Taking Punk to the Masses
From Nowhere to Nevermind [With DVD]
Publication Date: May 2011
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Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind visually documents the explosion of Grunge, the Seattle Sound, within the context of the underground punk subculture that was developing throughout the u.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s. The book serves as a companion and contextual backdrop to the Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition, which opens at Seattle s Experience Music Project in 2011. This decade-and-a-half musical journey will be represented entirely through the lens of EMP s oral history and permanent object collection, an invaluable and rich cultural archive of over 800 interviews and 140,000 objects instruments, costumes, posters, records and other ephemera dedicated to the pursuit of rock n roll. Taking Punk to the Masses focuses on 100 key objects from EMP s permanent collection that illustrate the evolution of punk rock from underground subculture to the mainstream embrace (and subsequent underground rejection) of Grunge. These objects are put into context by the stories of those who lived it, culling from EMP s vast archive of oral histories with such Northwest icons as Mudhoney s Mark Arm, cartoonist Peter Bagge, design legend Art Chantry, Beat Happening s Calvin Johnson, Sub Pop founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, the Screaming Trees Mark Lanegan, Nirvana s krist Novoselic, photographer Charles Petersen, Soundgarden s kim Thayil, and dozens of others. From the Northwest s earliest punk bands like The Wipers, to proto-grunge bands of the 1980s like Green River, Melvins and Malfunkshun, through the heady 1990s when bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney rose to the national stage and popularized alternative music, Taking Punk to the Masses is the first definitive history of one of America s most vibrant music scenes, as told by the participants who helped make it so, and through the artifacts that survive. Over the past 15 years, Experience Music Project has amassed over 800 filmed oral history interviews with musicians, producers, club owners, fans, and others associated with every genre of music. These interviews, along with the museum s massive artifact collection, form the basis for every exhibition. The exhibition Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses includes footage from over 100 interviews. A selection of those interviews are included in a DVD, exclusive to the Taking Punk to the Masses book.