Molly's Reviews > Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991

Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
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's review
May 04, 10

Read from March 23 to May 04, 2010

I really like how this book is put together. The farther I got in reading it (it's arranged chronologically, but there's necessarily a lot of overlap between the chapters), the more I started to understand how it portrays an evolution in both sound and culture that took place in the '80s. It does a good job conveying that evolution, taking you through it. I think I took for granted how accessible all kinds of recordings and performances have been to me all my life without realizing there's a whole infrastructure to that, which didn't always exist and wasn't created easily.

Reading about some of the bands with whom I wasn't already familiar didn't always make me want to listen to their music (Big Black?)--the book definitely focuses on seminal artists, folks who really did something new to make their music and make it heard. I don't think the results are always palatable; it took outsiders to do what a lot of them did, which ultimately made it easier for anyone who has had a relatively easy time of it to make more digestible music building off of these forerunners' styles and sounds.

I feel like I'm coming away from this book with a much deeper understanding of what was happening musically in the first decade of my life and also of the contemporary music I listen to now and how it got that way.

I wish I had read it when I was ten or 12 years younger, though, when I was more impressionable, and it would have been a more exciting, mind-blowing read. Unfortunately, it didn't exist then.

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Quotes Molly Liked

Michael Azerrad
“Rock'n'roll is a teenage sport, meant to be played by teenagers of all ages--they could be 15, 25 or 35. It all boils down to whether they've got the love in their hearts, that beautiful teenage spirit... -Calvin Johnson”
Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Herdt Sounds like an interesting book--I'll add it to my ever-growing list. I'm a big fan of Big Black--but it is understandably not everyone's cup of tea.

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