Soulside: Washington DC 1986-1989, By Alexis Fleisig, 96 pgs.

This one landed in my mailbox a few days before I started discussing photo essays to my English Comp class. Intentional or not, Alexis Fleisig has put together a textbook example of the photo narrative. Starting with the band’s inception (as Lunchmeat), Fleisig documents the band’s shows and tours. The text here is minimal: just enough to orient readers unfamiliar with the punk scene (and, of course, the Dischord scene which spawned the band). I’m not a Soulside person, but this book was completely engrossing. Fleisig’s photos of tours include DC luminaries as roadies, and band flyers form a snapshot of the band’s connection to the late-’80s scene as the group traverses the country in a rickety van (complete with requisite breakdowns). Thoroughly engrossing, like a fantastic Instagram account before the medium existed. Get in the van! –Michael T. Fournier (Akashic, akashicpress.com)