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Grunge isn’t dead – but was it every truly alive? Twenty years after the height of the movement, The Strangest Tribe redefines grunge as we know it. Stephen Tow takes a second look at the music and community that vaulted the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden to international fame. Chock-full of interviews with the starring characters, Tow extensively chronicles the rise of rock 'n' roll’s last great statement and contextualizes what the music really meant to the key players.
Delving deep into the archives, Tow paints a vivid picture of the underground rock circuit of tattered warehouses and community centers. Seattle’s heady punk scene of the late '80s gave birth to a rowdy and raucous movement, influenced by metal, but wholly its own. Seattle made its own sound, a sound that came to be known internationally as grunge. Tow walks the reader through this sonic evolution, interviewing members of every band along the way.
In 1991, Seattle’s sound took the world by storm--but this same storm had been brewing in the Pacific Northwest for a decade before it hit MTV. The Strangest Tribe is a reframing of this last transformative era in music. Not just plaid shirts, bleached hair, and angst, “grunge” is a word used to describe a rich community of artists and jokers.
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"As a lifelong Seattle native of a certain age, I was there for it all -- and can vouch for the fact the The Strangest Tribe gets it right. Tow has done an outstanding job of telling the real Seattle music story. The Strangest Tribe is a great read."
--Greg Barbrick, Blogcritics.org
"There is an avalanche of information in Stephen Tow's meticulously-researched Strangest Tribe. It almost feels as if the author were there. Hell, I WAS there and I didn't know half of this stuff. You'll find out how a bunch of punk rock geeks somehow turned sleepy Seattle and its basement-beer-bred music scene into a worldwide phenomenon. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll eventually fall over, as we all did at the time. A ton of seriously killer music came out of the fuzz and fuck-all attitudes, and eventually money changed hands. But it was funny too. Still is."
—Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5, R.E.M.)
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