Politics Our Band Could Be Your Life Pdf


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Our Band Could Be Your Life Scenes From t Azerrad Michael - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. punk. Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad is Music This is the never- before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right. Effing fantastic history of some of the best and most important bands and record labels of the American independent underground music movement. The stories.

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Download PDF Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground , PDF Download Our Band Could Be. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground [Michael Azerrad] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Nirvana's mega-bestselling Nevermind was credited with dramatically altering the American pop-musical landscape.

It tells the stories of a dozen bands who found modest but dedicated audiences without the aid of major record labels. Some, like Washington, D. Patrick Stickles performs with Titus Andronicus. You accomplish things by working within your means, and by keeping as much control of your own existence as possible. But, he says, there was certainly something about those years that caused people to take notice. It's kind of physically painful in a really wonderful way.

A concert in Manhattan last night, organized by Azerrad for the 10th anniversary of his book, was a testament to that change — and signaled that the strength of the spirit that held indie rock together in its early days has persisted to a new generation.

Fourteen bands performed the songs of the indie icons profiled in Our Band, with lots of collaboration and cross-pollination. Vincent played songs by Big Black before a moshing crowd of young men, many of whom were born after the earlier band broke up. One of the most significant changes in the last three decades is the role of women on stage at indie rock shows. Few women show up in Azerrad's book; most of them take peripheral roles.

This is what it is—less is not an option. Roessler and Ginn shared a similar work ethic: And yet occasional stretches of music were the most powerful the band had ever done. After recording Slip It In. They toured virtually the entire year.

In fact. Rollins seemed to take the concept to heart: Not just a way of intimidating would-be attackers. Rollins had started a demanding weight-lifting program. On the downtime during the Unicorn fiasco. Rollins gladly deferred to Ginn and Dukowski during interviews—after all. Early on. How could they be punk and have hippie hair?

The band readily worked their lengthy coiffures into the show. By now the band was quite longhaired. He would do certain functions and I would do certain functions in terms of managing the band and this and that. It split up the work. The fact was Rollins was now in his early twenties and swiftly. And Henry would enjoy that stuff. But then Dukowski left and gradually Ginn ceded the media spotlight to the charismatic.

In his own subtle ways. In his diary. And besides. Ginn let his displeasure be known. Or me and Bill? If you just interview me. Instead of lashing out. Prowling the stage in his little black shorts and Jim Morrison hairdo. Rollins strutted a narcissism disguised as self-hatred or was it vice versa? Rollins would flagellate himself for being an ogre. Helped me get. Rollins found a piece of broken glass and tore up his chest with it.

And etched across his upper back in inch-high letters. Lots of tattoos: Skulls and snakes. They are the way they are. Not surprisingly. Stevenson on drums. Black Flag played every town that would have them. Since the early Eighties. Black Flag headlined and SST bands supported them. Black Flag was just here two weeks ago. This was a band whose stage presence one fanzine. Nig-Heist was the band people loved to hate. If we could. But meeting a nice girl who would be nice to you and fuck you?

Oh my god. Although they were few and far between. One poster depicted an execution victim dead against a tree while a man with a shovel stood in the background.

Pettibon typically worked in only one panel. New Wave of Violence. Like the San Francisco—style psychedelic art of the Sixties. The fact that Black Flag. Rollins had published two volumes of his prose poems. End to End and 2.

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By the following summer. And with the rhythm section changing so often. Ginn had no strong allies within the band. Besides weeding out Rollins and the obvious pot reference. The title has a triple meaning.

In his liner notes. Black Flag was suffering for their art. As the old joke goes. Joe Carducci recalls one show when the band played for over two hours. Roessler injured her hand from playing bass and has played in pain ever since. Go home.

From then on. The beat dragged so much it seemed to be going backwards. I would suffer too. Performances became agonizing torture tests for band as well as audience.

Then Stevenson. But the original SST gang was starting to unravel. Pettibon became irate at the desecration of his work. As it happens. Rollins would not countenance new songs that smacked of fun. This was around the time that Spot left the SST family as well.

