NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980-1990 book
Tony Rettman's long-awaited tome on the 80s NYHC scene is finally out, and it's worth the wait! If you read Rettman's excellent previous book (Why Be Something That You're Not, which covered the history of Detroit rock right up through the hardcore and garage rock eras), you know that this thing is going to be top-notch. There have been some pretty dodgy books that have come out of the flurry of recent writing on punk and hardcore (American Hardcore: A Tribal History anyone?), but Rettman's writing and research as well as the production and design on this book are all totally top-notch. After plowing through the whole thing over the holidays the only bad thing I can say about it is that I wish it were longer. Honestly, I could read an entire book each on the proto-NYHC scene based around the Stimulators, the early NYHC scene of Agnostic Front, Antidote, Cause for Alarm, et al, and then a third book on the later 80s NYHC stuff like Krakdown, Breakdown, Raw Deal, etc. (and of course there's room for a 4th book on the youth crew / straight edge scene of the late 80s, but that's already pretty well covered by Revelation's All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge book). If you like any era of this music, though, you'll be like a kid in a candy store with this thing, and there are also lots of really rad photos to look at, including tons of photos, flyers, and other ephemera that I've never seen before. If you're as big of a nerd as I am about punk and hardcore books this is a 100% essential purchase.