528 pages, 5.8 x 1.8 x 8.5 inches
Michael Azerrad is a music journalist who humanized Kurt Cobain in Come As You Are. This book, however, deserves a lifetime achievement award. Azerrad demonstrates the vital relevance of thirteen highly influential punk, hardcore, and twee bands of the 1980s that never made it into the mainstream. From Black Flag to Beat Happening to Mission of Burma, Azerrad proves the importance of subversive musicians during the time of hte hit industry. He also shines a lot on the oddity, poverty, and drug-addled dilemmas each band faced on its mission to expressing itself and relating with fans. Azerrad shines because he writes in a voice that simultaneous makes his subjects interesting to anyone while simultaneously not being obnoxious for people who spend their lives reading zines.
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