Humor did not fit the persona Rollins was crafting for himself. It just kind of turned into people that were unlikable. I hurt myself. Ginn edged out Stevenson. By that tour Rollins was drinking coffee literally by the pot and. The ceaseless touring and. With new drummer Anthony Martinez.

He got a serious infection of the vocal cords and seemed to be at the end of his psychological tether. Rollins and Martinez bridled. For whatever reasons. While the band is tighter and better than ever—Rollins even broaches something resembling traditional singing—the material.

Other than that. Things went downhill from there. Rollins was hobbling on his bad right knee. The police broke up several shows. Crowds were often sparse. According to Rollins. Even the crew was kind of loopy. After the show Rollins escorted the punk backstage. After he and roadie Joe Cole drove a hundred miles in the wrong direction.

He shouted and slobbered for about 50 miles. The punker left the room in tears and everybody just stood there shaking their heads. By the underground scene had changed profoundly. And Ginn saw that that mentality was about to infect Black Flag. There were outside forces cleaving the band. Although the band had prided itself on being one or two steps ahead of their peers. As a touring musician and label head. Ginn had a ringside seat to the effect this had on many underground bands. Rollins was beginning to have second.

But he understood that that was against the grain commercially. According to Ginn. The alternative was simply to fire Rollins and get a new lead singer. One was that Rollins had long since become synonymous with Black Flag and had made himself into an underground star in the process.

Lydia Lunch. I mean. After returning from the tour. Ginn contemplated the situation. I had a great time and it was an honor playing with someone like Greg Ginn. And he decided to pull the plug on Black Flag. In terms of the peripherals. Not everything has to be so home industry. Their hard work and relentless. Music journalist Chris Nelson once wrote. In their music the Minutemen told stories. They also helped to originate the idea that a punk rock band could be worthy of respect.

They worked up a concept that encompassed the. George Hurley. Their songs were jarring jolts that barely cracked the oneminute mark. Like Gang of Four. So art bands. Often they were profound. Not bad for a tune that lasts less than a minute and a half. Which makes the Minutemen all the braver—they had no. Daringly incorporating such genres as funk and jazz. The only thing was most people wanted a cheeseburger instead. Outspokenly working class. They were the band that was good for you.

San Pedro.

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Watt went looking for some kids to hang out with in nearby Peck Park. Its ethnic working-class population is installed in the flats at the bottom of the town.

One day in his fourteenth year. On one side of San Pedro. They moved into navy housing. Watt was walking around. Watt was flabbergasted. The kid looked at him.

The chubby kid introduced himself as Dennes Boon and soon began to reel off lengthy monologues that astounded Watt with their wit and intelligence.

Boon did have some albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival. But the two hit it off and strode around the park. The Boons lived in former World War II navy barracks that had been converted into a public housing project for.

Boon was a history buff and both were big fans of geopolitical board games like Risk. Watt graduated near the top of his class. Watt resembled Jerry Lewis. Eventually they got the hang of the finer points of musical technique and started a cover band of hard rock staples like Alice Cooper.

Boon was quite heavyset. But for all their music and art. Boon and Watt were serious nerds. Boon would talk about the English civil war or something. The two became interested in politics very early. The lesson was clear: Rex at Long Beach Auditorium in But I guess you need bad things to make good things. Just did not have it. Foreigner stuff. Watt answered a classified ad for a bassist and drove down L. Boon and Watt were not very worldly either.

On a whim. San Pedro was very provincial. I was like. I just did not know.

And they were all whores. Despite being technically part of Los Angeles. And it blew our minds when we first heard the actual music. Boon and Watt. When we heard that. We thought it was going to be synthesizers and modern shit. It turned out to be guitar music like the Who! And some of them made records! Boon and Watt fit right in with the outcasts who were forming punk rock bands. Boon and Watt knew of Hurley in high school.

