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How It Feels to Be Something On

Book update time!

As of last night, here's the latest with the nuts and bolts. The Sunny Day Real Estate chapter is halfway through completion. The Dischord chapter is almost to the Fugazi section (in other words, it's near the halfway point). The Hot Water Music chapter is 3/4ths done. The epilogue and prologue are a bunch of ideas that may or may not end up in the final cut. All of the other chapters are in a spot where they are ready to be put under a microscope.

The question of "What's taking so long?" appears again. Though I have a lot of time to commit to working on the book these days, I spend a lot more time researching than actually writing and editing. With researching Sub Pop and the Nineties alternative rock explosion for the Sunny Day Real Estate chapter, I've gone over parts of books like Come As You Are, Our Band Could Be Your Life and Loser: The Real Seattle Story and Doug Pray's documentary, Hype! Why all this research on something seemingly not tied to Sunny Day Real Estate? Well, if you've never understood why Sub Pop was so special in the Eighties, you wouldn't understand why it was a big deal for Sunny Day Real Estate to sign with them. Also, if you didn't understand how crazy the media's exploitation of grunge/alternative rock was in the early-'90s, you probably wouldn't understand how they latched onto the emo genre in the late-'90s, early-'00s.

In the case of Sunny Day Real Estate, here you have a band that is signed to a very well-known indie label playing a style of music that is more or less melancholy post-hardcore. In the eyes of history's revisionists, it's the birthplace of '90s emo. In my eyes, it's a band that was doing their thing and not concentrating on labels. Yes, Sunny Day Real Estate inspired bands like Mineral and the Promise Ring, but I'm not interested in choosing sides in who's emo and who's not in this case. That's the attitude I've taken with writing about this subject: it's about the thoughts and ideas of people putting out the music while also talking about the music to some extent. The music's great, but the stories behind the music are way more interesting.

On a related note, I have to address this: I do not know how this book will come out. Will it be self-published? Will it come out on a small publisher? Will it come out on a big publisher? This is stuff that I do not know at this time. I have some options, but can't exactly say how it's going to come out. My attitude all along has been to finish the book and then think about how I can put it out. I'm nearing a complete first draft and once that draft is done, I'll start sniffing around.

I never thought that writing this book would take nearly three years to do, but that's the way it's panned out. I've never hated the writing, research or editing part. I have never seriously considered stopping the project. I know I won't always have the amount of time to devote to this project, but I would much rather do this than stay up until 5am watching anime in my pajamas and sleep all day.


Eric Grubbs said…
Thank you for your patience. Hopefully you could read it to Hailey some day . . .
An Urban Femme said…
Sunny Day Real Estate is one of my favourite bands of all time. After reading this entry, I am envisioning a cross between Dennis Cooper and Greil Macus. Keep up the good work.

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