Indie Rock Fans Please Read

MatS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 24, 2000
Messages
1,593
...no I mean really read.
"Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From The American Indie Underground 1981-1991" by Michael Azerrad
I just picked this book up today and thus far it has been a great read. It documents the independent music scene when music really mattered (pre Nirvana "Nevermind"). Specific bands documented throughout the 500+ pages are Black Flag, The Minutemen, Mission Of Burma, Minor Threat, Husker Du, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Mudhoney, and Beat Happening.
here are some links to the book and descriptions:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...605565-3110169
http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/books...sbn=0316063797
http://www.twbookmark.com/books/35/0316063797/
 

Vince Maskeeper

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Jan 18, 1999
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It's on my list to pickup- although I'm sure Az did a bit of a romantic retelling (as he did with Come as you Are)- I'm sure it's an interesting read.
It documents the independent music scene when music really mattered (pre Nirvana "Nevermind").
You are aware that the indie rock music scene continues today- and in many ways it's a lot more interesting than the 80's were. Music still matters, it's just not on the radio (it wasn't then either).

-Vince
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[Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on August 14, 2001 at 09:54 AM]
 

Kevin Leonard

Supporting Actor
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Mar 11, 2001
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I picked this up a few days ago as well. About halfway done reading it...to make it short and sweet, if you are interested in the underground/indie rock scene of the 80's and early 90's, then this book must go on your bookshelf.
Like Come As You Are, Mr. Azzerad doesn't sugarcoat the musicians profiled: a lot of them come off as people you wouldn't really want to be hang around with in their creative heydays. But there is a lot of useful info and some interesting revelations (for me, anyways).
I have a couple complaints though:
If Gang of Four had been covered in the book as well, that would've made my day. I'm not too familiar with their background and would've liked to have known more about them.
And although their multi-millionaire rock stars now, R.E.M. was an essential part of the underground rock movement back in the 80's. It felt a bit insulting that Azzerad only mentioned them here and there. I realize a lot the bands profiled in the book have a "harder" edge than R.E.M., and several books have already been written about the Athens quartet, but it felt like a glaring oversight in my book. Unless I haven't got to their section yet.

Now, if the chapter on my beloved Replacements were only a bit longer!

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JasonK

Supporting Actor
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May 10, 2000
Messages
676
I read a review for this a few weeks ago in The Onion AV Club, they also seemed to enjoy it. Thanks for the review, I'll have to pick this up.
Jason
 

MatS

Screenwriter
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Jan 24, 2000
Messages
1,593
Kevin: the explanation of R.E.M.'s omittion from the book (in chapter form) can be found within the introduction on page 5. In essence, the book deals with bands that were solely on independent labels. Since R.E.M. IRS releases went through A&M (RCA being the distributor) and later MCA's pipeline they were excluded. As you have noted, despite not having a chapter solely dedicated to them it is impossible to go through the book and not reference the band as their pre Warner Bros music was so vital to that scene/time period.
I had to resist starting at the chapter dealing with the Replacements (my favorite band..come on VH1, if ever there was a more deserving Behind The Music..) and decided to start at the beginning. Just finished the Minutemen chapter last night.
Vince said:
You are aware that the indie rock music scene continues today- and in many ways it's a lot more interesting than the 80's were. Music still matters, it's just not on the radio (it wasn't then either).
trust me Vince I am well aware..it is part of my everyday life. I still believe the time period discussed in this book was the heyday for this music and whether I've grown jaded/cynical etc. the music these days just doesn't inspire or move me like it did then.
 

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