Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad

Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 gives us 13 profiles of some of the most integral and influential bands in the history of underground music. This collection of expertly rendered writings provides an insider’s perspective of the scenes surrounded each group. Though fans may insist that each of these pivotal artists deserves an entire book devoted to their individual journeys and achievements, Azerrad provides a point of entry for newcomers to this era of independent music who wish to begin exploring.

Bands included, such as Black Flag, Sonic Youth, and the Butthole Surfers may not surprise indie rock veterans, but everyone has something to learn from the chapters on Mission of Burma and Beat Happening.  We found the inclusion of Beat Happening of profound interest in its accurate pinning of them as one of the most influential bands of the 90s.  We also think it worth noting that this chapter falls last, choosing not to believe it was placed as such in light of the band’s game changing ethos. In may ways, Beat Happening’s ideology predicted the DIY revolution that we see today in the millions of bands that are self-releasing records.

Azerrad’s book is one of the most informative on the market on music–a sort of survey course in the bands that birthed everything that’s happening in music culture today. These are the cornerstones on which our current cultural climate is built.  Azzerad knows them well, and at the end of the book, so do we.  Highly recommended for any music fan’s bookshelf.


About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.
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