I Hope You Are All Happy Now

Gift guide

Rock & Roll Books

I Hope You Are All Happy Now

Photographs by Nicholas Zinner

Evil Twin Publications, 211 pp., $19.95 (paper)

Rock & roll photography has always hinged on random moments: Paul Simonon smashing his bass on the cover of London Calling or a shirtless Syd Barrett in the middle of an acid trip. Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner has attempted to capture the randomness of the rock mythos – and life on tour – with varying degrees of success and bodily fluids. I Hope You Are All Happy Now seems to be his sentiment, as a majority of the photos are sweaty crowds from a year's worth of YYY concerts. That's the boring part. The entertaining part is the backstage rigmarole: the trashed hotel rooms, Conor Oberst smoking a doob, the vomit, the bruises, couples making out, a box of dildos, YYY singer Karen O after falling offstage, blood and tattoos. Especially fun is a trashed backstage room during SXSW, complete with empty Mr. Gatti's box. It's Zinner's eye for the debauched balanced with the beautiful that saves this book from being a spread in Vice magazine. Photos of messy hotel beds with crisp white sheets are intercut with bar urinals filled with piss. Picturesque shots of French cobblestone streets flow into photos of an underground Nazi bowling alley. Gazing upon a rock star's bloody hand is no less a random moment than Iggy bleeding in silver pants, but it's also a study of a time period. The YYYs and all the other Brooklyn bands of the early 21st century were poised to devour America with asymmetrical haircuts, and Zinner's book shows the implosion with random precision.

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