My Little Red Book

Don't All Thank Me at Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller

Brett Milano

My Little Red Book

Scott Miller's tale serves as a case study for the imbalance of imagination and economics. The computer programmer and hardcore music nerd led his Eighties act Game Theory to college rock glory and his Nineties band the Loud Family to critical acclaim. The former's masterpiece, 1987's Lolita Nation, layered pop hooks with found sounds, distortion, and cut-and-paste techniques, inspiring devotees/descendants including Aimee Mann, Guided by Voices, New Pornographers, and Okkervil River. Even so, Miller never even whiffed the charts. Veteran journalist Brett Milano's biography coincides with reissues of its subject's long out-of-print catalog and makes a case for two decades of genius through interviews with bandmates, friends, and family members. His no-nonsense narrative never bogs down in unrelated anecdotes or overanalysis, letting the work drive Don't All Thank Me at Once. Miller, a California native, committed suicide in 2013 at the age of 53.

Don't All Thank Me at Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller

by Brett Milano
125 Records, 180 pp., $15.99 (paper)

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Scott Miller, Summer Reading 2016, Game Theory, Loud Family, Aimee Mann, Guided By Voices, New Pornographers, Okkervil River

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