Emo for Dummies:
I. Phase one.
-Discard all Pacific Sunwear clothing.
-Discard all albums from the labels Epitaph, Nitro, and Lookout.
-Discard your Sublime collection.
-Purchase albums by these bands:
The Get Up Kids
The Promise Ring
Pedro the Lion
Texas is the Reason
Sunny Day Real Estate
Saves the Day
-Purchase several sweaters.
-Buy horn-rimmed glasses with colored lenses; pop lenses out and wear as 'normal' glasses.
-Start going to 'shows'. Go to any show, regardless of who is playing.
-Begin slicking your hair back.
-Join The Get Up Kids' 'Fun Club'; wear the T-shirt you receive frequently.
-Start a band; play Green Day's 'Basket Case' only.
-Change your AOL screen name to 'NFGEmoDood182'.
II. Phase two.
-Realize that liking all the bands whose CDs you have just bought is not 'cool', because they are 'sellouts'.
-Discard all recently purchased CDs.
-Purchase CDs by the following 'underground' bands:
Death Cab for Cutie
Drive Like Jehu
Jets to Brazil
Built to Spill
-Begin shopping for clothes at the thrift store.
-Start a new band; the name should be at least three words. Play music that 'can't be classified', meaning that everyone you know calls it indie rock.
-Deny that you ever listened to any of the bands from Phase One.
III. Phase three.
-Realize that the bands from Phase Two are not underground.
-Hit the 'Net in a panicked attempt to find 'underground' bands.
-Purchase albums (preferably 7") by these bands:
-Start your own 'zine'.
-Get an online diary. Extra points for your own domain, with a name like 'prozac.net'.
-Change your AOL screen name to 'as close to cold'.
-Begin typing in all lowercase letters, and .like.this.
-Begin capitalizing AT ALL the wrong MOMENTS during A sentence.
-Quit your band. Bands are lame.
-Berate Phase One people for A) liking 'sellout' music and B) not knowing who the bands are that you list in your AOL profile.
IV. Phase four:
-Carry obscure and/or philosophical texts in your used army bag. IE Siddhartha.
-Become a 'photographer'. Always carry your camera, because you find things that most people overlook to be 'interesting'.
-Talk about going to 'art school' and taking 'road trips'.
-Buy music by these bands:
Q and not U
Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Neutral Milk Hotel
-Determine that rock music is 'dead'.
-Change your AOL screen name to 'delete radio'
-Inform everyone of how long you have known about your recent musical selections, which is of course long before they did, and scoff at them for being 'poseurs'.
-Declare that the 'scene is dead', but even if it wasn't, scenes are lame.
-Start a new 'musical project'; classify it as one or more of the following genres (if you absolutely must resort to something so lame as classification):
-Sound like Trans Am.
-Smoke cigarettes; write songs about smoking cigarettes and other such 'nonsensical' topics. Love songs are lame.
-Dislike 'other people' on the basis of their inherent intellectual inferiority. Laugh derisively when they mention their band / their favorite band.
V. Phase five:
-Scoff at the term 'emo'.
-Become one of the following:
a. Indie -
-Get many tattoos, all bad.
-Wear plugs in your ears.
-Grow sideburns; always be somewhat unshaven.
-Have a few piercings, but not enough to make you look like you are pierced to be 'cool'.
-Be in a band. Dislike the band that you are in.
-Wear a denim jacket, small, regardless of the weather.
-Grow your hair out, just long enough that it hangs down over your forehead.
-Ride a Vespa.
-Wear a scarf.
-Be in a 'minimal' band with only keyboard and vocals. Dream of being able to present your music to Sigur Ros and Yo La Tengo at once.
-Give your band a somewhat French name, preferably starting with 'le'.
-Have 'opinions' on 'important issues'.
-Inform anyone and everyone that you would die at any time for your beliefs, because you are 'intense' and 'for real'.
-Write lyrics or poems that are emotionally driven, but not wimpy. Talk about all the struggles you have gone through for your beliefs, and all your friends who have sold you out.
-Make frequent references to your blood flowing.
-Have a band with
A) a name that is a single, but powerful word, like 'Indecision' or
B) a name that is multiple words, and vague yet ominous. IE 'The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend'.
-Talk constantly about how much you hate emo kids. Frequently use the phrase 'Quit crying, emo kid', as well as clever variations like, 'Hey emo kid, need a Kleenex?'.
-Wear a hoodie. Always.
d. A washed up loser with no life skills and no social value
--This is your most likely route.