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"Oh, the music download bandits of the internet had nothing on us!"

Jonathan Lethem remembers the dB's, and a completely bygone era of music fandom.

I remember rumors of records, the difficulty of locating certain records or even confirming the existence of certain records. How we interrogated record-store clerks who displayed both taste and patience, how we excavated through zines, which themselves had to be located in the blurry column inches of a zine-guide called Factsheet Five, in order to find the names of the zines that might match our particular obsessions. Nobody younger than thirty can have any idea what it is to sense a universe of music out there beyond reach, beyond touch, or to wonder what a song sounded like for years before being allowed to hear it.

December 18, 2018 in Music | Permalink


Lethem's book "You Don't Love Me Yet" (title borrowed from the 13th Floor Elevators) nailed the young adult aspiring rock musician scene, but unfortunately did not persuade me to care about any of the characters or the music they were creating.

Posted by: Robert M Roman at Dec 20, 2018 7:03:51 PM

The only good rock novel I've ever read is Brian Costello's The Enchanters vs. Sprawlsburg Springs, about a hapless punk band in suburban Florida. The musical passages seem really authentic, probably because Costello is also a punk rocker.

Posted by: Pete Anderson at Dec 24, 2018 11:36:35 AM