Lately I'm starting to believe that 90% of what makes a good book is the subject matter and the other 10% is the author not being a total ass hat. InLately I'm starting to believe that 90% of what makes a good book is the subject matter and the other 10% is the author not being a total ass hat. In Geoff Emerick's Here There and Everywhere it would be hard pressed to find a subject matter that is more interesting to me right now. Emerick was like 15 years old when he started working for EMI and participating on Beatle recordings. He was there in fact for the first ever Beatle recording and eventually became the sound engineer for all of their later work. All while still a teenager. His love for music and the Beatles comes through in his narative and he conveys a number of fascinating insights and anecdotes. There was a section early in the book that dealt with his youth/background that I didn't find particularly interesting and should have been edited out in my opinion. Also I could have done without some of his judgements and tooting of his own horn, but for the most part this was a very enjoyable read and I give it a strong recommendation. ...more
Vinyl Junkies While doing research for “Who’s Who In Rockism”, the name Brett Milano kept popping up. Milano is a music journalist for the College Mus Vinyl Junkies While doing research for “Who’s Who In Rockism”, the name Brett Milano kept popping up. Milano is a music journalist for the College Music Journal, the Boston Herald and the Boston Phoenix. I first came upon the writing of Brett Milano years ago while reading the liner notes of a Rhino records CD called The Very Best of Todd Rundgren (circa 1997) but it is Milano’s 2003 Vinyl Junkies that seems to be his calling card in any detailed discussion of Rockism. Even though I don’t remember the word Rocksim actually being used in Milano’s Vinyl Junkies, it is full of passages like the following that make it easy to see how Vinyl Junkies could easily seduce the Rockist reader.
“…you don’t have to be one of those vinyl snobs—the kind who think that digital sound is flat and heartless—to appreciate that playing a record is a whole different experience. Placing the needle in the groove is a physical act—maybe a sexual one, if you really want to stretch the metaphor—and it’s just not the same as pressing the button on your CD player, where you can’t even see what’s going on. And even though they’re more high-tech, CDs just aren’t as mysterious. There’s a computer-age explanation for why that digital sound gets reproduced, just as there’s a computer-age explanation for everything.”
“…For some collectors, it’s not just about buying a bunch of records. It’s about living in the pop culture era of your choice. Anyone who gets deep into non-standard music is already making a decision about living outside the mainstream.”
Milano’s guided tour through the world of record collecting consists mainly of meetings and conversations with 30 or so record collectors who range in age from the mid 30s to the mid 60s, who are mostly male (although Milano seems to go out of his way to include 3 or 4 females) and most of whom—if not all of whom—are connected to the music industry in some way. This last aspect seems natural enough of course, but I found that limiting his focus group just to just to the mainstream record collectors gives Milano’s book a lack of depth. I would have like to have heard the words of record collectors who weren’t involved in the music industry. Why not include conversations with some dentists or accountant, or janitor, who also just happens to collect records? Are the record-collecting habits of regular, everyday people who collect totally outside the hipster judgments of the music industry/record collector hemisphere not worthy?
I’ve been a record collector myself since my first purchase at the age of 8 years old (the Steve Miler 45 “Keep On a –Rockin me Baby”). So I enjoyed Milano’s book, but at the same time I was let down in that he only really touched the surface of a very large and interesting subculture. At various points in the book he tried to describe the smell and look of a vintage album, the smells and looks of record collector’s rooms, of DJ booths, of record stores, and even of the rush of searching for a record, but in the end there was something missing. Milano has a understated-realistic, workman-like style of writing and his love and knowledge of music comes through clear, but he missed a real opportunity here to write something much greater. The locomotion behind every collector I’ve ever met is the idea of having a mission. Milano touches upon this during parts of the books, but to really understand the excitement and frenzy that someone on a mission experiences, you have to be on a mission yourself. In the first chapter of the book Milano appeared as though he was going to create a mission—a mission for the reader, a mission for himself, etc—when he explains in great detail experiencing a record listening party with his friends Pat and Monoman. This gets the book off to a great start, but from there Milano just sorta randomly goes from one record collector conversation to another, occasionally touching upon one theme or another, but with no real sense of mission at all.
So for this reason and many more, my final verdict is 3 Wagemann heads.
