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Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes—from Punk to Indie and Everything in Between (Paperback)

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A snarky, fact-filled look at the people and places that made the indie/punk scene what it is today

The American underground music scene is exploding everywhere—not just in New York City and L.A. (although we've got those cities covered too!):

In Washington, D.C. . . . Ian MacKaye and Fugazi inspired the straightedge culture, which had kids everywhere drawing black X's on their hands in magic marker.

In Omaha, Nebraska . . . A young Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, started writing and performing gut-wrenching love songs at the tender age of thirteen.

On Long Island, New York . . . Taking Back Sunday and Brand New battled for emo supremacy and the fragile hearts of a million teenage girls.

From the coauthor of the cult-worthy Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture comes Wish You Were Here—a combination travel guide and tortured history covering everything from what constitutes proper rock critic etiquette in Minneapolis to why pop-punk bands in Chicago have so much suburban angst, to how freegans in the Bay Area can feed themselves on a budget that would make frugal Rachael Ray's face blush.

About the Author

Leslie Simon is the author of Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes and co-author of Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture. Her work has appeared in Kerrang!, Alternative Press,, and

Praise for Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes—from Punk to Indie and Everything in Between…

“This book was really fun to read and I actually learned a lot. Wait a minute... Does giving a quote for this book mean people will know that I didn’t actually already know this stuff? Lame.”
-Hayley Williams, Paramore

“Wish You Were Here knows way too much about the history, minute details, and inner-workings of these 11 punk and indie scenes. I don’t know how Leslie figured out all this stuff, but I’m changing my locks and checking the phone for bugs.”
-Tim McIlrath, "Rise Against" guitarist and lead singer

“Anything you ever wanted to know about your city’s indie scene (plus plenty of snark) is packed into these pages.”
-Alternative Press

“In what has got to be the best guide book on punk rock… well ever, rock journalist Simon answers a slew of questions never asked about punk rock and indie scenes across the U.S.”.
-NeuFutur Magazine

“Readers who are part of one of these scenes and fans of a particular genre who will be visiting one of the locales will find this a quick and useful entertaining glimpse at nonmainstream music of today and the recent past.”
-Library Journal

“The selection of indie music–centric cities is spot-on… Simon’s text is knowledgeable… the book serves as a helpful jumping-off point for readers looking to learn more.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Simon ensures there’s never a dull moment...Rob Dobi’s spot-on illustrations appear throughout the book as the perfect complement to her enthusiastic and hilarious voice.”
-Sacramento Book Review online

Product Details ISBN-10: 006157371X
ISBN-13: 9780061573712
Published: It Books, 04/01/2009
Pages: 256
Language: English
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