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Various Artists

Directions to the Outskirts of Town: Punk Rock Tour Diaries written by Welly Artcore

Review by Gary Hill

At the start of this, let me just say that the book lands under "Various Artists" because it focuses on two specific tours of two different bands, but it's largely about a scene more than it is completely a music book. That said, there are many bands talked about here.

I'd also like to point out that the book itself is beautiful. The text is all printed in a style that looks lifted out of an underground zine. The tome is filled with lots of color photos. It would be worth having for the aesthetics alone, but that's certainly not the only allure here. It looks so good that it earned one of our MSJ bonus videos.

Welly Artcore wrote for one of those underground zines the book is meant to look like when, in 1994, he went on tour with the band Chaos U.K. It was a two month journey across the U.S. Four years later he embarked on a similar tour with his band Four Letter Word. That tour took him into Canada, too.

Not only did he make those journeys, he managed to write about them. This book is the result of those experiences and writing. It's gritty. It's real. It's also funny and entertaining. It's irreverent, and sometimes blistering in its portrayal of some of the other bands in the scene. The thing is, that's punk. The summary is that this is such a unique and intriguing book.

There is a Music Street Journal bonus video for this release located on Youtube at:

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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