Nothing Feels Good Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo

Andy Greenwald

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

336 Pages



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Nothing Feels Good explores a new phenomenon that's happening right now—all across the country—at the intersection of teen culture, music, and the web.

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 embodied in the musical genre known as emo, a much-maligned, mocked, and misunderstood term for equally melodic and heartfelt punk rock.

Expressive, confessional, and always tuneful, emo has existed for nearly two decades, but, as Greenwald's study explains, the genre has flourished only recently. Indeed, 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, his book narrates the story of emo from the inside out, and so documents 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, to this end, Greenwald has been given unprecedented access to the key emo bands and their fans.


Praise for Nothing Feels Good

"This thoughtful, inquisitive book is, like the genre [of emo] itself, really all about the fans . . . It's The Catcher in the Rye with guitars."—Blender magazine

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Andy Greenwald

  • 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 appearances on VH-1, MTV, the BBC, and ABC Radio. Greenwald lives in Brooklyn, New York.