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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Within Your Reach

Pretty much every one of the thirteen bands featured in Our Band Could Be Your Life deserves a full book devoted to them. The entire career of the few that never signed with a major label are well covered, but for the bands that did, I argue there's way more to tell. Not to make light of Azerrad's focus on the bands' independent label days; rather, certain bands' stories go in some interesting directions post-major labeldom.

If I were to narrow down the list, it would be Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and the Replacements. Sonic Youth's career was documented in Alec Foege's Confusion is Next, a book originally published in 1994. I've always thought there should be an update to Sonic Youth's story since a lot has happened since publication. But I strongly felt there was a need for books on the band formerly known as Dinosaur and the band often known as the Mats. Well, sometimes wishes get granted and proper books come together.

Jim Walsh, a friend and fellow musician that knew the Replacements from inception, compiled a book called The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting. Told in an oral history format, quotes were gathered from magazine and fanzine interviews from back in the day as well as new interviews. Band members, friends, family, neighbors, fans and the like are covered in what I hope will be a definitive account of the band. Judging by a recent excerpt in Minnesota Monthly, this looks very promising. Balancing stories about the band members' lives and experiences as well as talking about the music, Walsh definitely did his homework.

So here's to a noble effort to document one of the greatest bands of all time. Now, how's about a book detailing Dinosaur Jr's post-Lou Barlow years and miraculous reunion of the classic line-up?

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