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Rock & Roll Books

By Christopher Gray, Fri., June 1, 2007

Rock & Roll Books

Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life

by John Sellers

Simon & Schuster, 215 pp., $23

Any book bearing the subtitle How Indie Rock Saved My Life begs for caution. And so it is with New York-based freelance writer John Sellers' well-meaning if incredibly narcissistic memoir. Sellers tracks his progression, or regression, from middle-class Huey Lewis fan in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Guided by Voices obsessive with exactly the degree of music snobbery you'd expect from someone who writes sentences like, "It might have armed me with confidence to have known then that no one had any taste, that every one of us loved songs with big, cheesy riffs pulled off by big, cheesy rock stars." (GBV's big, cheesy riffs are exempt, obviously.) Even worse, Sellers is addicted to footnotes; some pages are almost entirely consumed by maddeningly tiny type, with less than an inch of actual text, though sometimes the footnotes are more interesting than the narrative. However fascinating individual music peccadilloes may be, they hardly ever make interesting reading, and certainly don't here.

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