To celebrate the release of Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture, we went deep into the gurgling heart of emo culture last night: Pete Wentz's Angels and Kings bar. Not wanting to stand out like an un-Emo sore thumb, we got some help putting on some guyliner—following Pete's example!
Metanote: The book includes a note on "How to Emo-fy Your Blog." Yes. Their advice:
As most emo fans know, the best method to draw in a reader's interest is to enhance the setting of where the post begins. If they were driving to Chipotle with their friends through their tiny suburban town, nine times out of ten they will throw in something about how it 'felt like we could drive forever'
The corner of East 11th and Avenue A reeked of garbage and cigarette smoke. It felt like we could drive forever...
Uh, anyway. The interior of Angels and Kings was bathed in a red light. A large print of Sinatra's mugshot looked out over the assembled crowd. Gentlemen in suits, striped shirts and impossibly heavy wristwatches. Dudes in shorts and New Balances. Girls with tattoos, some even with dreads. I was the only one with Guyliner. Is this emo? So fucking emo, I thought. Two young men in happily colored hoodies seemed, perhaps, emo. "Are you guys emo?" our accomplice demanded. As an answer, the two rolled up their jeans to show Air Max 95s that matched their aforementioned hoodies. No.
"I kind of think people don't get 'emo' in New York," said literary agent Anne Garrett, wearing black and clutching a PBR. "Because it's not the suburbs. Hot Topic bought 2,400 copies of this book. But people in New York don't even know what Hot Topic is." She paused. "Do you know what Hot Topic is?"
"Yes!" our accomplice said, eyes welling up. "When I worked at the Wall Street Journal I covered Hot Topic's earnings!"
I slid a dollar into the warm slot of the jukebox and selected Billy Joel's "Moving Out," twice. The jukebox, sans touchscreen, predictably contained a Fall Out boy album. Just at the part where Joel croons "Ack-ack-ack-ack-ack," three members of our party were fully tackled by a guy in a striped shirt. As he embraced us from behind, he gingerly whispered, "I'm so sorry. I'm really drunk and just trying to get laid." His girlfriend watched in horror.
Could it get any more emo than this? Yes, as it turns out.
No sooner had our PBR's given out then Taking Back Sunday bassist Matt Rubano rolled up, looking like a hipper, less dipshittier version of Seth Green. We asked about the opening of the bar, a much ballyhood event wherein Jay-Z and Jay McInerney sat cheek-by-jowl. Rubano pointed to a nearby bench: "I was like there and Jay-Z was like there," he said. "And Pete was like here and Ashlee, well she was puking in the bathroom."
We wondered: Was Ashlee puking as a display of her intense disenchantment with the celebrity-industrial complex that so relentlessly parses her most superficial qualities while ignoring the rumblings within her soul? Or because she tried to give Pete a BJ after a few too many tequilas?
Rubano explained what emo really was. "The Beatles were the first emo band. Then U2."
"What about Hall & Oates?" our lady-pal asked. Rubano's face lit up. He wanted to know if she'd like to fuck in the bathroom. —Josh