If you haven’t had the chance to visit Seattle’s Experience Music Project (EMP), then you can get a good taste of of the type of collections they have amassed through Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind. The book is assembled by Jacob McMurray, a Senior Curator at the EMP. The book is packed with full-page photos of punk rock memorabilia with a facing 2 -paragraph story about the item and supplementary 1-paragraph quotes musicians and music industry workers. And did I mention that there is a DVD full of oral history interviews from punk insiders?
Despite its coffee table book appearance, McMurray tries to keep the punk rock do-it yourself ethic by letting the artifacts and punk denizens speak for themselves. There is something appropriately humorous about seeing pages of cut-and-paste zines and rock show posters on a full page in crisp full-color photographs. The quotes from the publisher/artists who created them and musicians who were featured weave together to give a sense of moment. And sometimes the creator and object merge such as the Nirvana show posters hand-drawn by Kurt Cobain. Continue reading Punk Rock, Seattle and Kent State