***Bonus Material***I have a bittersweet reaction to any book, movie, song, etc that has the title “[something:] junkie” in it, for it was my 1996 Golden Circle Award winning essay Streetball Junkie in which the term “junkie” was originally used to describe a person that is obsessed with something—something other than drugs—in a very addictive, drug-like way. Since then there have been a plethora of “junkie” novels, movies, etc and I have yet to see one dime for the intellectual property that I have contributed to our beautiful pop culture. But did Willie Burroughs get any monetary compensation for his creative insertion of “punk” or “heavy metal” into the 20ths centuries pop culture landscape? No. But he does get the credit, so who knows, maybe 50 years from now I’ll get my due and be considered as the William Burroughs of Generation A.D.D. (Generation A.D.D. by the way, is another term that I first popularized as well). ...more
One fine autumn day in 1998 I was at Quimby’s book store, located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, when I noticed a book called Unknown LegendsOne fine autumn day in 1998 I was at Quimby’s book store, located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, when I noticed a book called Unknown Legends of Rock n Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks & More. For the previous few days I had been deeply submerged in the making of a 90 minute mixed-tape of Psychedelic Pop songs (that I imaginatively titled Flowers and Fudgecicles) for a friend that I worked with, so the subtitle of Unknown Legends caught my eye. After all, I didn’t want to leave out any gems on Fudgecicles. So I thumbed through the book, gleaning that the author was some dude born in 1962 named Richie Unterberger (What kind of grown man goes by the name Richie? How about Rick or Rich or Richard or even Dick?). I turned to the back cover of the book—because I always like to take a look at the author to help me determine if I really want to read what this asshat has to say—but Richie’s photo was no where to be found. Nonetheless, I was eventually convinced to fork over 19 big ones for Unknown Legends because it came with a CD that included 12 “rare songs”. I took the book home and devoured it, it was written in a very easy to read manner and the subject matter fascinated me. I even put the CD in and listened to it as I read. Overall it was a pleasant reading experience. A few years later, the internet was ballooning into the monstrocity of information and distraction that it has currently evolved to. I had become deeply involved in illegal downloading music by that time and I found the perfect quick reference guide for my undertakings on a website not-so-imaginatively called allmusic.com. And lo and behold but whose name do I come across? Richie Unterberger. He was a leading contributor to the website. Reading some of his contributions to the site I once again became curious as to what this guy looked like. But again his photo was nowhere to be found. Often when I read a book or an article by someone my mind will sketch in traits about this person, some of it is based on what I actually know about the author, some of it is based on how the author writes, what directions they go in, but some of it just based on what the author’s mugshot looks like. I had no mugshot for Unterberger, so my mind went ahead and sketched in a composite image and came up with this sorta laid back dude, the kind who wore t-shirts and jeans an who owned a vintage vinyl store in some historic urban neighborhood and who seemed to have all kinds of wisdom and endless stories of his experiences hanging out with the various Unknown Legends of Rock. This would be a cool guy to hang out with, I concluded. But at the same time there was underlying quality about Unterberger’s writing that sort of got on my nerves. I didn’t realize what it was about Unterberger that rubbed me the wrong way until one day in 2009 when I was browsing the biography section of my local library and I came across The Rough Guide To Jimi Hendrix by, yes you guessed it, Richie Unterberger. Ofcourse the first thing I do is check the back cover to finally get an image of this Unterberger guy. And what I see is a toad. A middle-aged toad with a hair do (or should I say hair don’t) reminiscent of Larry from the Three Stooges, plus he has oversized horse teeth, Mick Jagger lips, a unibrow and the general overall appearance of walking, breathing douche-hat. I immediately realized that I had given this guy way too much credit. I could only wonder now why the hell had I assumed that Unterberger actually knew any of these Rock icons that he had written about? Why had I thought that he was part of their posse, that he hung out with them, swapped groupies with them, pulled bong hits with them, etc. I mean this guy was in the second grade when Hendrix died, yet he wrote about Hendrix with such an air of authority that you would have sworn he had been side-by-side with Hendrix as Hendrix went through life setting his guitar on fire and doing lines of coke off of teenage girls buttocks. Unterberger wrote things like “…for all his shyness, Hendrix also had a burning, competitive ambition”. How the hell does Unterberger know this? Maybe if he would have given concrete examples of this, or maybe if he would have cited sources who were actually close to Hendrix or at least knew Hendrix, THEN that kind of statement might have had some authority to it. Instead Unterberger comes off as trying to pretend to have been a close confidant of Hendrix. And that really irked me. Why was Unterberger talking about Hendrix as though he is