punks mosh to a jazz band

Weird Music That Goes on Forever: A Punk's Guide to Loving Jazz

by Bob Suren Author, Brian Walsby Illustrator, Lucky Lehrer Foreword and Paul Mahern Foreword

An improvisational arrangement of Kevin Seconds jokes

Once you've collected every 7" from your favorite label, broken your back in the mosh pit, and become so well-versed in the interpersonal dynamics of every hardcore band that there's nothing more to learn, what's a punk to do? Try jazz, recommends Bob Suren. No, really. Suren, who wrote Crate Digger about his life and work in punk, turns his obsessive gaze onto another form of rebellious, improvisational outsider music, but this time with more sax.

What does Dixieland have in common with D.R.I.? Did Charles Mingus write the first punk song? And who was the Butthole Surfer of jazz? Suren answers these questions and many more. Reading his irreverent guide to jazz, filled with punk references and colorful language, is more fun than getting arrested for vandalism. Learn about the surprising history and scandalous etymology of jazz, explore its connections to punk, and take in biographical sketches of over 25 notable artists—with plenty of recommendations thrown in for your listening pleasure.

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Comments & Reviews

thu 4/4 2:05pm

"Just got Bob Suren’s fantastic new book which, like the subtitle states, is an introduction to jazz for punks. Righteous cover & illustrations by Brian Walsby Pick up his classic Crate Digger book from 2015, too."

thu 4/4 2:03pm

"I've loved Bob's writing since the early 90s in his zine Heavy Rotation. His band Failure Face is one of the most underrated 90s hardcore powerhouses. As a punk who works in a jazz record store, I figured this HAS to be up my alley. Maybe it's also up yours."

thu 4/4 2:01pm

"Bob does a terrific overview of the jazz scene from the early days up to, well, not quite present day, but at least until the 80s…An informative and thoroughly entertaining read."

thu 4/4 12:22pm

"Kudos to Microcosm for publishing such an odd book, it's fantastic. Very well-written, serious and hilarious at the same time."

sun 2/18 4:47am

Well... Send me a copy when it's finished.

sun 2/18 4:47am

Henry is going to pass on the project.


Herein is a beginner’s guide to the world of hip jazz combos from the perspective of an aging punk rocker. It’s peppered with cool punk jive, too, daddy-o, like literally riddled with hilarious references to your favorite hardcore classics.


I was surprised when Bob asked me to read his book. "I don’t know ANYTHING about jazz," I told him. Ten pages in, I was already chortling out loud. TWO THUMBS AND THE METAL HORNS UP for this book! You won’t regret buying it.You might even learn something!


Bob Suren has written a book as exciting as an Elvin Jones drum solo! Funny and insightful, the book is a great and original work. The art by Brian Walsby is awesome and adds another layer to the proceedings. I learnt a great deal about jazz and punk and how they relate to each other.


I’m sure other genres have made impressions on me but jazz and punk have influenced me the most. I had a pretty good record collection but being 15 meant I had to sneak into jazz clubs to hear it live. Seeing Tom Scott and Jean-Luc Ponty one night at The Baked Potato launched me into years of playing jazz. Similarly I had just turned 21 when my room mate played me The Sex Pistols “Anarchy In The UK”. Being a jazz head at the time, it made my eyebrows strain and lips pucker. I must play this kind of rock. That February I went to my first punk show, The Ramones the The Whisky a Go Go. A year later I was playing drums in Fear.


A long-needed tome that finally identifies Ornette Coleman as “the Butthole Surfer of Jazz.


This book served as a great guide that directed me in and out of what I wanted to know and what I needed to know. I wasn’t even half way through and I’d already bought eight jazz albums. Upon finishing, I bought 28 more.


I learned a lot about jazz from this book. It's really funny!