Matt Diehl

My So-Called Punk

If you think punk rock begins and ends with the Warped Tour or Green Day, you really need to read Matt Diehl's engaging, exhaustively documented trip into the mechanizations of the bowels of modern-day Punk Inc. His report centers on the genre's ascent from an imposing, outsider's statement into "Entertainment Tonight"-friendly, commercial-jingle mainstream consciousness. The narrative tone is set in an organized collage approach, mirroring punk and new wave fashion of the late '70s. Told with colorful input from many of the artists who've benefited and suffered from the transition, Diehl's book details the state of the art, circa 2007. Rendered with a refreshing lack of ego but enough authoritative guidance to propel the story, Diehl ultimately lets the reader deduct where the decidedly diluted movement is going, as it continues to morph from close-knit community into a corporate-funded, Grammy-anointed commodity. 4 stars