When trying to describe the music you listen to, it would be nice if genre-labels were specific enough to get the job done. Some are pretty good – if you say you listen to drum ‘n bass, power metal, or country, people will know what you’re talking about. Others are not so useful.Punk is the first one I have a problem with. Punk has been around for a long time, and what I hear called “punk” today sounds nothing like the punk rock of the 70’s or 80’s. It’s a genre that really needs to be labelled by decade. I don’t really have much to say on the matter, because I am not a big punk fan, but if you can put The Clash, Antiflag, Blink-182 and Rise Against under the same tag, it clearly needs to be diversified. They don’t sound the same. Saying “I listen to 90’s punk” means more. Emo is another weird one. Not only has it been around for a while, it has gone through an even more dramatic change than punk has. An example of what emo was originally is Rites of Spring (which is a pretty interesting band, by the way). Today, emo is defined by bands like My Chemical Romance and Hawthorne Heights. If you take the word emo out of the equation, we’ve gone from hardcore 80’s punk to pop-punk. You can’t call them the same thing without insulting one or the other (hint, you would be insulting 80’s punk). Pop punk bands make it so that people who like old emo have to justify their taste. You can thank the mainstream media for that. Dubstep is one that has been driving me crazy the past few months. In a previous article, I pointed out that there are a lot of artists that are labelled/label themselves as dubstep, but do not employ any of the characteristic sounds that people recognize as dubstep. Future garage/ambient/downtempo seem to me to be better options than pigeonholing yourself with the wobble-idiots. They can call themselves dubstep if they want, but it makes it very hard to describe them via the genre tag – they just don’t fit in. Compare Phaeleh to Skrillex. I’d say Skillrex is dubstep, and Phaeleh isn’t, at this point. Dubstep is too new to bother with things like “90’s dubstep.” It just makes sense for either the wobble dubstep to get a new name, or the “dark” dubstep to do so. There are, of course, plenty of other overly-broad genres, like “progressive” or “rock,” but these three are the ones that have been pissing me off the most recently. It’s not even a matter of whether the music you like is good. I just want people to be more specific when they say something such as “I like punk,” because it used to mean something, and it’s nice for that to be understood.