to be associated with goths or be called one (or vice versa). They're not the same.

Then again, I was a teen last year, so it might have changed since almost two months ago (I turned 20 December 31st).

Alpha Echo
02-22-2011, 08:49 PM
From what I understand based on my younger brothers and sisters - emos are definitely not goths, and there's probably some resentment toward kids that fall in the middle, more as "wanna be" goths or emos.

Music...geez. I don't know these days. I stick mostly to my country music and haven't been a teen for...holy cow almost 11 years now!

Drachen Jager
02-22-2011, 09:50 PM
What music bands would misfit kids listen to?

Depends on what kinds of misfits, a lot of older stuff really, old punk is popular with goths, Sex Pistols and such, the kids who are misfits generally disdain pop music but it depends a little on geography and their own sub-culture what exactly they might be listening to. There are newer goth bands as well. Emo is such a weird group... I am not sure if they're really that big any more. Not around here so much anyhow, I haven't seen any emos in a while.

What indie rock bands are popular with kids? I know that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are someof the biggest acts now, but I know dudes in their 30s into them, do they matter for the youngsters?

"Kids" is a large group. In any High School I would expect you to find everything from Mozart to Metallica to Insane Clown Posse to Justin Bieber. With the advent of on-line music tastes have really diverged and I don't think there is really any one sound that brings everyone together.

Jessianodel
02-22-2011, 10:30 PM
Hi, I need help on understanding Teens today in the high school demographic. It's hard trying to find out what they're up to at a time when you can't really turn on Mtv and find out quickly like you used to. I know there's some teen writers on this site and I know there's some parents of teens as well. So anyway, this is the info I'm looking for.

Are goths and emos the same thing? Do they hate each other? Where do the metal kids fit in on this society? Are there other groups that represent misfit culture?

Emos are different from goths. Emos themselves are different from others in the same group. There are actual people who hate the world/their life/etc. and then there are some that cut themselves but actually act happy and are just different in the way they think. they know their life sucks but they don't see anything wrong with it.

I don't know much about goths so I can't help you on that. There are some other groups, but for the most part they're not really misfits, they're just into different stuff.

What music bands would misfit kids listen to?

Uhm a lot of rock/metal, screamo....bands you'll find in hot topic

What indie rock bands are popular with kids? I know that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are someof the biggest acts now, but I know dudes in their 30s into them, do they matter for the youngsters?

I don't really know :Shrug:

These might seem like simple questions but I live in a college town. Most of my teenage experience is from the early 90s. Thanks.

Hope I helped at least a little bit lol

Edit: they are also really into old classic rock

Ria13
02-22-2011, 10:38 PM
Are goths and emos the same thing?

nope. goth started in the '70's. emo started in the '90's. goth has a little subdivisions, too. a lot of people outsiders might call goth wouldn't call themselves goth.


Where do the metal kids fit in on this society? Are there other groups that represent misfit culture?

how about this...

1. go to Livejournal.com.
2. enter "metal" or whatever as a search terms. alternatively some nihilistic subject like "dead babies" or "meaninglessness".
3. see what communities come up.
4. read the posts from said communities.
5. follow that up by looking at individual journals by people subscribing to those communities. find out what music they like, etc.

as an alternative to LiveJournal, try the music website Last.fm. look through user profiles.

or just look for subcultural dating sites or message boards. you will find many. the dating sites in particular will say "I like this kind of music", etc.


What indie rock bands are popular with kids? I know that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are someof the biggest acts now, but I know dudes in their 30s into them, do they matter for the youngsters?

you have so much diversity here that you can't generalize. actually I don't think that you could generalize about that in any era and particularly not since the fragmentation of the youth consumer base.

PinkAmy
02-23-2011, 12:02 AM
OMG I feel so old. I never heard of emo- i thought it was a typo for elmo from sesame street.

cryaegm
02-23-2011, 03:26 AM
OMG I feel so old. I never heard of emo- i thought it was a typo for elmo from sesame street.
Nope. I even got called emo, even though I never was in high school. *Shrugs.* Wear dark clothing, you're automatically assumed goth or emo, or at least at my school, you were.

jaksen
02-23-2011, 03:27 AM
Substitute-teach at a high school.

One day is all you'll need.

But the thing is, these trends or whatever you want to call them, change so fast! I taught for a long time, and when I was out on maternity leave for three months, then came back, the hairstyles were all different, the New Kids were meh-hate them (and when I left the kids were all over the New Kids), and girls were wearing BIG tops and leotards (tights) as pants. In a mere three months a huge cultural shift had happened in clothing styles, music tastes and hair styles.

