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Encyclopedia > Our Band Could Be Your Life

Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 is a book by Michael Azerrad (ISBN 0-316-78753-1).


The book chronicles the careers of several underground rock groups who, while finding little or no mainstream success, were hugely influential in establishing American alternative and indie rock, mostly through nearly-constant touring and records released on small, regional record labels. Underground rock is a term sometimes used to describe forms of rock and roll music which have little or no mainstream appeal, visibility or commercial presence. ... The terms alternative rock and alternative music1 were coined in the early 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired music genres which didnt fit into the mainstream genres of the time. ... Indie rock is a subgenre of rock music often used to refer to bands that are on small independent record labels or that arent on labels at all. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and video recordings, on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ...


Azerrad conducted many interviews with the members of the featured bands, and also conducted extensive research of old fanzines, as well as more mainstream newspapers and books. A fanzine (also called a zine) is an amateur publication created by fans of a particular cultural phenomena (such as a literary genre or type of music) to address or correspond with others who share their interest. ...


The title comes from the opening line of an autobiograpical song written by Mike Watt of The Minutemen, one of the groups featured in the book. The song, "History Lesson, Pt II" is on Double Nickles on the Dime and details Watt's working class origins and populist sentiments: "Punk rock changed our lives." Autobiography (from the Greek auton, self, bios, life and graphein, write) is biography, the writing of a life story, from the viewpoint of the subject. ... Michael Watt (b. ... The Minutemen were a punk rock band from San Pedro, California comprising singer/guitarist D. Boon, bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... Populism is a political ideology or rhetorical style that holds that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, which exists only to serve its own interests, and therefore, the instruments of the State need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and instead used for the... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ...


The bands featured in the book are:

Black Flag was an anarchist punk rock group formed in 1976 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn, guitarist, primary songwriter and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes. ... The Minutemen were a punk rock band from San Pedro, California comprising singer/guitarist D. Boon, bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley. ... Mission of Burma Vs LP cover Mission of Burma is a post-punk band from Boston, Massachusetts comprised of guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott, with Bob Weston as tape manipulator and sound engineer. ... Minor Threat was a short-lived hardcore punk band from Washington DC. They have been hugely influential: Critics have called them and their work iconic, [1] and noted their groundbreaking music has held up better than most of their contemporaries. ... Hüsker Dü was an influential rock music group from Minneapolis/St. ... The Replacements were a seminal alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. ... Sonic Youth are an experimental rock group formed in 1981. ... The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. ... Big Black was one of the most influential noise rock bands of the 1980s. ... Dinosaur Jr. ... Alternate meanings: Fugazi (disambiguation) Fugazi is a post-punk band from Washington, D.C., formed in 1987. ... Mudhoney is a grunge band, formed in Seattle in 1988. ... Beat Happening was a 1980s indie rock and twee pop band, the most popular of International Pop Undergrounds roster of influential alternative rock stars. ...

Response

Our Band Could Be Your Life has sold well, and has earned mostly positive reviews; one notes that "one of the best books yet on punk, college, or indie rock and the roots of the alt-rock juggernaut." [1]  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316063797/104-4054949-7471105?v=glance&s=books&vi=reviews);


Another writer states that "As music history, this book is important. None of these bands got much coverage in mainstream rock magazines while they were doing their most innovative and vital work, and Azerrad has done a great job of gathering ex-bandmembers up for revealing interviews ... However, the book collapses under the weight of its own in-crowd cool." [2] (http://www.culturevulture.net/Books2/OurBand.htm)


" If you feel personally insulted by the cynical recording industry, MTV or the endless stream of Britney-Aguilera-Timberlake pop-crap wannabes, this book is well worth a read." [3] (http://www.uwgb.edu/4e/3-134playbandlife.htm) MTV (acronym for Music Television) is a cable television network which was originally devoted to music videos, especially popular rock music. ... Britney Spears Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American pop music singer. ... Christina Aguilera Christina Maria Aguilera (born December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York) is an American popular music singer and songwriter. ... Justin Timberlake Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American singer who came to fame as a vocalist in the pop band *NSYNC. Timberlake has become notorious for baring the breast of Janet Jackson during the 2004 Superbowl halftime show. ... Depending on context, pop music is either an abbreviation of popular music or, more recently, a term for a sub-genre of it. ... You might also be looking for an article about the Wannabe song. ...


Reference

  • Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 (USA: Little Brown, 2001).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Our Band Could Be Your Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (341 words)
Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 is a book by Michael Azerrad (ISBN 0-316-78753-1).
Our Band Could Be Your Life has sold well, and has earned mostly positive reviews; one notes that "one of the best books yet on punk, college, or indie rock and the roots of the alt-rock juggernaut." ISBN 0-316-06379-7;
None of these bands got much coverage in mainstream rock magazines while they were doing their most innovative and vital work, and Azerrad has done a great job of gathering ex-bandmembers up for revealing interviews...
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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