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 The Book 

The book is coming out on UT Press!

Launch event: Austin Downtown Library, October 21, 2023.

A twisting path through Austin’s underground music scene in the twentieth century’s last decade, narrated by the people who were there.

It’s 1990 in Austin, Texas. The next decade will be a tipping point in the city's metamorphosis from sleepy college town to major city. Beneath the increasingly slick exterior, though, a group of like-minded contrarians were reimagining an underground music scene. Embracing a do-it-yourself ethos, record labels emerged to release local music, zines cheered and jeered acts beneath the radar of mainstream media outlets, and upstart clubs provided a home venue for new bands to build their sound.

This vibrant scene valued expression over erudition, from the razor-sharp songcraft of Spoon to the fuzzed-out poptones of Sixteen Deluxe, and blurred the boundaries between observer and participant. Evolving in tandem with the city’s emergence on the national stage via the film Slacker and the SXSW conference and festivals, Austin’s musical underground became a spiritual crucible for the uneasy balance between commercial success and cultural authenticity, a tension that still resonates today.

The first book about Austin underground music in the ’90s, A Curious Mix of People is an oral history that tells the story of this transformative decade through the eyes of the musicians, writers, DJs, club owners, record-store employees, and other key figures who were there.



CHAPTER HEADERS:
chapter 0. Nobody Here But Us Wounded Chickens - FOREWORD
chapter 1. The Cavity Creeps - CAVITY
chapter 2. Johnny Cash Sat Here - EMO'S
chapter 3. None of the Hits, All of the Time - RADIO
chapter 4. Cheap Music, Fast Drinks, Live Women - HOLE IN THE WALL
chapter 5. Those Horses Do Bite! - BLUE FLAMINGO
chapter 6. We’ll Just Rock For Ourselves - CHANCES
chapter 7. Screaming in the Sweatbox - SWEATBOX STUDIO
chapter 8. Raw Meat in the Studio - CapZeyeZ TV
chapter 9. Putting the Word in the Streets - ZINES and THE PRESS
chapter 10. Bitter People With No Future Selling Music - SOUND EXCHANGE
chapter 11. Bitter People With No Future Starting Labels - RECORD LABELS
chapter 12. Love and Napalm - TRANCE SYNDICATE
chapter 13. My Childhood Hero is Getting Pelted by Roses - ELECTRIC LOUNGE
chapter 14. By the 90s, We Were Rocking - LIBERTY LUNCH
chapter 15. It Doesn’t Go On Forever - THE END

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A Curious Mix Of People digs way deep and miraculously conjures up the feeling of Austin in the early '90s, a place I never thought I’d get to visit again.
 

~Britt Daniel, Spoon

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