If you're in the thick of things (a teacher seeing all this going on) or a parent (with teenage kids) or a kid yourself, the changes are seamless and you don't notice them. If you leave, then go back, you see the changes. My point is this: pick a time and write your story there.

If you write like things are happening NOW and your story is published in 2012, God knows what new trends etc. will quickly date your writing. But if you say, hey, this happened in the summer of 2009 or 2011, all the young kids understand why your characters are listening to THAT music or everyone is carrying around THAT phone.

Nothing moves so fast as the culture surrounding kids ages 13 up into the early 20's.

Smish
02-23-2011, 03:46 AM
Are you asking because you intend to write a YA novel?

Here's the thing. Teens are basically the same as they've always been. Trends come and go, so don't get hung up on that. Remember that people are people, and write according to what YOU know/remember about being a teenager.

And read YA. Lots of it. Lots and lots of it. Lots and lots and lots of it. :D

thothguard51
02-23-2011, 03:53 AM
Make up you own cool things that sound like something used today. By time you get the book into print...your cool things might be the next big wave...for six months or so.

Nick Blaze
02-23-2011, 04:19 AM
Hi, I need help on understanding Teens today in the high school demographic. It's hard trying to find out what they're up to at a time when you can't really turn on Mtv and find out quickly like you used to. I know there's some teen writers on this site and I know there's some parents of teens as well. So anyway, this is the info I'm looking for.

Are goths and emos the same thing? Do they hate each other? Where do the metal kids fit in on this society? Are there other groups that represent misfit culture?

What music bands would misfit kids listen to?

What indie rock bands are popular with kids? I know that Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are someof the biggest acts now, but I know dudes in their 30s into them, do they matter for the youngsters?

These might seem like simple questions but I live in a college town. Most of my teenage experience is from the early 90s. Thanks.

"Emo" is a term that originated from "emotive hardcore" which is a genre of rock. However, due to nature of the lyrics, the style of clothing, and the culture, a specific clique seemed to form with it. Nowadays it means something like "depressed for no good reason." An emo is a person who has no good reason to be depressed, but is continually so, and they usually create their own reasons for depression (such as being fat, ugly, a loner, whatever).

"Goth" usually refers a particular style of clothing and mannerism. While it may have originally been meant to mimic actual Gothic styles and history, it in no way does so anymore. It only refers to dark clothing, sometimes things like corsets with unusual frills are considered gothic. Corpsepaint can also be considered so, although it's taken off in the black metal scene.

"Metal kids" don't really exist. In school, I knew of one person out of 200 that actually listened to metal outside of Metallica or Pantera. And, considering they're so mainstream and lacking in quality, I don't consider them a metalhead. Learning and understanding the broad genres and musical theories incorporated into each subgenre of metal's culture is what a metalhead is. There are usually people who think they listen to metal, but are misguided by labels and genres given by the media... completely false ones. (Imagine somebody calling your favorite romance author an author of horror novels, and making people believe it's somehow true).

"Uhm a lot of rock/metal, screamo....bands you'll find in hot topic"

Do not include metal in this. I listen to metal, and the mere association with screamo is just sad. Almost insulting. It's like calling classical music pop. Aside from Black Sabbath, almost no metal bands are played on radios. Metallica, for instance, used to be thrash metal, but they fell into rock a long time ago (around their terrible St. Anger album). Metal rarely has screaming (I've heard more of it in hardcore and normal rock than I have in metal), because harsh vocals are a vocal technique. It is very similar to singing, and rumor has it that it originated from certain Pagan and Christian chants. There's no proof to this, though. Metal is about the guitar work and the even production, the layers, and focus on musicianship. Metal bands (whether death, black, folk, power, thrash, heavy/trad, or doom) can be purely instrumental and not have any vocals whatsoever. Screamo cannot. Screamo is a subgenre of hardcore, which is a genre of rock music.

However, I will not deny most emos or goths listen to stuff from Hot Topic. We call these people "mallgoths". They do not have a good knowledge of music, like most people, but have the elitism that goes along with having knowledge of music... when it isn't warranted.

