If you’ve noticed that I’ve been listening to a lot of Minutemen, Black Flag, Mission of Burma, and Minor Threat recently, blame Andre Torrez. On his recommendation, I’ve started reading Michael Azerrad’s book, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Though I’ve been a Mission of Burma fan for a while, all of the other bands profiled in the book are fairly new to me. You see, I must confess that being a shameless Anglophile, I had discounted a lot of American music from the punk and new wave period until pretty recently. When I read Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s amazing Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, it restored my respect for New York bands of the period, and I think this book will do it for the American ’80s punk scene I had previously dismissed.
Incidentally, did you know that the criminally overlooked Mission of Burma have been playing together again since last year? There’s even a documentary being made about the reunion shows. Moby played guitar with them when they played in New York, too. Neat.