Jon Fine and Clint Conley


Your Band Sucks:
What I Saw at Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear)

RSVPs requested

This event includes a book signing


May 21, 2015
8:00 PM


1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139


Free - RSVP Requested $24.00 (Guaranteed seat + copy of the book) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store welcomes executive editor of Inc. magazine JON FINE and Mission of Burma musician CLINT CONLEY for a discussion of Fine's book, Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear), a memoir charting thirty years of the American independent rock underground by a musician who knows it intimately.

Jon Fine spent nearly thirty years performing and recording with bands that played various forms of aggressive and challenging underground rock music, and, as he writes in this memoir, at no point were any of those bands “ever threatened, even distantly, by actual fame.” Yet when members of his first band, Bitch Magnet, reunited after twenty-one years to tour Europe, Asia, and America, diehard longtime fans traveled from far and wide to attend those shows, despite creeping middle-age obligations of parenthood and 9-to-5 jobs, testament to the remarkable staying power of the indie culture that the bands predating the likes of Bitch Magnet—among them Black Flag, Mission of Burma, and Sonic Youth—willed into existence through sheer determination and a shared disdain for the mediocrity of contemporary popular music.
In indie rock’s pre-Internet glory days of the 1980s, such defiant bands attracted fans only through samizdat networks that encompassed word of mouth, college radio, tiny record stores and ‘zines. Eschewing the superficiality of performers who gained fame through MTV, indie bands instead found glory in all-night recording sessions, shoestring van tours and endless appearances in grimy clubs. Some bands with a foot in this scene, like REM and Nirvana, eventually attained mainstream success. Many others, like Bitch Magnet, were beloved only by the most obsessed fans of this time.
Like Anthony Boudain’s Kitchen ConfidentialYour Band Sucks is an insider’s look at a fascinating and ferociously loved subculture. In it, Fine tracks how the indie-rock underground emerged and evolved, how it grappled with the mainstream and vice versa, and how it led many bands to an odd rebirth in the 21st  century in which they reunited, briefly and bittersweetly, after being broken up for decades. Like Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Your Band Sucks is a unique evocation of a particular aesthetic moment. With backstage access to many key characters in the scene—and plenty of wit and sharply-worded opinion—Fine delivers a memoir that affectionately yet critically portrays an important, heady moment in music history.

Clint Conley
Clint Conley

Clint Conley

From 1979 to 1983 and from 2002 until the present, Clint Conley has played bass and written songs for Mission of Burma. He is an Emmy-award winning producer for WCVB’s Chronicle.

Jon Fine
Jon Fine

Jon Fine

Jon Fine is the executive editor of Inc. magazine and a New York-based writer, commentator, and musician. As a guitarist in a series of underground bands—most notably Bitch Magnet, Coptic Light, and Don Caballero—he has performed in fifteen countries on three continents and appeared on MTV. His writing has appeared in GQ, The Atlantic, Details, and ESPN the Magazine. His long-running BusinessWeek column “Media Centric,” won both American Society of Business Publication Editors and National Headliner awards, and his writing for Food and Wine won a James Beard award for his wine writing. Find him on Twitter @jonfine.

Photo Credit: Gary He

Admission is free but registration is requested. If capacity is reached, priority will go to those who have RSVP’d or purchased a discounted book on Eventbrite (20% off the list price!). RSVPs only guarantee a seat until 5 minutes before the event begins, after which we may open up seats to a standby line.

1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139

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