Do Genres Have an Expiration Date?

Dance Gavin Dance's Acceptance Speech
Whenever you buy a carton of milk, it comes with a lot of important information on the packaging. It tells you its nutritional facts, its location of origin, and, perhaps most importantly, its expiration date. Sure, you can usually tell just by the smell, but it's generally a decent arbiter.

Does music work the same way? Some forms of it are seemingly indestructible. I'm not sure the guitar will ever be completely abandoned, no matter how popular music programmed on a computer gets. Still, it might be true when we're discussing sub-genres and micro-genres, because some of them go sour fast.

Don't get me wrong. I love some subgenres to death that have become decidedly stale or even straight out rotten. The thought actually first occurred to me when I considered a band I used to love which fits into one of these categories: Dance Gavin Dance. The R&B inspired post-hardcore band played here in Houston a few weeks ago, and I decided to skip it. Why?

Dance Gavin Dance has played themselves out. Their genre is pretty much dead. The R&B inflections are no longer welcome in post-hardcore, and no band in that genre does the high-pitched singer/low-growling screamer duo anymore. In that way, they pigeonholed themselves from the very beginning.

It hasn't helped that they've tried to latch onto another dead trope of metalcore and post-hardcore: obnoxious misogyny. Count the times they call a woman a "bitch" in their music. It's disturbing.

I can still listen to their early work and really enjoy it, but their moment has passed and they're now a largely skip-able band for me. I don't even care if they play the music I like now; I just don't care.

It's telling as well that the band is on tour now opening for Finch, a band who hasn't released a new full-length record in eight years and is largely forgotten as well. They still have a core fanbase, however, which Dance Gavin Dance lacks, given that they have coasted on trends and bandwagons over the years. That's what must have determined the playbill here.

Story continues on the next page.

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I was at the Finch/DGD concert. 

Finch was my favorite band at 17, so at 27 this show was a pure nostalgia trip for me. DGD is, and has always been, an afterthought band riding a genre that was dying when they came out. Watching them was like reliving the worst part of 2008.

But that said, I'd kill for a new Finch album, cause it's pretty much not happening.

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