Best Of 2019

Best Stories Behind Ohio’s Fertile Alternative Rock Scene: "Rebels and Underdogs: The Story of Ohio Rock and Roll"

Rebels and Underdogs: The Story of Ohio Rock and Roll offers several great interviews and anecdotes about Ohio’s sometimes underappreciated Modern Rock history. The 2018 book by Garin Pirnia (full disclosure: Pirnia is a regular CityBeat contributor) touches on innovators and pioneers like DEVO and The Pretenders (Akron native Chrissie Hynde graces the cover), and there are also great stories about a range of Buckeye State acts with varying degrees of success on the national Indie Rock and Alternative fronts, from Royal Crescent Mob and Brainiac to New Bomb Turks and Cloud Nothings to Guided By Voices and Nine Inch Nails. Broken down into chapters by city, the Cincinnati section is a must-read for local music aficionados, but it also offers perspectives and links to the fabric of the city’s history and culture that make it more broadly relatable and entertaining. Through a series of interviews, Pirnia tells the tales of local heroes The Afghan Whigs, Wussy, Heartless Bastards, Foxy Shazam and The Greenhornes, whose Brian Olive talks about the brutal onstage punch-up in St. Louis that marked his final performance with the band. Rebels and Underdogs: The Story of Ohio Rock and Roll, redlightningbooks.com.