So, to reiterate, emo, goths, and other such high schoolers do not listen to metal. They usually listen to emotive hardcore or metalcore (a terrible fusion of hardcore punk with any genre of metal, usually thrash, like Lamb of God).

donatos
02-23-2011, 09:34 AM
Thanks, all of you, for the advice. To answer one poster, no, not writing a YA, just hit a brick wall 5 chapters into a literary novel which has a sixteen year old as main character. I guess I should focus the novel in on a year, as one poster recommended. I guess the one thing I learned is that there is no way to simplify youth culture, the dynamics are what make it interesting.

blacbird
02-23-2011, 12:03 PM
Are goths and emos the same thing?

I always thought emos were these big flightless birds running around the outback in Australia.

PinkAmy
02-23-2011, 04:12 PM
"Emo" is a term that originated from "emotive hardcore" which is a genre of rock. However, due to nature of the lyrics, the style of clothing, and the culture, a specific clique seemed to form with it. Nowadays it means something like "depressed for no good reason." An emo is a person who has no good reason to be depressed, but is continually so, and they usually create their own reasons for depression (such as being fat, ugly, a loner, whatever).

Thanks. I liked the term better when I thought it was elmo with a typo. So I guess the teens using this term don't realize that depression often has biological or biochemical roots and that depression causes people to have negative thoughts for no reason whatsoever. I don't know, the term used as "depressed for no good reason" seems uniformed about mental illness.

Mr Flibble
02-23-2011, 04:13 PM
"Metal kids" don't really exist. In school, I knew of one person out of 200 that actually listened to metal outside of Metallica or Pantera.

Maybe not in the US I suppose. They're alive and well over here. BTW while they mingle/put up with Goths, they giggle and roll heir eyes at Emos. Here, anyway.

Devil Ledbetter
02-23-2011, 08:38 PM
I'm not a teen, but I have one and I am paying attention. If you don't recognize some of the terms used here, Google them.

Emo is pretty much an insult anymore. Whatever it used to mean (short for emotional, those emotions being negative and morose) it now mean faking self-absorption, faking emotional anguish and over-dramafying everything. These are the kids who overshare and take their self injury behaviors to new levels by bragging about it and one-upping each other (I cut myself deeper than you cut yourself!) A cool teen considers an emo teen pretty damned boring.

My teen loves anime, manga, cosplay and all things Japanese. This stuff is popular with some teens but not with all teens, of course. Teens obsessed with this stuff are called Otaku and apply the label proudly to themselves. Cosplay is a big deal among those who practice it – my teen will spend hours creating and perfecting a costume and "becoming" an anime character.

She also likes Japenese pop music which is flat out annoying to me. (I knew she'd "made it" as a teen when she found some music I hated – I listen to a lot of new stuff and am pretty hard to annoy.) They also like humorous music and YouTube videos. The group Lonely Island is a big hit with some teens.

Online role play chatrooms are very popular.

Steampunk is popular.

Her friends love Parkour. This is climbing on and jumping off things – sort a free style urban athleticism.

Today's kids are typically so overscheduled that they refer to unsupervised outdoor play as "free running."

Videogames are still huge with teens and the more violent they are, the better (in their opinion, at least.) They can be very cliquish about certain games (this guys a dork, he plays the wrong game, this girl is cool, she's good at the right game, etc.)

Check out DeviantArt and Memebase for more stuff teens like.

jaksen
02-23-2011, 10:48 PM
However, writing about them and their swiftly changing culture is not impossible. I write a short story series and my MC has been ummm...a teenager for almost 20 years. :)

I keep things general. I don't get into cultural references too much, except for stuff that seems (I hope) to be ageless. Like he listens to Depeche Mode, and even if they have come and gone, they come and go on a regular basis.

The things I do keep the same are his stubborn character traits; his like for older people and general disdain for the middle-aged. In a story written in 2009 he was all about piercings and now he's looking back from the grand old age of 17 and saying, wtf was I thinking?

Sometimes it's all in the attitude, but keep in mind a teenager is still a person, and the great majority of teens are normal, ordinary people with normal, ordinary issues. I met far many of 'this type' of kid in my 30+ years of teaching them, than I did the troubled or difficult or 'out there' kid.

But many of the 'out there' kids are now working in the entertainment/fashion/high tech arena and making tons more money than me. :D

PinkAmy
02-24-2011, 12:49 AM
My first screen play for YA took place in the seventies, when I was a teen, so I used a lot of slang from that time, since in 2011 it's a period piece. I threw in some of 70s history that was important to me--how I laughed and laughed when Nixon called his reelection campaign CREEP, ERA, Patty Hearst, and reading an article that some day we would be able to take phones in cars ("that must be a reallllly long cord").
I'm currently working on a YA novel and since it's present and I want it to be relevant, I'm staying away from too much that would be "in" in 2011 and out by 2012.

