The Story of and Emo and a Big Prop / by Lenni Sanders

We’ve been invited by Atticus Books to create something for them whilst Lancaster Music Festival is on. As a couple of poets - we generally only do the lyrics bit and maybe someone might come along and want to do the music bit… so quickly forming a band and getting up on stage is off the table. Instead, we’re thinking about how we can bring our immersive, playful approach to something to do with the culture of music.

When Lenni and I started chatting about what to do at Atticus Books, we were mainly lead by the fact that we’ve recently built a frame that we can use at performances to hang things from and project onto. It’s pretty huge… it used to be bigger. It was a ridiculous size. Now it’s the size of a double bed and we’re very proud of it. Question is, is using the fact that you happen to own a giant prop a good foundation for an interesting performance. No. That’s the answer.

Once we’d (mainly, though, I) had got over the fact we had this big frame, we thought about why we, as listeners, care about music. I’m particularly interested in the music I love but which I know is categorically awful music. I spent most of my teen years pretending to be having an awful time and listening to My Chemical Romance, Funeral for a Friend and The Used (“Small, simple, safe price. Rise the wake and carry me with all of my regrets…”). I know this music isn’t very good, even in emo circles this is bad emo. It is tinny and whiney and formulaic. I love it. I feel so so so good when I listen to Helena, the first track of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Oh god. This is embarrassing. What interests me is that there are songs I don’t like that matter so so so much to me.

That’s what I’m thinking about. That, and the giant frame.