Boon were the guys who were not supposed to be in bands. Olympic Bong team. Everybody knew me and D. Boon were weirdos—when. And for Georgie. He also had a practice space—a shed behind his house—not something Boon and Watt could take lightly. That shed was the site of many a keg party.

Watt recalls that the grass outside turned preternaturally green because so many guys peed on it. Black Flag. It was Greg Ginn. The name appealed to Boon not only because of the fabled Revolutionary War militia.

But Georgie. As it happened. The eye-blink brevity of their new material came from English art-punks Wire. And he thought the [Sixties] Minutemen were big phonies. Their pad was a gigantic hamster cage.

Boon once. But then Tonche. Hurley had joined another band after the Reactionaries split. At their second gig. Hurley soon reunited with Boon and Watt.

Other inside lingo began creeping into their vocabulary. Although the agile. Sharing a space with Black Flag profoundly affected their music in unexpected ways. At the time. So we got this other stuff going. As Watt explains. Watt studied electronics and never did it for a living because the only electronics jobs were in the defense industry.

Punk rock was a godsend for their ethics. The Minutemen spent much artistic energy trying to unlearn the stifling archetypes that.

Maybe even a reward. We grew up on copying records. While the music was eccentrically funky. On the face of it. Paranoid Time sold out its copy pressing. That fall they recorded Punch Line— eighteen songs in fifteen minutes.

They were soon playing out of town. College radio was beginning to notice the band and Rodney Bingenheimer was playing them on his influential Rodney on the ROQ show.

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One time the catalytic converter clogged up and all the fumes came into the van—it was us and. Punch Line attracted much more critical comment. He said that determined you.

He told me he had a theory about how you knew if you were going to be artistic as a kid. I smeared it all over the place. He was eating a lot of spirulina and shit like that. Boon did not have shame. Right out there.

He said. Boon had to take a shit twenty minutes after we ate—I mean. Saccharine [Trust]. And the mule would be kicking down the door every time. Right afterward they rushed home to San Pedro for what they thought would be a triumphant home-town gig later that night. The band was now a formidable. What the hell is this? You wondered if he had some kind of congenital nerve disease.

Boon would just get up onstage and he would just shake. Then the way they looked—D.

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This is really neat! Carducci released the Bean Spill EP. The only one in the band that looked as if he had anything to do with punk rock was D. You looked at him the first time and you were like. Boon —the first time I ever saw him. The Politics of Time.

Hurley bashed out wholly original mutated funk riffs that seemed to splash out in all directions at once and yet still propelled the music with a headlong rush. SST released a similar collection. The ensemble playing is crisp and utterly unique. Short songs not only reflect a state of dissatisfaction and noncomplacency. And your own expectations. Challenge those expectations. Beefheart on a very deep level. And for Boon and Watt.

CIRCA We decided to sing about what we know. It was amazing. Black Flag would take particular delight in egging Boon and Watt into one of. It was hilarious. At least we were getting to tour and going to other towns.

In Austria the Minutemen were pelted with used condoms. There was only one downside. It was really nasty. I wonder what that shit was about. Or are you that scared of him? I guess I see who really wears the pants in this band! When one would make a statement. But eventually it was things like the toilet seat that really got to the Minutemen.

The Minutemen toured incessantly on their own. Because guys were always giving you shit like you were assholes. Minutemen tours always turned a profit. You wanted to look like you knew what you were doing. It was a way of getting respect. A massive bourgeois tent would be too much deadweight.

Boon did not look like a rock musician. I never fancied myself like that. But if we were going to do it. Security often tried to pull him off the stage before the band began playing. For the Minutemen. Overdubs were limited to occasional lead guitar lines. In the best sense of the word. Hurley was a machinist like his dad. Watt worked as a paralegal. It was part confrontation and part celebration. And they backed it all up with a thrilling live show.

It was intense. Everyone loved him. Boon was the guy who brought you on board. I wanted to root for him. Hardcore attracted a very young audience. Their speed had something to do with hardcore. While politically oriented hardcore bands relied on shallow.

