Empire Records is a movie about a day in an independent record store in the 90’s. My dad owned a record store when I was a teenager (and drove a hearse), and despite what you may think it didn’t make me popular or cool, I was actually ridiculed about it from 7th grade up until I switched high schools. Luckily, this movie plays into the idea that working at a record store is cool as shit and it’s full of hip, hip people with a buttload of problems. But who cares about that? Not I. Not on Rex Manning Day!
On the same day that one of the employees sells $9,000 and they all find out that their beloved store is being turned into a chain ala Tower Records, a washed up pop star is coming to the store to promote his new album. And then there’s head shaving, shoplifting, Gwar hallucinations, college pressures, and lots and lots of music. Because you know.
Empire Records was panned by the critics when it came out, but fans love it. They celebrate Rex Manning Day (I just watch the movie and make brownies). There is a special ‘fan edition’ dvd that includes the Rex Manning music video and a whopping extra sixteen minutes of footage, most of which I honestly think should’ve stayed out. If you’ve never seen the movie and can’t pick out what the extra footage is, if you find yourself wondering why they’re blathering on about bullshit for no reason, it’s probably an extra scene.
It has been done before and it has been done since, but a woman shaving off her hair on camera for a movie is always bad ass. It’s not just about making yourself less ‘pretty’, I constantly hide behind my hair so shaving my head to me is the same as walking around topless. Right after this, Robin Tunney filmed The Craft so her hair in that movie is 100% wig.
While I was poking around last night I found this list of who’s who in Empire Records, so instead of listing them off i’ll just link to that.
Bonus: if you are a fan of Grease 2 this will either ruin or make your day.
There is limited food and food inspiration in this movie, i’ll admit, so we’re dipping into the vast (and awesome) soundtrack to help! Eddie brings in a pizza at one point but honestly, you can only use a random pizza so many times.
Appetizers: The Cranberries + Cracker = Cranberry Herbed Crackers. I’ve never made my own crackers but that recipe seems pretty simple. Serve with blue cheese dip (the buffalo bites have no reference to the movie but there’s no reason you can’t make them too, or anything else you want to dip).
Cocktail: Gin Blossoms + The Martinis = Dirty Gin Martini.
Dessert: There is only one thing (okay, two things if you want to make Happy Rex Manning Day cupcakes) to make:, some ‘herbal’ brownies. Actually i’m noticing that everything in this menu has herbs of some sort. Substitute pot wherever you want, just don’t watch Gwar videos while eating it.