Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore (1994-2007)

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Brief Description:
"From celebrated music writer Dan Ozzi comes a comprehensive chronicle of the punk music scene's evolution from the early nineties to the mid-aughts, following eleven bands as they dissolved, "sold out," and rose to surprise stardom. From its inception, punk music has been identified by two factors: its proximity to "authenticity," and its reliance on an antiestablishment ethos. Yet, in the mid- to late '90s, major record labels sought to capitalize on punk's rebellious undertones, leading to a schism in the scene: to accept the cash flow of the majors, or stick to indie cred?Sellout chronicles the evolution of the punk scene during this era, focusing on prominent bands as they experienced the last "gold rush" of the music industry. Within it, music writer Dan Ozzi follows the rise of successful bands like Green Day and Jimmy Eat World, as well as the implosion of groups like Jawbreaker and At the Drive-In, who buckled under the pressure of their striving labels. Featuring original interviews and personal stories from members of eleven of modern punk's most (in)famous bands, Sellout is the history of the evolution of the music industry, and a punk rock lover's guide to the chaotic darlings of the post-grunge era. "--

Brief Description:
"From celebrated music writer Dan Ozzi comes a comprehensive chronicle of the punk music scene's evolution from the early nineties to the mid-aughts, following eleven bands as they dissolved, "sold out," and rose to surprise stardom"--

Biographical Note:
DAN OZZI is a writer the New York Times called "the last real rock critic alive." He is the coauthor of TRANNY: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, which was included on Billboard's The 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time. He lives in Los Angeles with his unmanageable record collection.

Review Quotes:

"Engrossing...a rigorously researched look at how labels targeted bands and fought to sign them." -- Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times

"[Ozzi] looked at the major label debuts of different bands in this genre, tracing a music industry in flux, fans betrayed by their idols, and bands trying to navigate the machine." -- NPR's All Things Considered

"A forensic and uniquely sympathetic dive into one of the most uncouth actions for an artist--selling out, baby." -- Jeff Rosenstock

"Fascinating... When it comes to the topic of punk, or more specifically, the iteration of the genre that existed during the last era of the traditional music industry, Dan Ozzi's Sellout is poised to serve as a definitive text." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Based on a trove of original interviews and personal stories from band members and other crucial players, Ozzi examines how 11 groups grappled with the tension between punk's core tenets and major label possibilities, and parses what success and failure looked like in this fraught realm." -- Rolling Stone



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"Ozzi's reporting is strong, balanced and well told...a worthy successor to its obvious inspiration, Michael Azerrad's 2001 examination of the '80s indie underground, 'Our Band Could Be Your Life.'"-- New York Times Book Review

 

A raucous history of punk, emo, and hardcore's growing pains during the commercial boom of the early 90s and mid-aughts, following eleven bands as they "sell out" and find mainstream fame, or break beneath the weight of it all

 

Punk rock found itself at a crossroads in the mid-90's. After indie favorite Nirvana catapulted into the mainstream with its unexpected phenomenon, Nevermind, rebellion was suddenly en vogue. Looking to replicate the band's success, major record labels set their sights on the underground, and began courting punk's rising stars. But the DIY punk scene, which had long prided itself on its trademark authenticity and anti-establishment ethos, wasn't quite ready to let their homegrown acts go without a fight. The result was a schism: those who accepted the cash flow of the majors, and those who defiantly clung to their indie cred.

 

In Sellout, seasoned music writer Dan Ozzi chronicles this embattled era in punk. Focusing on eleven prominent bands who made the jump from indie to major, Sellout charts the twists and turns of the last "gold rush" of the music industry, where some groups "sold out" and rose to surprise super stardom, while others buckled under mounting pressures. Sellout is both a gripping history of the music industry's evolution, and a punk rock lover's guide to the chaotic darlings of the post-grunge era, featuring original interviews and personal stories from members of modern punk's most (in)famous bands:
  • Green Day
  • Jawbreaker
  • Jimmy Eat World
  • Blink-182
  • At the Drive-In
  • The Donnas
  • Thursday
  • The Distillers
  • My Chemical Romance
  • Rise Against
  • Against Me!


 

Review Citations:

  • Publishers Weekly 08/30/2021 (EAN 9780358244301, Hardcover)

 


Contributor Bio:Ozzi, Dan
Dan Ozzi is a New York-raised, Los Angeles-based writer. Along with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, he co-authored 2016's TRANNY, which was listed in Billboard's "100 Greatest Music Books of All Time." He has contributed to The Guardian, SPIN, Billboard, The Fader, and others. For more than five years, he was a staff writer at VICE's music website, Noisey.





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