Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Band Could Be Your Life

If like me, you have pissed away a substantial amount of time over the last two decades uncovering new kernels of info. about seminal punk groups such as Black Flag or the Minutemen, this historical text will briefly fascinate. The chapter on the Butthole Surfers is particularly odd and comically depraved. Hell, this book makes it easy. In the pre-internet days (and before there was a market for a book such as this) one had to scour liner notes, interviews and song lyrics to glean even the tiniest morsel. A time consuming endeavor, indeed. Our Band Could Be your Life chronicles the rise and fall of these outfits culminating in the post-Nevermind indie explosion and many of the active participants are briefly interviewed.

It fits in well on the shelf right next to the essential punk oral history Please Kill Me and other semi-related tomes such as American Hardcore, Lexicon Devil and We Got the Neutron Bomb.

If you are unfamiliar with the groups outlined, Our Band Could Be Your Life is a pointless read (unlike the riotous Please Kill Me which would surely interest even those hapless souls with no interest in the genre). In Our Band, the anecdotes of infighting, substance abuse and heroic struggles against the major label record industry are simply too tedious to one unfamiliar with the music itself. As for me, I saved the chapters on Mudhoney and Beat Happening for last because I never listened them, and those two chapters were a tedious plod indeed.

Even if you aren't drooling at the prospect of a pre-indie rock history book, the heft of it would still make for a decent paperweight or a fair to middlin' doorstop.

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