: New: Book Report: How to Ruin a Record Label and Punk USA

It's two books about Lookout! Records, the East Bay record label. Before I read these books, I had the broad outline. Lookout! Records had the excellent luck to publish the first Green Day music. And they also published a bunch of East Bay punk music just as East Bay punk was getting popular. They were a hardscrabble punk label, then money poured in. They tried to start doing things the "proper" way, lost everything, eventually stopped producing new music. Reading these books filled in some of the details. I found it interesting, but maybe because I was seeing some of these things happen, albeit from the outside. E.g., back in the day I wondered "Why is this band The Donnas getting promoted so much? They are not that good." Apparently, that's one abyss that Lookout! dumped plenty of money into. (I shouldn't make it sound like I disagree with all later-days Lookout! decisions. They made good albums by The Phantom Surfers. Making comedy surf albums wasn't exactly true to the label's punk roots, but I liked those albums. So: I can't throw stones at the Lookout! folks. No reason to think I could have kept their label afloat.)

Tags: book entertainment industry

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