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Pig City
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New or Used: $32.60
From cult heroes the Saints and the Go-Betweens to national icons Powderfinger and international stars Savage Garden, Brisbane has produced more than its share of great bands. But behind the music lay a ghost city of malice and corruption. Pressed under the thumb of the Bjelke-Petersen government and its toughest enforcers the police Brisbane s musicians, radio announcers and political activists braved ignorance, harassment and often violence to be heard. Pig City maps the shifts in musical, political and cultural consciousness that have shaped the city s history and identity, this is Brisbane s story the story of how a city finally grew up.
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In Pig City, Stafford has recreated an era of dissent, musical brilliance, creative genius, unbelievable success and forgettable failure. Concentrating on the period 1975–2000 he looks at the major cultural, musical and political shifts and their impact on a very fertile music and arts scene. From The Saints, The Go-Betweens, to Custard, Powderfinger and Savage Garden music from the state of banana-benders has influenced the national and international music arena. By interviewing many of the main players in the fight for civil liberties, the establishment of the alternative radio station 4ZzZ, record shops, music festivals and the indigenous music scene Stafford has written a history of contemporary music in the context of a radically changing Brisbane. Interspersing the text with direct quotes Stafford has let the musicians, activists and other participants tell this history in a personal and reflective way. Stafford’s experience as a Rolling Stone journalist means this is an absorbing, entertaining and well-researched story told with vitality and passion. Because the influence of Brisbane music extends beyond the city and state boundaries Pig City will appeal not just to fans of the bands but those readers of contemporary politics and alternative history. And remember Pig City people turn up everywhere. Fiona Stager is co-owner of Avid Reader Bookshop. C. 2004 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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