TOP FIVE MUSICAL THINGS I HOPE HAPPEN NOW THAT THE ORIGINAL LINEUPS OF THE PIXIES AND DINOSAUR JR. HAVE REUNITED
1. Ian Curtis is resurrected.
2. The Smiths reunite for a private party at my favorite bar.
3. There is a new My Bloody Valentine album.
4. A new Nirvana comes along to blow away all of those fey Duran Duran emulators.
5. Radiohead stops listening to Pink Floyd and starts listening to Black Sabbath.
If you've ever made, or conceived of, a list like this, then look no further for your next book purchase. You have it. In your hands. Please consider it as your next book purchase.
In Perfect From Now On, John Sellers has written a fan's memoir overflowing with humor, self-deprecation, encyclopedic knowledge of musical minutiae, and "you should have been there" personal anecdotes. Despite vowing never to get caught up in music due to the nuttiness of a Dylan-obsessed father and playground taunts about his preference for Top 40 trash, he found himself powerless to resist the allure of indie rock, the genre that begat the likes of Sonic Youth, Pavement, Built to Spill, and Modest Mouse. When his favorite band, Guided By Voices, called it quits in 2004, Sellers examined his own listening habits, caught a few mind-blowing shows, got drunk with his heroes, and wrote this book -- one that is sure to resonate with anybody who has ever obsessed over good music.
Sellers, who has written for GQ and the Atlantic, was born in 1970, so his radio was ready when the "indie rock" scene took off in the '80s. Even as a youngster, he had rejected his dad's favorite Bob Dylan in favor of pop music. Before long, he was trying to one-up his schoolmates by listening to only the very coolest bands. As he got older, he drank a lot of beer, went to clubs and even bluffed his way into frat parties, where he discovered that "dancing is a nice prelude to nonconsensual sex." Ultimately, he came to understand his own musical taste: "I required complex, pretty, inscrutable songs turned up very loud to help me avoid thinking that I didn't like myself very much." He idolized many groups, including Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Pavement and Guided by Voices. He collected their music, went to their gigs and even drank beer with Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard. Pollard "drinks capably," Sellers confides, although when he doesn't, that's also "wesome." Sellers carries on debates with himself in footnotes, which can go on for pages (yielding howlers like "Ian Curtis... who hung himself on his coatrack"). More a blog (his blog name is Angry John Sellers) than a book, there's little of lasting substance here. Correction: The title of George Konrad's memoir (Reviews, Jan. 22) is In My Own Country: A Hungarian Life.