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A snarky, fact-filled look at the people and places that made the indie/punk scene what it is today
The American underground music scene is exploding everywhere—not just in New York City and L.A. (although we've got those cities covered too!):
In Washington, D.C. . . . Ian MacKaye and Fugazi inspired the straightedge culture, which had kids everywhere drawing black X's on their hands in magic marker.
In Omaha, Nebraska . . . A young Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, started writing and performing gut-wrenching love songs at the tender age of thirteen.
On Long Island, New York . . . Taking Back Sunday and Brand New battled for emo supremacy and the fragile hearts of a million teenage girls.
From the coauthor of the cult-worthy Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture comes Wish You Were Here—a combination travel guide and tortured history covering everything from what constitutes proper rock critic etiquette in Minneapolis to why pop-punk bands in Chicago have so much suburban angst, to how freegans in the Bay Area can feed themselves on a budget that would make frugal Rachael Ray's face blush.
Leslie Simon is the author of Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes and co-author of Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture. Her work has appeared in Kerrang!, Alternative Press, metromix.com, and MTV.com.
“This book was really fun to read and I actually learned a lot. Wait a minute... Does giving a quote for this book mean people will know that I didn’t actually already know this stuff? Lame.”
-Hayley Williams, Paramore
“Wish You Were Here knows way too much about the history, minute details, and inner-workings of these 11 punk and indie scenes. I don’t know how Leslie figured out all this stuff, but I’m changing my locks and checking the phone for bugs.”
-Tim McIlrath, "Rise Against" guitarist and lead singer
“Anything you ever wanted to know about your city’s indie scene (plus plenty of snark) is packed into these pages.”
“In what has got to be the best guide book on punk rock… well ever, rock journalist Simon answers a slew of questions never asked about punk rock and indie scenes across the U.S.”.
“Readers who are part of one of these scenes and fans of a particular genre who will be visiting one of the locales will find this a quick and useful read...an entertaining glimpse at nonmainstream music of today and the recent past.”
“The selection of indie music–centric cities is spot-on… Simon’s text is knowledgeable… the book serves as a helpful jumping-off point for readers looking to learn more.”
“Simon ensures there’s never a dull moment...Rob Dobi’s spot-on illustrations appear throughout the book as the perfect complement to her enthusiastic and hilarious voice.”
-Sacramento Book Review online