Book: No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens

Through numerous interviews and entertaining details, Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steve DiLodovico have brought to life the history of the storied music club City Gardens, which existed in the ‘middle of nowhere’ in New Jersey in the 1980s to mid-1990s.  This “cement box” (description courtesy of Mickey Ween) located in Trenton hosted a veritable Who’s … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Advanced Genius Theory: Are They Out of Their Minds or Ahead of Their Time?

Everybody is familiar with the feelings of cultural growing pains. One of your favorite artists puts out something you have a lukewarm response to, and then they end up collaborating with someone you find hideously untalented. You hear their music in a context you don’t expect and can’t control; maybe at a football game, or in a car commercial. … [Read more...]

Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small

Merge Records is now a fairly well-oiled machine, but it wasn’t always so. It started off as a bedroom label working exclusively in the 7” format as a means for Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance to put out their and their Chapel Hill friends’ bands’ music because, as Mac put it, "it's not like there was anyone else asking to put them out." Slowly and … [Read more...]