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Everybody Asked About You: Queer Tweemo for Big Hearts

This summer, after a concert in Chicago I was handed a birthday gift by a very good friend. It was a shirt and vinyl for Everybody Asked About You, a little band from Little Rock, Arkansas whose Midwest Emo tunes had captivated me for the past year. Since I heard their absolutely fantastic self-titled EP (which comprises the first four tracks of this compilation), I had been hooked. It's perhaps the strongest debut EP I've ever heard, and definitely a landmark release in the storied history of emo. Vinyl copies of this EP are so sought after that the original 7", still the only official pressing until this 2023 reissue, routinely sells for over a hundred dollars. If you only have 10 minutes to spare for this release, the EP that kicks this compilation off is well worth your time. I would count "Paper Airplanes, Paper Hearts" and "It's Days Like This..." as among the finest work the genre of Midwest Emo has produced since its inception. The band received so much acclaim for this EP (along with their other work) that nearly 25 years after its original release they partnered with the record company Numero Group to put together and release a big 2LP compilation that spans every piece of music the band ever wrote. The tracks that follow their debut EP on this compilation are comprised of two songs from a split released with the Boston based emo band "The Shyness Clinic", including the fantastic "I Will Wait", an underground youtube hit for years before this project was officially released. Rounding out the first disk of this compilation are the final two songs, sourced from the band's final 7", which has the amazing B side "Sometimes Memory Fails Me Sometimes", the grand closer of the bands DIY shows at the time according to the notes provided with the vinyl copy of this compilations. The band recorded a full LP, "Let's Be Enemies", in 1999 that would unfortunately be shelved and not released until almost 15 years later in 2014, where fans would get some of the band's best tracks in songs like "Crazy" and the jangly "Song for Chris". Included is a spoken word story in "Boston", which gives the sweet story of a young Chris Sheppard, the lead guitarist for the band, talking to a boy on a bus on the way to Boston to visit his girlfriend and suddenly realizing he was queer. After releasing the album in 2014, the band went quiet until late last year when they announced they would reunite to play a show for Numero Group's 20th anniversary. Following that, a small tour of the US followed, where the band played to audiences they would have never dreamed of playing to 25 years ago. Recently, the band has began to play new material in live shows, so perhaps future releases will follow! All in all, this compilation is a wonderful summation of a band with a storied history, and well worth your time if you like twee music, emo music, or just anything that makes you want to get up and dance.

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