Ever wondered exactly which Haagan Dazs Henry Rollins used to work at in D.C.? Or, how about what San Francisco collective local punk rockers can visit to take classes on underwear making? Neither have I, but thank God Leslie Simon has. In what has got to be the best guide book on punk rockâ€¦ well ever, rock journalist Simon answers a slew of questions never asked about punk rock and indie scenes across the U.S. in her latest book Wish You Were Here. Simon, who coauthored Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture, brings back the same snarky tone that made her last guide such a fun read.
Simon goes beyond the few obvious music scenes (D.C., New York. LA and San Francisco) and sheds some light on shadier places like Long Island (emo and hardcore), Lawrence, Kansas (emo) and Suburban Florida (punk, hard core and really bad emo/pop-punk). The book is divided up by city, giving a run down of the music scene there, important local bands, a bit of gossip and a brief listing of local music clubs, record stores, hipster clothing stores, etc.
Though there is some interesting research in the book, its Simonâ€™s stone dry sarcasm and over-the-top snarkiness that really makes the book worth reading, regardless of whether youâ€™re a music fan. Canâ€™t wait until she tackles the nu-metal and country scenes.
Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your favorite Music Scenes – From Punk to Indie and Everything In Between by Leslie Simon/Harper/244 pages/paperback