Loser: The Real Seattle Music Story

Loser: The Real Seattle Music Story

by Clark Humphrey
     
 
Humphrey documents the Seattle scene from within--as a college radio DJ and as a reporter for newspapers and magazines. Loser chronicles the haphazard, gradual development of an original Seattle sound, blending hard-core rock and "artistic" ideologies. 110 photos; 40 illustrations. First serial to Spin.

Overview

Humphrey documents the Seattle scene from within--as a college radio DJ and as a reporter for newspapers and magazines. Loser chronicles the haphazard, gradual development of an original Seattle sound, blending hard-core rock and "artistic" ideologies. 110 photos; 40 illustrations. First serial to Spin.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once upon a time, in a modest backwoods city, a handful of creative boys and girls played in anonymous rock bands. Despite the city's pervasive white-bread, middlebrow disapproval of such antics-or, perhaps, because of it-the local alternative music scene thrived within the city's borders. But then a couple of local bands hit the big time, rich record label reps raided the city to sign everyone else to lucrative contracts, and the once insular scene was fragmented by an influx of rock star wanna-bes and the media. This, succinctly, is Loser's story of the Seattle music community. Author Humphrey and designer Art Chantry have compiled a comprehensive anthology, capturing in words and images alternative Seattle-people, posters and platters. Though headliners Nirvana and Soundgarden garner their share of attention, Loser's ``real Seattle music scene'' is a pre-grunge, tight-knit collection of oddball scenesters who feel like old friends after only a few chapters. Don't mistake Loser for a trenchant analysis of the Seattle music phenomenon, however. Humphrey, a longtime Seattle resident, music fan and fanzine writer, drenches the reader with minutiae but shies away from questions such as ``Why Seattle?'' ``Why Nirvana?'' and ``Why flannel?'' Loser shines, though, as an encyclopedic record of Seattle's pre-grunge musical history and as a testament to the pursuit of creativity for its own sake. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
What looks at first like just another quickie rock book for undiscriminating fans turns out to be, in this case, a surprisingly in-depth examination of popular music in the Seattle area, beginning with the city's establishment in the mid-19th century and ending with the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The author traces the history of the city's clubs, bands, and musical trends in mind-boggling-and sometimes numbing-detail, citing articles in obscure fanzines, quoting ancient interviews, and calling on current and former heavyweights of the Seattle scene for commentary. The text is accompanied by a profusion of black-and-white photographs and reproductions of concert posters, band logos, and album covers. While the author's writing style is conversational, it is also quite dry, and those without a compelling interest in the subject matter are likely to find themselves distracted by the pictures, which fill the margins of literally every page in the book. A musical family tree of Seattle bands is included, as are an exhaustive index, a discography, and listings of music clubs, local labels, and other miscellanea. While this book will not be an essential purchase for most libraries, there will likely be demand in the Northwest and in urban areas or college towns.-Rick Anderson, Contoocook, N.H.
Mike Tribby
Loaded with illustrations, Humphrey's take on that staple of contemporary commercial rock, the "Seattle sound," really goes back to the beginning--chapter 1 is called "Prehistory (18501958)" --to explain its evolution. Of course, Humphrey evokes Jimi Hendrix's Seattle roots and painstakingly notes other seminal events in rock and how they contributed to shaping the Seattle scene, so that you have to respect his thoroughness. From obvious suspects (Soundgarden, Nirvana, Hole) to more esoteric acts (Ugly Kid Joe, Student Nurse), he describes all the Seattle players and places them in perspective. Occasionally, he gets bogged down in the details, but for the dedicated fan of Seattle music, or even the dilettante who just wants a comprehensive source on the subject, his book fills the bill.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780922915279
Publisher:
Feral House
Publication date:
04/16/1995
Pages:
227
Product dimensions:
8.58(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.63(d)

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