Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day by Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor
I picked this up when I went to North Carolina and it was the perfect cottage cheese for the brain book for reading while traveling. Nothing puts me into a more comfortable, contented state than reading about a music scene.
The title pretty much gives you an idea of the scope of the book... which is a pretty broad history really. It is one of those oral histories that is entirley composed of quotes: no introductory statements for the individual chapters, no background information or context to place the interviewees... The author/editors keep in some conflicting statements - different memories, interpretations - but I also wondered if they basically knew the story they wanted to present and just culled the quotes they needed to do that...
I've listened to a lot of the music, saw the bands on tour and read some of the zines at the time, but a lot of the context of the scene was totally new to me... I never knew anything about The Farm, never went to the Vats, etc etc. Someone from DRI lived in a tree? My band played in the bay area a fair amount in the 90s including at Gilman a couple times but according to what I read my assumptions about the scene surrounding it were pretty far off base.
The most interesting image I was left with was that two of the big forces shaping and instigating things were older guys - much older than the teen and twenty-something punks - Lawrence Livermore of Lookout records and Tim Yohannon of Maximum Rock-n-Roll. I'd like to read some sustained reflections about that... Was this involvement of an older generation part of punk and hardcore in a lot of scenes? What does it mean when a "youth moment" is intergenerational? I wonder what some of the contributors to the bumpidee reader think about this too? When is perspective, experience etc a productive thing and when is it just the past imposing its ideas on something that's emerging according to different experiences?