Rock & Roll Books
Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be: A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale
by Jen Trynin
Harcourt, 354 pp., $23
The music industry has changed since the Nineties. General distrust of major labels has brought indie-label prestige and smaller expectations. Every musician still dreams of being a rock star, but the financial and emotional reality is clearer. Maybe it was all a mirage: grunge, alt-rock, stinky boys, tough grrrls. Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be is Jen Trynin's palpable greenroom glimpse into the music industry. After spending years in Boston's "Sunday-through-Wednesday-night-folk/acoustic-chick-band wasteland," the svelte rocker dove into an image-corrupting wormhole of pseudo fame. Without moping or pointing fingers, Trynin relives the complexities and smoke-blowing of five odd years of daydreaming and hellfire bidding wars, record contracts, meeting and greeting, and finally returning home. What seems like A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale is rougher than dirt, and the fall stings. If her songs aren't familiar ("Maybe we could talk in the shower"), her wit and ease are. Although the previous decade introduced Lilith Fair and took Kurt away, they also gave Trynin some fantastic material. "What I miss most is no longer having this dreamy vision of myself floating somewhere on the horizon," she admits. "The truth is, once my future finally arrived, I was still just me."