Kudos to Jess at Idolator for posting the Promise Ring's video for "Why Did We Ever Meet?" as part of the "12 Days of 90s Emo." It's funny with the timing as I was editing (what I hope to be the final edit of) the Promise Ring chapter last night and the video was mentioned. Of course, when the video debuted on 120 Minutes has very special significance for me.
I was a loyal 120 Minutes watcher my senior year of high school/freshman year of college. I'd tape it whether or not I stayed up and watched the whole thing. If I remember correctly, most of the show's playlist was dominated by British acts at the time. There was great stuff from Suede, Belle and Sebastian, Radiohead and the Verve, but the Promise Ring video really stuck out. And I really liked what I heard.
Just a few weeks prior, I heard the word "emo" for the first time. I asked a couple of friends what emo was and they just grumbled at the mere mention of the word. These guys were really into fast pop-punk like Ten Foot Pole and NOFX and were not fans of bands like Jimmy Eat World and the Promise Ring.
When I told one of them a few weeks later that I really liked "Why Did We Ever Meet?" and looked forward to picking up Nothing Feels Good, he asked me if I was serious. I was, and have been ever since.
The funny post-script to this story is when I ran into one of these guys a year later. He told me how much of a fan he was of the Get Up Kids.