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The Writers at TheHardTimes.Net

The Hard Times: The First 40 Years

Published by Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Nov 26, 2019 Bookmark and Share

Since 2014, TheHardTimes.Net has been churning out brilliantly funny music satire (think The Onion, but for music). The First 40 Years is its first book, compiling some of the site’s best work, chronicled as a faux Hard Times history.

The conceit here is that The Hard Times started in 1976 and commented on rock and roll and punk from then until the present, its operation undergoing all manner of bizarre stumbling blocks and setbacks before re-stylizing itself as a website in the 2014. The articles are thus grouped by decade, with short “historical” excerpts documenting the brand’s faux history intermixed.

Overall, the false history conceit, while humorous, gets old. One will dig into The First 40 Years for the satirical music commentary, not the “history.” And this commentary is hilarious. Such gems of articles with headlines of “Janitor at Recording Studio Not Sure Why He Also Has to Change Name to Ramone,” “Debate Class Instructor Hoping Ian MacKaye Drops Course As Soon As Possible,” “Aging Punk Loses Battle to Comfortable Clothes,” and “Ultimate Weezer Box Set Just 12 Copies of Blue Album” are only a fraction of the brilliance herein.

The perfect coffee table piece and also something to read cover-to-cover, The First 40 Years will keep you in stitches throughout and probably also lead to further scouring of the website for more gems.


Author rating: 7.5/10

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February 16th 2020

Looking interesting. I will read this book.

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June 29th 2020

I love your show, thank you so much for those great Tipps! The only thing I notice is the Victorines mic. She is a little hard to hear. I wish you all happy future successes, and I hope you keep putting up those articles. Thank you!