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This is the first thing I ever wrote for Brightest Young Things. It was published on March 17, 2011. We’re re-running it today because today is REX MANNING DAY!!! -BW

By Brandon Wetherbee

Empire Records is an awful movie. The performances are cartoonish, the script seems to be written in hopeful catchphrases, the soundtrack did not age well and the plot make very little sense. None of that matters.


As someone in their late 20s, Empire Records hold a special, dumb, adolescent place in my heart. I was born too late to love John Hughes and too old to ever considering viewing an American Pie sequel. Empire Records is, sadly, a large part of who I am. I worked in record stores, video stores, movie theaters and independent bookstores. Why? I saw Empire Records at 13. Rather than keep denying my people’s history, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’ll be doing a reading/performance/interpretation of “Empire Records” from start to finish at the garmentDISTRICT, 1005 7th NW, tonight Thursday, March 17 at 7pm. (The reading/performance/interpretation of Empire Records did happen and can be downloaded as a podcast. This is the link) This oh-so-artsy event is free but donations are welcome. I will spend all money I receive on drinks to forget what I just did. I hope to make a large sum of money because my girlfriend, who used to l-u-v this movie, thinks this whole thing is dumb.

Don’t stay away if you haven’t seen the movie. Here are some clips and goodies that gives you all the context one needs to “Damn the man, save the Empire!” (Really, that’s a very important line in the movie. It’s bad)

“We can’t be sad, not on Rex Manning Day!”

The record store is hosting a signing by Rex Manning, a David Cassidy parody. The whole store is abuzz because Liv Tyler wants to loose her virginity to Rex. Or something like that. No one in the store seems to, like, want to have Rex at the store and the dude that owns the store appears to be silent. All of this begs the question, why is it Rex Manning Day? Also, Mark talks to the camera in this scene and only this scene. Fuck you continuity.

“Shock me, shock me, shock me”

Bridget Jones dated Jack White and Kenny Chesney and the bald one is now on The Mentalist with the guy that is always wearing a vest in LA.

“This one goes out to our employee of the week, Lucas!”

This one sums everything up. Lucas lost Joe’s money and Joe’s money is the store’s ring (which is insanely high) so now the store will close or some shit like that. If you’re worried that the movie won’t make much sense without seeing it, have no fear, I will answer any and all questions the audience might have during the reading.