And then there were those uncool funk and jazz influences. And while hardcore bands favored traditional song structures and sing-along vocal melodies. We were music punk. We would have explored it if there was.

So why did the Minutemen equate DIY with punk? And yet the key punk bands—the Ramones. No other scene was like that. Beyond that. Fast and loud. There was no commander. You had to play fast—I think that was the only requirement. Because we were not dawdlers at all. Watt recalled their cover band days. It was all the punk scene. And in those days. We got to make our dream real. You can hear some song that the guy next to you at the plant wrote.

Boon wrote politically oriented articles and cartoons. Watt did record reviews. Having a set-up paradigm and then coming along and saying. Boon published a fanzine called the Prole. Shows started early so working people could get home at a reasonable hour. And on select nights. Watt said. Watt and Boon wrestled with the problem all the time. This one did. I was borne out of being average because of my rock band. Let him draw! WATT [triumphant]: BOON [exasperated]: All right! Ever since I was five years old.

BOON [proudly]: Epp and the Calculations. The Mighty Feeble compilation included the Seattle new wave band Mr. Boon had replied simply. The two trios hit it off at once. When asked what had inspired the label. Early releases included various compilations. New Alliance. Besides the Prole and the Union Theatre. Everybody was into the van. Not too many bourgeois bands. Anybody who was in that scene with Flag was kind of like that.

Tony was a mailman. Milo went to college. A few years later. The way we jammed econo was the same way we talked about issues. They were the rap. Ideas about redistribution of artistic power were a powerful analogy for redistribution of political power. The best they could hope for was dialogue—thinking about the issues was better than apathy and ignorance. Boon was into that—just trying to flesh them out.

Buzz or Howl under the Influence of Heat boasts some genuinely catchy rock songs. The Minutemen took this as a challenge and furiously wrote and recorded almost two dozen more songs within a month.

Best record I ever played on. And not a scene. The two-record. It was a healthy. But trying to stretch like they did.

The album sold fifteen thousand copies in its first year and is the. It took four passes before they successfully. We were making fun of him. Watt says the title is a poke at mainstream rocker Sammy Hagar.

The title means fifty-five miles an hour on the button. So they chased out those demons with ideas from folk music. Each Minuteman programmed one side of the album. Punk rock was an idea. Plenty of punks thought the Minutemen were mocking them and.

You could be us. It was not a hip issue to get behind at the time—most rockers were then dedicated to smashing apartheid in South Africa. Although Watt wrote more songs. Boon tended toward slogans. While Watt preferred a fairly complex lyrical approach.

But the differing approaches were a constant source of friction between the two young men. Because it was so simple-minded. So the idea was to get people to the gig. The Minutemen lost to fey English fop-poppers Kajagoogoo. We had divided the whole.

Watt confided to the interviewer. If it would get people to the gig. Interviews were flyers. But in indie rock. With Watt and Boon as boyhood friends. The loquacious Watt tended to dominate interviews. To me. Boon would usually just noodle on his guitar and interject only when he felt he had to.

Not being booklearned. But besides being a powerful. Hurley must have felt like the odd man out. Hurley was a bit reluctant to try to express his thought in words.

You can do it on a big national level. Georgie is very aware of this. I have something to say. I guess. In a interview with an unknown fanzine writer in Minneapolis. He knew how to take care of things.

Some other dude said it. Out of Central America. Then Watt took Boon to task for reducing the situations in El Salvador and Nicaragua to a simplistic slogan that was then popular in left-wing politics: People who are using this as just a slogan so they can enhance their rock career.

Yeah— WATT: They were racist against the Indians. Like what? Because our government is sending aid? It was the whites who were very—. When the Spanish went over there. They just murdered everybody in front of them. They just killed all the braves and married the women. The Spanish married all the women and had all the children. By the people in power.

This sort of debate went on all the time. But what next? Mostly they kept the squabbling on a verbal level.