at a family gathering talking about a wild uncle who shows up late. As I read on, I found an assortment of these kinds of assumptions/opinions. For instance later in the book Unterberger is talking about how Hendrix caused tension in the recording studio: “Hendrix always had a hard time saying no to or getting rid of people who wanted to get to know him better, get high with him or generally feed off his aura, whether due to his innate shyness or an inability to assert himself.” Then a few sentences later Unterbeger writes “…at times the Experience felt cluttered and hemmed in when too many of these musicians showed up, or their additions were superfluous or led to unproductive jams which were a distraction from the songs they were working on”. Again, how does Unterberger know any of this? He doesn’t include any quotes, he doesn’t give any detailed examples. He wasn’t there but he is making these assumptions—assumptions that are directly wired into the accepted, mainstream, iconic caricature of Hendrix. Unterberger is judging Hendrix’s methods based on the trappings of old school Rockism standards. And this was really what was starting to bother me about Unterberger. Unterberger’s allegiance to old school Rocksim is revealed in this passage as well: “Unfortunately [emphesis added], the jam with which listeners are most likely to be familiar with is one in which a drunken Jim Morrison was inspired to slur along with Jimi, as the results found their way onto releases of dubious legality, the most notorious of which was titled Woke Up This Morning and Found Myself Dead”. Why is this unfortunate? Why is it BAD for a couple of guys to get together, get drunk, stoned and make some music? Why shouldn’t Rock fans listen to that? Documents like that are an important part of Rock history. Whether the creepy political correctness cops think such endevours should be censored from Rock history or not—it is jams like that which are a part of the reality of Rock, much more so than the public relations image that the record companies, corporate magazines and mainstream media have concocted and construed for marketing purposes. And that Unterberger bought into this entire bullshit and then regurgitated it back was making it very difficult for me to continue to read his words. So I was about to scrap the book when I took one more look at his photo again, and this time I realized that Unterberger looked exactly like a middle-aged version of Bill Steele. Who the hell is Bill Steele, you ask? Bill Steele, who I dubbed Norml Bill was a toad I met while I was a DJ at the college radio station at Western Illinois University in the late 1980s. He came into the station one day to record a “public service announcement” about a rally on campus that was being sponsored by NORML (the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws). Normal Bill was excessively sweaty and pimply-faced. His head was shaped like a huge lumpy potato, his ears were like two little lumpty potatoes and in fact his entire body was like one big lumpy potato. He talked non-stop in this high-pitched excitable voice, sorta like Gilbert Godfrey and he wore ginormous Harry Carey glasses that he was continually pushing up to keep them from falling off his nose. I think I was actually stoned when we first met and on first meeting I found his entire being to be comic genius. I was probably smiling the entire time he gave his spiell. Living vicarious through those who smoke weed. He himself was not “cool” so he would latch onto those who were—or who he perceived were cool. Unterberger seemed to be of this same ilk. He seemed to be trying to be cool vicariously through the Rock icons he worshipped. The bad rap against Rockism has been that it is a stunted way of looking at music (life? the world? etc.) Unterberger is clearly a product of that outlook. As I seriously considered dumping his book and going on to something else (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee—my Bible of sorts—was sitting on the end table next to my bed, as always: I could always read that) I decided instead to actually read the “About the author” blurb next to his mugshot on the back cover. Unterberger had written another book that I had read a year earlier called Turn! Turn! Turn!/Eight Miles High. At the time I had actually enjoyed reading that, it was actually a lot like Unknown Legend of Rock n Roll in that was on a very fascinating subject to met—a two part history of 1960’s folk rock. In the end I decided that I would continue to read The Rough Guide, for I concluded that Unterberger doesn’t have the hipster-wannabee pretentiousness of a lot of Rockist writers. He’s more in the old school of Rockism that simply worships the Rock Gods and accepts the established old school Rockist perception of life, love and rock music. And he’s entitled to his opinion, afterall obviously he had read tons about Rock, and collected thousands of dollars worth of recorded music and he’s certainly set back and listened to the music and formed relationships with the music and the rock artists in that manner. And he obviously loves Rock. For these reasons I give Unknown Legends 2.5 Wagemann Heads NEXT!...more
I experienced the Chicago Hardcore scene during the summer of '85. By that time Hardcore had become redundant with no new content to offer. SkinheadsI experienced the Chicago Hardcore scene during the summer of '85. By that time Hardcore had become redundant with no new content to offer. Skinheads were taking over and there was all this macho posturing going on. It was no better than the high school cheerleader mentality that hardcore proclaimed it loathed.
