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Monday, August 09, 2010

This ain't no nostalgia

As I dive into finishing up the first proper draft of When We Were the Kids, there's something I want to make abundantly clear: this is not some nostalgia trip. Nostalgia trip in the sense that everything was so much more innocent back then and everything is horrible today. I might think a lot about the past, but I strongly disagree about its supposed "better time."

I want to put forward how certain things were different from today, like how teenagers got into bands that weren't on the radio. Whether through seeing a T-shirt, hearing a song on a Sunday night radio show, or having a record that someone's older brother had, I think there is value in talking about those pre-Internet days. But I don't want to wallow in those days either.

What I'm aiming at is the idea of playing in a band that "never makes it" in terms of mainstream or even underground success. If playing to hundreds of people in a big bar and selling a few thousand copies of cassette are the biggest claims to fame for a band from the suburbs, then that's good enough. The emphasis is on the experience on playing in a band that is nowhere near considered the cool or hip part of town. I experienced that, so have many thousands of other people.

When it comes to material that I want to document in a book, I choose to focus on stuff that is barely documented or just not documented at all. Sure you hear stories about suburban rock bands, but they are usually only mentioned in the beginning of a band's profile article. It's the kind of stuff that's made light of. Well, if a baby's first steps are seen as brief touchstones, I think there's something to be said about all of those first steps.

Whether or not When We Were the Kids does more business (or less business) than POST, I want to completely put everything I have into this, and make something worth reading. But I gotta stress, the best days of these characters didn't end at graduation.

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