Our band could be your life : scenes from the American Indie underground, 1981-1991

Joe Carducci had noticed how college radio had taken to Buzz or Howl. So he suggested another EP. By this point the Minutemen could afford such a move both. Carducci suggested that since he knew exactly what he wanted.

The tracks featured ornate trumpet parts on three tracks. After all. Mersh for the experiment it was. But they were not intent only on demystifying themselves.

It was time to mix things up a little. Any band could sound like this if they had enough money. But the whole thing about SST was the guy in the boardroom was the guy in the van!

And while the music was slicker. And of course. They eventually found out the longhaired guy was Michael Stipe. Mersh succeeded admirably: They turned out to be really educated music guys. Perhaps they were put off by the fact that Watt often dressed up like Fidel Castro.

In Florida Watt got food poisoning and suffered from chronic diarrhea for days afterward. They would switch our rooms. No doubt about it. After three days my pants were full to the knees.

But in the meantime. It was a fitting number: Television had been one of the pioneering indie punk bands who fired up Boon and Watt. Watt had been making noises that after Project: Hurley pounding a tomtom.

Besides the Meat Puppets number. And on the resulting album. Boon wanted to emulate their slack approach. While 3-Way Tie was a lot mellower than anything the Minutemen had done before. SST bands.

Boon won out. He had put on more weight and was drinking a lot. The album had been recorded during a down period for Boon.. There was a show I saw one time when D. And I think somehow he kept D. I was real concerned about that…. And a number of other people had noticed it. And I think a lot of people took him aside and said. But 3-Way Tie suffers from a split personality. The politics are clear. Latin rhythms. In late December. Their hero Richard Meltzer was set to record with them and had given Watt ten lyrics to write music to.

The whole project is a bit sluggish and underdeveloped. Years later he. That same night Watt was giving a friend a ride home after a show in Hollywood when he passed a street called Willoughby.

At around four in the morning. December Watt said he looked too sick to go. The van crashed and flipped. I got this huge old chill. It was at about the same time Watt had passed Willoughby. He died instantly. It was D. Boon was thrown out the back door and broke his neck. Boon die. I was weirded out.

The two were alone in a bank lobby. The next night Watt had a dream about Boon. I had really come to lean on him. He flashed back to an image of his childhood friend. All that Watt could think was.

I was numb. No more Minutemen. I miss him. It was hard for me. And I wake up. For many. Boon was such a fucking fierce dude. In a weird way. But I do know why I had to tell him he was dead—because D. Albini opened up his diary.

After a friend called Big Black leader Steve Albini to break the news. The new crop of musicians was younger and had essentially never known a world without punk rock. Half Live. Half Studio. Watt grieved for his friend and cobbled together Ballot Result from soundboard tapes.

In early Six Sides. Moore and the rest of Sonic Youth were intensely interested in networking. It was all about communications. Boon died. He still jams econo. I thought we were very outrageous and adventurous. Watt found it difficult to run New Alliance by himself and finally sold it to Greg Ginn in They rocked in a way that no one else had done before or since.

And we held down jobs. We made it small enough that we could do it. They inspired countless bands. They never compromised their music well. Mission of Burma took elements of free jazz. Nor was their music. It was. No matter how brilliant Mission of Burma was. And yet what little network that existed was able to sustain the band for several years. And in the meantime. Miller had begun experiencing tinnitus. Clint Conley grew up in tony Darien.

SST later released a Sproton Layer album. Miller later explored free jazz. Roger Miller was born and raised in Ann Arbor. He moved to Boston in early and.And yet the key punk bands—the Ramones. I found this most helpful whilst reading each chapter.

Saccharine [Trust]. Published on Jun 29, Paranoid Time sold out its copy pressing. At a show in Tulsa. Eventually the band progressed to playing shows at the Fleetwood in Redondo Beach, where they built up such a substantial following that the Hollywood clubs couldn't ignore them anymore, ef-fecting a sea change in L.

Roessler and Ginn shared a similar work ethic:

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