At around that same time Penelope Spheeris' Decline of the Western Civilization was released (and has since come to be touted as the definitive documentary on the subject--eventhough that film basically only dealt with the LA punk scene of the early 80s). Spheeris's flick was topical and seems relevent even to this day. But much of punk is documented in books and films that come out some 20 some years after the fact which means that there is bound to be some major waxing the poetic and lots of jibber jabber championing the 'good ole days' of hardcore nonsense--which is partly why I didn't like Steven Blush's American Hardcore.
One important thing for the evolution of Rockism that American Hardcore--as a movement/genre or whatever you want to call it--did that was that it helped provide the blueprint for how a band could be successful in this country without kowtowing to the Corporate Consumer Culture. Fugazi is the perfect example. There are a lots of reasons not to like Fugazi. First of all they come from Washignton DC, and DC is basically the Anus of America. It produces nothing but shit and attracts nothing but perverse and corrupt dicks (Dick Cheney, Dick Nixon, etc.)...although admittedly (like an anus) DC will occasionally provide some funny sounding farts (the Make up, Henry Rollins) from time to time--which are always good for a laugh. But for the most part (like the anus) DC produces nothing but shit. Fugazi is an exception however if for no other reason than they did help create the blueprint for how to be a successful rock band in today's society without getting eaten up by the corporate music industry. Fugazi have sold millions of records - all through their very own label, Dischord records. They also booked all their own shows, set the prices and conditions of their shows, even carried their own instruments. They did everything, in fact, at the grass roots level. And, they took a strict anti-consumer culture stance. For instance, they wouldnt do magazine interviews with any magazine that they wouldnt read themselves. And they didnt sell band posters, t-shirts and stickers at their shows. It just seems so obvious that that is the way Rock is supposed to be--yet so few bands do it that way.
So due to the hard work of bands like Fugazi, hardcore deserves credit for helping develope the DIY ethic that was instrumental in founding the Indie Underground of the 80s and beyond.
Here's the tracklisting for the American Hardcore soundtrack:
I went to grad school, had classes with and was tutored by Don De Grazia at Columbia College in the early 1990s. His talent was immeditately recognizaI went to grad school, had classes with and was tutored by Don De Grazia at Columbia College in the early 1990s. His talent was immeditately recognizable and his spirit was a true inspiration. I bought his book and read it quickly. It is a page turner, dealing with skin heads and others and set mostly in late 1980s Chicago, it was fun to read about locations that I had been to and characters I seemed to have known. After reading this book I became interested in reading more books set in Chicago and for about a year that was what I mostly read. In general I don't read much fiction, so I dont recommend much. And although I thought the very ending of American Skin was a bit contrived, overall this novel is a total joy. No one that I have ever recommended it to has NOT liked it....more
To pin down an exact definition of Outsider Music is like trying to turn a bottl of ketchup into a tomato. If you define it as music that is outside the mainstream music industry, then that could include anything from punk to polka. If you define it as music that is recorded not for popular consumption, then that too is not exactly correct, since Outsider musicians often dream (perhaps delusionally) of mainstream success. If Outsider music is defined in relation to Outsider Art, then it has to be put in the context of music that is created by folks who are mentally imbalanced (for that is what Outsider Art was originally meant to define: the artwork made by mental home patients). Jack Mudurian, whose musical repertoire was recorded in 1981 by the activities director at the Nursing Home where he was a resident, would be a classic example of this definition. But not all Outsider musicians are mental patients. Some seem more like novelty acts, but at the same time it is also wrong to define Outsider musicians as simply novelty acts because Outsider musicians are not necessarily "in" on the joke, so to speak. The only undeniable unifying aspect of Outsider music is its genuine expression of feelings, ideas, emotions, etc., that can't be effectively expressed otherwise.
