Where the Wild Gigs Were: A Trip through America’s Legendary Underground Music Venues By Tim Hinely and Friends, 235 pgs.

Jan 21, 2022

Dozens of clubs, illegal spaces, and dives, now mostly defunct, sorted geographically and remembered by any number of heavy hitting writers, artists, and musicians—Nørb and Faloon the Razorcakers among ’em. Tons of flyers, listings, and photos, too. In a book like this, with wildly disparate contributors included, the quality (and, for that matter, quantity) of the entries is always going to vary. What shines through in every essay—every single one, from Boston to California—is the amount of love lavished on these spaces, no matter how short-lived, corporate, or disgusting (ABC No Rio, looking at you). It’s easy to make things better through the lens of nostalgia, but a healthy amount of realism is included in these reflections: a common theme is “the place was a shithole, but it was our shithole, so we loved it.” The kind of book with so much info included it’s nearly impossible to digest it all in one sitting—the best kind of book, in other words. Here’s hoping for volume two! –Michael T. Fournier (Hozac Books, hozacrecords.com/books)

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