Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 Paperback – 6 Feb 2003
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Azerrad has done so much interviewing that the material will be fresh even for those whose lives these bands were. - Village Voice (A timely reminder that Cobain and company were merely a key regiment in the motley al-rock army.. OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE narrates, down to the homemade posters and tour van repairs, how these bands gradually built up an audience large enough to make)
The story of post-punk indie rock in America, and the bands whose do-it-yourself ethic paved the way for the grunge phenomenon of the 1990s.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The title, taken from a Minutemen song, is a mantra running through the career of each of the 13 bands detailed.
Not all of them may have changed the face of music - although several could claim to - but each are admirable in their bloody mindedness and desire to operate outside the ruling major label system.
Azerrad lets band members tell their own stories and, like all music books should do, this sends you scurrying back to the old vinyl you hadn't played in years - and makes the music sound more vital than ever.
- Black Flag
- The Minutemen
- Mission Of Burma
- Minor Threat
- Husker Du
- The Replacements
- Sonic Youth
- Butthole Surfers
- Big Black
- Dinosaur Jr
- Beat Happening
Azerrad admits at the off-set that the stories of each band trail off or stop completely if they reach a point at which the band signed to a major lable. This can be frustrating, but is understandable as the book was written with the intention of covering independant music only. Because of this, it is primarilly concerned with how bands start up and develop a following, so don't expect a full life story.
Azerrad does a fantastic job of holding your attention and making what could be quite a dull topic into a real "page turner". The book goes into great detail throughout, not just in terms of the bands, but when covering the independant record lables they were on and what was happening in their cities and the culture surrounding them at the time. Azerrad manages to keep this interesting, without ever seeming tedious or unnecessary.
It is also refreshingly honest, which leads to quite a few of the profiles being far from flattering to the artists they cover. (It seems you can't be in a good band unless at least one of your members is staggeringly selfish with an "artistic temperament".)
I can reccomend downloading an album by each artist and listening to it while reading their chapter.Read more ›
Covering an era when music seemed to really MEAN something, Azerrad allows us to see the wider picture by telling the story through the eyes of the people who were there. Each chapter is devoted to a particular band, focussing on their indie years and tailing off if a major label becomes involved. All the major names contribute to this tale, and one of the key aspects of the story is the way Azerrad allows these voices to reappear in other chapters, linking the narratives and providing a sense of continuity and, more importantly, community. This was a time when the 'scene' was so loosely defined that all the key players in this story knew each other (if only by reputaion more than anything else), and everyone seems to contribute to each other's story. there is almost a sense of 'family', as one individual will pick up the themes established by another.
Much has been said about the omissions in the book, and they do deserve a closer look. Azerrad clearly defines in his introduction the criteria for inclusion in the book. This has lead to compliants of various movers and shakers being left out of the story. Firstly, in a realistic way, it would be almost impossible to comprehensively cover every single band that made some kind of contribution to the American underground scene of the 1980s (for a general over-view, readers would be encouraged to check out Simon Reynold's "Rip it up and Start Again"). And secondly, some of the bigger names are not covered because they do not fit themeatically in the book. R.E.M.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book covering the history of some of the most important bands in American sub-culture.
When you read this you will be heading back to Amazon to see if you can... Read more
I haven't even finished the book yet, but it is brilliant! I normally struggle to read books like this, but I am loving it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard Butterwhistle
A must read! Great writing, brilliant stories and anecdotes. Made me want to go and listen to all those great albums again - really loud!Published 18 months ago by Sqeez D'Souza
And lots of Minutemen. Made me want to hear all of the bands involved. Although that soon passed when I heard some of them.Published on 1 May 2014 by Amazon Customer