Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (but Can No Longer Hear)

Jon Fine. Viking, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-02659-3
In this memoir of a cantankerous idealist, journalist and Inc. editor, Fine chronicles his career as a rock-star manqué, and the unlikely resurrection of his college band, Bitch Magnet. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Fine chafed at being a nerdy outsider in the 1980's era of cover and hair-metal bands. His discovery of punk rock (and mind-altering drugs) led him to like-minded outsiders and the electric guitar. At Oberlin College he found his musical soul mates and their On the Road–style odyssey dropped them into the burgeoning indie-rock scene. Poverty, personality clashes, and a minimal following broke up the band, but 21 years later they discovered that lives can have a second act. A deft stylist, Fine captures the uncompromising drive of 20-something men on a mission to change the world through music played at high volume. The return of Bitch Magnet is equally entertaining, although it does blur into a journal-like recounting of shows. Fine fails to address the broader "failed revolution" of indie music for two reasons: a flip dismissal of "lefties" leads him to neglect the indie scene's rejection of Reagan America, while his intense disdain for most of his musical peers stifles his broader claims. Yet despite this parochialism, Fine has provided an immersion into a lost indie world so vivid that you can smell the tour van. Agent: Wayne Kabak, WSK Management. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 05/19/2015
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-6149-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-1149-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-310828-3
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