Phase one: "emocore" Rites of Spring, Embrace, Gray Matter, Ignition, Dag Nasty, Monsula, Fugazi kind of, Fuel, Samiam, Jawbreaker, Hot Water Music, Elliott, Friction, Soulside, early Lifetime, Split Lip/Chamberlain, Kerosene 454.
-Starts in DC in 1984/85 and goes strong, spreads to the SF Bay in 1989, then explodes all over the Midwest, Florida, and Northeast shortly thereafter.
-The "emocore" style has become broader over the years. In the beginning, these bands consisted mostly of people who played in hardcore punk bands, got burned out its limited forms, and moved to a guitar-oriented, midtempo rock-based sound with emotional punk vocals (i.e., no posed soulful crooning like pop music). The central aspect here is the guitars - distorted, strummed mostly in duo unison, with occasional catchy riff highlights. This becomes known as the classic "D.C. sound," along with the octave chords that show up in later "emo" music. Later bands bring in more pop elements, like catchy-riff based songs, pop song structures (listen to Jawbreaker's "Chesterfield King" to illustrate this), and less-punk, more-smoothly-sung high-register singing (less yelling, straining, throatiness). Listen to Elliott or Chamberlain for an example of how alternative-pop this music has become. Yet those bands are undeniably still emocore. Also note most emocore bands play Gibson Les Paul guitars, with a few SGs, and use mostly Marshall JCM-800 amps.