Reading Room – Mark Yarm – Everybody Loves Our Town (Three Rivers Press, 2012)


Rating: 4 out of 5

As a kid, I largely equated grunge with  one band – Nirvana. And, indeed, to most people they personify anything that grunge came to symbolize in mass culture – the excesses,  the darkness,  the drugs and finally, the sad and lonely death of Kurt Cobain.

Behind this facade, however, were smaller stories largely ignored by press and outside world – those of record labels  (C/Z Records and Sub Pop), record engineers/producers (Steve Albini, Jack Endino) and countless  related bands  (Gruntruck, Melvins, Skin Yard, Mother Love Bone, Candlebox, U-Men).

More importantly, media also missed out on another aspect of Seattle scene – subtle sense of irony and humor in lyrics and image of bands like Alice in Chains and Nirvana.

“Everybody Loves Our Town”, then, does a great job of filling all the gaps. By including interviews with members of both big 4 (Soundgarden, AiC, Nirvana, Pearl Jam) and pioneers (U-Men and Melvins, to name just a few), Mark Yarm (who apparently bears no relation to Mudhoney’s Mark Arm) provides a much deeper account of grunge/Seattle scene of the 80s/90s than many of his contemporaries.

And, of course, no book on grunge would be complete without Love – Courtney Love, that is.

Her rants and theories fill much of later part of the book and range from discussions on why she won’t marry anyone other than alpha males to a theory about Buzz Osbourne (Melvins) being the main contributor to Kurt Cobain’s death.


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