Those looking to Ronen Kauffmanâ€™s book â€œNew Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye,â€ hoping to find a definitive history of New Jerseyâ€™s storied hardcore and punk rock scene are better served looking elsewhere. There are mentions and anecdotes of a slew of bands from the mid-90â€™s scene like the Bouncing Souls, Lifetime, The Degenerics and Endeavor, but the main focus is one manâ€™s discovery and ultimately his passion for the world of underground punk rock music.
It also happens to be far more compelling than any historical manual on the scene could ever hope to be. From the moment he first heard Green Dayâ€™s Kerplunk, as a suburban kid in Marlton, NJ, Kauffman knew punk rock would pretty much define the rest of his life. From starting a punk rock zine, to playing roadie for other bands and ultimately playing and singing in a few groups of his own, Kauffman loves everything about the genre.
That passion comes across strong in the book, a memoir of sorts documenting his time in New Brunswick attending Rutgers and soaking the punk rock lifestyle. A talented writer, Kauffmanâ€™s book is essentially a love note to the scene he found while off at college and you canâ€™t help but share in the enthusiasm he has in writing about it.
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye: Bands, Dirty Basement and the Search for Self by Ronen Kauffman / Hopeless / 196 Pages / http://www.issueoriented.com /