"There is plenty in Cline's novel to make a reader think that this vision of the future is not at all far fetched. Some are subtle, like certain chara"There is plenty in Cline's novel to make a reader think that this vision of the future is not at all far fetched. Some are subtle, like certain characters, games, events and things in Ready Player One that echo many of their counterparts in today's reality. The creators of OASIS in Cline's novel, for instance, are suspiciously similar to John Carmack and John Romero (the Lennon and McCartney of video games who created Doom)."
The subject amtter of this book had alot of potential. I think Jovanovic could have gone deeper in describing the music scene and record producing sceThe subject amtter of this book had alot of potential. I think Jovanovic could have gone deeper in describing the music scene and record producing scene around Memphis, TN during the rise and fall of Big Star during the late 1960s to mid 1970s. But I enjoyed reading it none the less. ...more
I really didn't learn anything new from this book. It is less than 100 pages long. Also there are som assumptions that the author makes that lead me tI really didn't learn anything new from this book. It is less than 100 pages long. Also there are som assumptions that the author makes that lead me to believe that they really dont know very much about pre-1991 underground rock music. It's written like a history book geared toward 8th graders. So it might be good for young kids, which might have been its intention. ...more
If everything bad is actually good for you, like the title of Steve Johnson’s study of pop culture suggests, then his book must be the best thing sincIf everything bad is actually good for you, like the title of Steve Johnson’s study of pop culture suggests, then his book must be the best thing since penicillin. In attempting to make the argument that pop culture is actually making mankind smarter, Johnson is guilty of huge lapses in logic which stems from a very limited view of reality that pretty much totally misses the point on almost every level. Even the one tool of pop culture that actually is improving mankind, that being the internet (since the internet has obviously evolved into one of the most important sources of information and communication in modernized civilization), Johnson’s off-base argument is that the Internet’s value comes from its ability to allow fans of pop TV shows to gossip about the fictional characters and plots in their favorite the shows. What he doesn’t explain—probably since it isn’t true—is how gossiping on a Desperate Housewives website better is for you than actually talking to a live person about real things happening in your real life. Throughout his book Johnson continues to grasp for straws as he reaches one bizarre, unscientific conclusion after another in his attempts to legitimize all the time he has wasted in his life watching sitcom/melodrama TV and playing fantasy games on the computer. One such bizarre conclusion Johnson reaches is that “most” video games do to the “reward” circuitry of the brain what the game Tetris does to one’s visual circuitry. Never mind that he can’t cite any scientific proof for this, most likely since this claim is in fact a totally unfounded conclusion. Johnson rationalizes that the time, energy and money he has wasted during his life on playing video games is making him more evolved by arguing that millions of other people have wasted just as much of their time on these same video games. So it must be good for you right? That’s the kind of pedestrian logic that Johnson’s book is littered with. This is bad stuff, but Johnson compounds his illogical conclusions with a bad habit of making annoyingly off-base generalizations. He says things like people don’t “explore” movies or music in anything but the most figurative way. That’s obviously false. Even the village idiot knows that movies and music have many layers (in which the more you learn about, the better you can experience them in various ways). So less than 60 pages into his book it became obvious that Johnson is an ignamaroon. His main problem is that his view of the world is limited strictly to the world of pop culture. He seems to think the entire world watches as much TV as he does, plays as many video games as he does, and spends all the rest of their time sitting in front of a computer screen gossiping with others about the latest Survivor episode. And although there are certainly millions of Americans that do spend hours in their parents basement hypnotized by the intricacies of fantasy video game worlds, and millions who have closer relationships to fictional TV characters than they do with real humans, Johnson offers no statistics as to how many or to what extent, and he certainly doesn’t explain how all of this is bettering mankind. He just assumes that everybody is like him, totally ignoring (or perhaps he doesn’t realize the fact) that many people simply use video games, TV and movies as diversions from their daily lives for a few hours of entertainment here and there, not as the sole tool for giving their life a purpose. I guess what I found most offensive about Johnson’s book was his attempt to promote being obsessed with pop culture as being for the betterment of mankind. To me there is no benefit to society in having a worldview that is limited in scope to nothing but pop culture. In fact it makes me wonder how those who are seeing the world from such a limited view are interacting with the real world and affecting it at all. From reading Johnson’s book it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Johnson (and those others with the limited perspective of a pop culture junky) would rather have someone who was a champion player at Sims 2000 become mayor of his city over someone with real world city council experience who has dealt with the complexities of community politics. