Anyone who visited their Web site and thought that Hearts That Hate were the next big thing out of the emo scene is about to get a reality check from MC Lars.
The fictitious band has a starring role in "Signing Emo," the second single off Lars' Laptop EP. The song, a send-up of the bandwagon-jumping that goes on in the music industry, finds a 40-year-old, overweight and out-of-touch A&R exec named Marty feeling pressure from his boss to ink an emo band — any emo band — to the label because the boss' daughter likes Dashboard Confessional. Just before exhausting his last resource, Marty comes across Hearts That Hate's demo and sees dollar signs in his future.
At that point in the song, Lars' bouncy, straightforward rap yields to an explosive snippet of Hearts That Hate's aptly titled "Cry Tonight." The song's chorus, complete with raging guitars and strained vocals, is virtually indistinguishable from the music made by the many groups that unabashedly wear their emotions on their lapels like so many coin-sized buttons. If you didn't know otherwise, or if you'd checked out www.heartsthathate.com, you might be duped.
"The scene's not unique anymore," said Lars, who professes equal love for Jay-Z and Taking Back Sunday. "It's kind of like what happened after Nirvana: People are trying to match that sound. That's what I'm addressing, not the original groups like Dashboard Confessional and other bands that blazed the trail."
A video for "Signing Emo" will be shot December 17-19 by director Kurt St. Thomas. The tune, which follows Lars' first single, "iGeneration" (see "Former 'Weird Al' Fan MC Lars Pens Brainy Anthems For The Laptop Generation"), doesn't sound like anything else on the Stanford-University-student-turned-rapper's EP. Rather than simply employing the overused term "eclectic," Lars came up with his own label for his blend of hip-hop, rock, synth-pop and comedy.
"The term I've come up with is post-punk laptop rap," he explained. "It's like post-punk, in terms of not necessarily [being] punk. The laptop is the computer element. And the rap — that's the real explanation, but when people ask what it sounds like, I usually just say, 'It's like the Bloodhound Gang with emo influences.' "
MC Lars, who's still one semester shy of graduation, plans to take the spring term off to work on his full-length debut. In January, he'll head out on tour with Bowling for Soup, American Hi-Fi and the Riddlin' Kids.
MC Lars' tour dates, according to his publicist:
- 1/4 - Amarillo, TX @ Midnight Rodeo
- 1/5 - Odessa, TX @ Dos Amigos
- 1/6 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
- 1/7 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
- 1/8 - Tucson, AZ @ City Limits
- 1/9 - San Diego, CA @ SOMA
- 1/11 - San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brewing Company
- 1/13 - West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
- 1/14 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
- 1/15 - Las Vegas, NV @ Jillian's
- 1/16 - Sparks, NV @ New Oasis
- 1/17 - Sacramento, CA @ Empire
- 1/18 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
- 1/19 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
- 1/20 - Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
- 1/21 - Seattle, WA @ Graceland
- 1/22 - Portland, OR @ Bossanova
- 1/25 - Boise, ID @ Big Easy
- 1/26 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
- 1/27 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
- 1/28 - Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
- 1/29 - Sauget, IL @ Pop's
- 1/30 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave/Eagles Club
- 2/1 - Minneapolis, MN @ Quest Club
- 2/2 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
- 2/3 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
- 2/4 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
- 2/5 - Cleveland, OH @ Odeon Concert Club
- 2/9 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
- 2/10 - Orono, ME @ Maine Center for the Arts
- 2/16 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club