Tuesday, I went to Target with two items on my list: a suitcase and Bring Me The Horizon's latest record, "That's The Spirit." The suitcase was an easy find, but when I got to the music section, the inner turmoil started.
In front of me were three records that I knew. The first one was what I came for, "That's The Spirit" by Bring Me The Horizon. But the other two had me questioning if I should get my first choice or one of them. The second record was The Story So Far's self-titled record and the third was State Champs "Around The World and Back."
I stood at the end of the music section for ten minutes contemplating my decision. I went back and forth on all my options.
"Well, I already know eight of the 11 songs on the Bring Me The Horizon record."
"I've listened to the entirety of The Story So Far's record, but only know three songs, so maybe I should get that to learn more of them."
"But I fell in love with the one State Champs song I know and they did just win Best Underground Band at the APMAs last night."
Long story short, I ended up buying all three of them, all three are currently in my car, and I'm currently listening to the State Champs record while writing this.
As someone who listens to bands that not a lot of people listen to, it makes me very happy when I see those three records on the shelves of Target. Target is where I picked up my favorite band's new record, "Headspace" by Issues, back in May.
It makes me excited because the pop-punk / hardcore / metalcore genre doesn't get enough recognition in the mainstream. Sure, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco have broken out into the public realm, but two bands do not represent an entire, diverse genre. Alternative music is often overlooked when it comes to recognition and credit.
That's where the Alternative Press Music Awards (APMAs) picks up the slack.
The APMAs is an award show organized by Alternative Press magazine that showcases the best bands of the pop-punk / hardcore / metalcore scene. This is their third year running the awards.
The 2016 APMAs was broadcasted on AmazonMusic and Twitch.TV on July 18 in Columbus, Ohio. The awards were hosted by Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat, two members of pop-punk band All Time Low. The five-hour show included special performances, collaborations, a pop-punk presidential election between the two hosts and various awards.
While the past years shows have been plagued with technical difficulty and shaky communication between monologues, the APMAs are a vital part of the alternative scene.
The APMAs allow for artists in the alternative scene to get the recognition they deserve. Because the awards are fan voted, it makes the acceptance more important.
For the fans, it allows their voice to be heard about what artists they're currently interested in on a more condensed platform than other music awards. By narrowing the nominations to the genres focused on by Alternative Press, it allows for more fan-focused artists to get nominated.
All over Tumblr, Twitter and other social media outlets, the complaints by fans of the APMAs run rampant. I won't discount myself. You can find a few of my complaints online as well.
But overall, I feel like this type of award show is needed for the alternative scene. Growing up as an awkward teenager before the APMAs, I remember feeling disregarded for my favorite artists who were never recognized for what they did. I understood that it came with the territory was being in a low-populated scene, but it still made me feel upset that not many people knew about the talents of unknown artists.
But the APMAs isn't just about recognizing the efforts of current alternative bands. With awards like the Van's "Off The Wall" award, the Icon award and the Classic Album award, the APMAs also gives credits to the artists that paved the way for current nominees to even have a chance in the scene.
The APMAs also allows for smaller bands to break out in the scene. With awards such as Best Underground Band and Breakthrough Artist, the APMAs introduces new music to fans who already enjoy the genre. I can give personal testimonies.
During the 2014 APMAs, I saw a commercial for Set It Off's record "Duality" with the song "Why Worry" playing in the background. I fell in love with that song and it became the anthem of my senior year.
The 2015 APMAs had me falling in love with Pvris after their performance of "My House" with Tyler Carter of Issues. Even though, I'll admit, I only watched the full performance after I saw Tyler Carter come on stage, it was one of the best choices I made that summer.
This year, I'm currently falling in love with the winner of the Breakthrough Band, State Champs. I only know "All You Are Is History," but that was enough for me to buy their whole "Around The World and Back" record. I'm currently listening to "Losing Myself" on repeat and loving every second of it. I've also gotten to listen to the Best Underground Band, Too Close To Touch and their new song, "What I Wish I Could Forget," slowly branching out into songs from their first record.
I personally need the APMAs to remind me about what I truly love in life: I love pop-punk; I love hardcore; I love metalcore. No matter how many times I'm caught listening to Drake's "One Dance" in my car, I know I'll always find myself back in my alternative roots.