Ria13
02-24-2011, 01:24 AM
I'm currently working on a YA novel and since it's present and I want it to be relevant, I'm staying away from too much that would be "in" in 2011 and out by 2012.

yep. if you get too hyper-specific it dates super-quick.

as another general tip, I wouldn't make up any fake bands or discuss trends you don't know about at all. it will ring false.

Nick Blaze
02-24-2011, 01:33 AM
Maybe not in the US I suppose. They're alive and well over here. BTW while they mingle/put up with Goths, they giggle and roll heir eyes at Emos. Here, anyway.
America is too absorbed in the media and mainstream to care about any band that hasn't sold more than 2,000 copies of their albums. Some of the most talented bands out there haven't sold more than 100 and they play because they love to play. Which brings up a question: where do you live?

kuwisdelu
02-24-2011, 01:36 AM
It's rare to find legit goths or metalheads these days. Sigh.


My teen loves anime, manga, cosplay and all things Japanese. This stuff is popular with some teens but not with all teens, of course. Teens obsessed with this stuff are called Otaku and apply the label proudly to themselves.

It applies to all ages. ;)

Nick Blaze
02-24-2011, 03:05 AM
It's rare to find legit goths or metalheads these days. Sigh.



It applies to all ages. ;)

I'm an otaku. But I look for the good anime; crap like Naruto and most stuff translated into English is terrible. But yes, all ages. My mother even loved Princess Tutu (one of the best!).

Mr Flibble
02-24-2011, 03:48 AM
America is too absorbed in the media and mainstream to care about any band that hasn't sold more than 2,000 copies of their albums. Some of the most talented bands out there haven't sold more than 100 and they play because they love to play. Which brings up a question: where do you live?

The UK.


It's rare to find legit goths or metalheads these days. Sigh.


I know a high court judge who's a goth in her off time, and I'm a metalhead 24/7 :D *lures Kuwi to UK with promise of women in leather and lace*. Seriously, depending on where you go obviously, you trip over them a fair bit here.

Devil Ledbetter
02-24-2011, 04:39 AM
It's rare to find legit goths or metalheads these days. Sigh.



It applies to all ages. ;)I will cop to Death Note.

cryaegm
02-24-2011, 10:31 AM
My teen loves anime, manga, cosplay and all things Japanese. This stuff is popular with some teens but not with all teens, of course. Teens obsessed with this stuff are called Otaku and apply the label proudly to themselves. Cosplay is a big deal among those who practice it – my teen will spend hours creating and perfecting a costume and "becoming" an anime character.


Being an Otaku isn't necessarily just limited to teens. That's with any age (and believe me, it's with ANY age).

I could be wrong, but being labeled as an Otaku isn't exactly a good thing. At least, in Japan, it's not.

(Note: There are probably two versions of Otaku in Japan. Btw, if you think that's bad, take a look at a few things in Japan regarding Otaku. There are idols that have to remain "pure" (in another words, remain a virgin). I can try to look up some articles that were posted and how Sayaka (I think that's her name?) either did or almost lost her position in one pop group (or she stepped down) because she had a man go up with her into her apartment.)

Same thing with cosplay (I cosplayed as Etna from Disgaea). Cosplays happen with any age and it's a HUGE thing in Japan. Japan is known for great cosplays, whereas America, not so much (though there a few gems out there). A lot of people like to cosplay, not just teens. You'd have to be a gamer and/or like anime or manga to understand the whole thing, I guess.

kuwisdelu
02-24-2011, 11:11 AM
Being an Otaku isn't necessarily just limited to teens. That's with any age (and believe me, it's with ANY age).

I could be wrong, but being labeled as an Otaku isn't exactly a good thing. At least, in Japan, it's not.

Eh, like any subculture, it really depends on who you're asking. As far as I understand anyways. Self-proclaimed otakus can still be quite proud of the label, but it's not exactly something you'd want to announce to an employer or anything... I'd compare it to announcing you love playing D&D or WoW or are a DC/Marvel fanatic or something.

It's not as condemning as being, say, a hikikomori or a NEET.


Note: There are probably two versions of Otaku in Japan.

From what I understand, it's a much more general term over there that can be applied to pretty much any kind of nerdish obsession. For example, you can have anime/manga otaku, eroge/galge otaku, military otaku, idol otaku, sports otaku, etc., etc.

Also, Death Note is for emos.