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they would rather have a champion Nintendo player managing their favorite baseball team over someone who was an actual former big leaguer. And who, I wonder would they want as the top policy makers of America’s Department of Defense, a hotshot whiz at Dungeon and Dragons and Command and Conquer or someone who had military experience in real world conflicts? The point I’m trying to make here is that while the couch potatoes that make up the population in Johnson’s world are doing amazing things on a video game or coming up with incredible insights to reality TV show strategies, it is the people who are actually living in the real world who are putting their stamp on reality. Obviously video games cause you to make decisions while playing, but so does taking a walk, so does hiking or biking or rock climbing or going to a library or music store or a job interview. The difference of course is that in real life your decisions have real life consequences, consequences that actually matter. In video games they don’t. In video games you can start over, you can use ‘cheats’, you can be killed and come back to life. Johnson doesn’t seem to get this. In fact he compares playing video games to studying Algebra. And although mastering algebra may not give the average person skills that they use every single day in real life, Johnson doesn’t site even one skill that is learned from playing a video game that is going to help the average person in real life. Johnson’s main argument is that video games cause the player to ‘probe’ and ‘telescope’ yet he doesn’t explain how these two skills have any relation to real life. Without any scientific research on the subject, it seems pretty obvious that skills you learn playing a video game are not likely going to be skills that will help you in real life, and one reason for that is that in video games the possibilities of what you can do are all limited to the confines of the game. In real life hobbies like biking or taking roadtrips, even collecting baseball cards, you can make up any rules and values you want. You determine the goals instead of having some fabricated limitations assigned to your ‘character’. I do however concede that the Internet is a good tool for mankind, although Johnson’s case for it is way off base. I also see how video games can be of some minimal benefit, beyond just entertainment. But by far the weakest of Johnson’s many weak arguments is that pop culture is making mankind smarter because TV show narratives have become more complex and that their characters have become more complex. That’s probably true if you are comparing them to TV characters of 30 years ago, then yes, perhaps they are more complex. But compared to real people, or even compared to literary characters, or film characters then no, they are not more complex. In fact most of what I’ve seen on TV is rehashed and repackaged bits, plots and characters from older foreign films, off-Broadway theatre and radio programs of yesteryear. Again Johnson doesn’t seem to get this. In fact at one point in his book Johnson goes on and on for several pages, making a total fool of himself by blubbering on about what a cutting edge and original technique is employed in Sienfeld by something that is nothing more than a simple running gag. In this case the running gag is that the character George Costanza uses a false name (Art Van Delay) to try to impress people. Even though similar running gags go back to the beginnings of performance, Johnson treats it as if it’s the most original and creative thing since sliced bread. Yet he offers no explanation at how this running gag is any more creative than Jack Benny’s ‘tightwad’ jokes or Mr. Ropers ‘turn to the camera and grin’ bit that was worked into several Three’s Company episodes. Still, this doesn’t prevent Johnson from concluding that these more complex TV characters and narratives are turning all of mankind into this super insightful observer that can read emotions, intentions and motives better than someone who doesn’t watch TV shows. And the ridiculous thing about Johnson’s limited thinking is that if people really are learning their life lessons from so-called “complex” TV characters and content, and if they are really operating under the false notion that being an expert on what strategies Reality show characters should use, or what plot twist the Sopranos is going to take, makes them an expert on real life issues, then they are going to make some terrible decisions in real life. I’m talking “voting for George W. Bush” caliber terrible decisions. Overall, due to the carelessness of thought and the over rationalization and leaps in logic Johnson makes in nearly every one of his arguments, it’s becomes way too easy to dismiss his entire book as nonsense. I recommend you ignore this book completely. ...more
A great book, definately a must for anyone that wants to hear the war stories of American Underground Rock. I also like the fact that Azerrad just deaA great book, definately a must for anyone that wants to hear the war stories of American Underground Rock. I also like the fact that Azerrad just deals with American bands from that time. I was a DJ at the college radio station at Western Illinois University in the late 80s and it was like anything British was considered Underground, The Smiths, The Cure, Soup Dragons (scottish actually). But none of these bands came up from the DIY ethic unlike the bands in Azerrad's book. That DIY ethic is really the center of much of the drama in the book....more