Books By Leslie Simon
Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide To Emo Culture by Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelley (It Books, 4/2007)
Illustrations by Rob Dobi
What is emo? For starters it’s a form of melodic, confessional, or EMOtional punk rock. But emo is more than a genre of music–it’s the defining counterculture movement of the ’00s. Everybody Hurts is a reference book for emo, tracing its angsty roots all the way from Shakespeare to Holden Caufield to today’s most popular bands.
There’s nothing new about that perfect chocolate and peanut butter combination––teenagers and angst. What is new is that emo is the first cultural movement born on the internet. With the development of early social networking sites like Make Out Club (whose mission is to unite “like–minded nerds, loners, indie rockers, record collectors, video gamers, hardcore kids, and artists through friendship, music, and sometimes even love”) outcast teens had a place to find each other and share their pain, their opinions, and above all, their music–which wasn’t available for sale at the local record store.
With a healthy dose of snark and sarcasm, Everybody Hurts uses diagrams, illustrations, timelines, and step–by–step instructions to help the reader successfully achieve the ultimate emo lifestyle. Or, alternately, teach him to spot an emo kid across the mall in order to mock him mercilessly.
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Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide To Your Favorite Music Scenes—From Punk To Indie And Everything In Between by Leslie Simon (It Books, 04/2009)
Illustrations by Rob Dobi
Wish You Were Here is a snarky, fact-filled look at the people and places that made the indie/punk scene what it is today. Yes, the American underground music scene is exploding everywhere—not just in New York City and L.A. (although we’ve got those cities covered too!):
In Washington, D.C. . . . Ian MacKaye and Fugazi inspired the straightedge culture, which had kids everywhere drawing black X’s on their hands in magic marker.
In Omaha, Nebraska . . . A young Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, started writing and performing gut-wrenching love songs at the tender age of thirteen.
On Long Island, New York . . . Taking Back Sunday and Brand New battled for emo supremacy and the fragile hearts of a million teenage girls.
From the coauthor of the cult-worthy Everybody Hurts comes Wish You Were Here—a combination travel guide and tortured history covering everything from what constitutes proper rock critic etiquette in Minneapolis to why pop-punk bands in Chicago have so much suburban angst, to how freegans in the Bay Area can feed themselves on a budget that would make frugal Rachael Ray’s face blush.
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Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, And Other Misfits Are Taking Over The World by Leslie Simon (It Books, 10/2011)
Illustrations by Nan Lawson
For every girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, Leslie Simon has your manifesto: a smart, expansive, and winningly entertaining celebration of comedy queens, film geeks, bookworms, craft mavens, indie chicks, and other all-star women. Following the breakaway hit book Everybody Hurts, Simon’s energizing look at today’s pop-culture and counterculture heroines—like Amy Sedaris, Tina Fey, Sofia Coppola, Regina Spektor, and Jenny Hart—is an empowering, eye-opening, and, above all, fun journey. Readers of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life will love joining forces as Geek Girls Unite!