My Little Red Book
Don't All Thank Me at Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., June 17, 2016
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 Millerby Brett Milano
125 Records, 180 pp., $15.99 (paper)