“amusing as all hell to read and really, just great writing” (Nighttimes)

There will always be that cool kid who lives to drop the names of some unheard band on their friends, maybe set the needle down on a scratchy vinyl disc, and enlighten the world to a long forgotten track that’s the epitome of rock, punk, soul or whatever. Lost in the Grooves is the Bible for that kid who’s out to save, or at least educate, the world. For the rest of us, though, Lost in the Grooves [Routledge] is just a good, fun read. In the introduction, called, Reconsider, Baby, we’re introduced to a group of passionate zinesters that see Lost in the Grooves as “a collection of miniature love letters to albums.” And that’s right-on. The voice of zines has always been one that’s a little more personal and experiential than those high-fallutin’, glossy, corporate publications. And face it, just like a rock and roll Stepford Wife, they look pretty–but without the rough edges, without the intensity and the feeling, they have no soul. Throughout the book, the Scram gang works hard to build amusing and solid cases to justify sometimes hard-to-believe albums, like Buckner and Garcia’s 1982 release, Pac-Man Fever [CBS Records]. One of the best of more than 75 writer/critics includes editor, Kim Cooper, who always adds a personal touch–things like, “I was a teenage Velvets freak who overplayed their records until they sounded like dishwater sloshing around the room.” Among the 250-some entries, a lot of these writers, like Brian Doherty, will take you right into the song-it doesn’t matter if you’ve heard it or not–because he gives it to you with full description, lyrics, and where and how to annunciate. It’s amusing as all hell to read and really, just great writing. There are even a couple reviews [Pere Ubu and The Tubes] by the famous novelist, Rick Moody, who’s been known to dabble in music from time to time. Lost in the Grooves hits on all kinds of music across all genres, and the thing is that even if, say, you don’t listen to country, you’re going to want to read the review for its entertainment value alone. It’s easy to pick up and put down without having to follow any story line, and hey, if you’re that kid who needs to be The Enlightened One: well, here you go. (J. Gordon, Nighttimes.com)

“recalls Creem Magazine at its most prickly” (Eye Weekly)

"To point out that the staff at your local indie record store are about as tightly wound and implacable as the Taliban has already become a cliché. In contrast to that stalwart stance, Scram Magazine has become known for a distinct lack of smugness while digging through the dollar bins of history. Most pop-storians are obsessed with the failed, marginal and forgotten. Scram understands that the successful, populist and forgotten can be just as mysterious, and in this collection of reviews and essays, you’ll never be scorned by a pale, weedy boy for liking Terence Trent D’arby. In fact, its writers (including star nerds Jim O’Rourke and Rick Moody) will encourage you on in your bold and (un)original taste. If hipsterism is a temple built on Big Star and Stooges box sets, then Lost in the Grooves aims to tear down the walls with the clarion call of Kylie Minogue. Pop, after all, is about being popular, and if you want to understand popular culture, why waste time with Captain Beefheart when you can reassess Poco? Yes, the forgotten sons of California rock get multiple mentions here. But calling for a Poco revival isn’t the boldest thing in this book by far. Moody will have you reconsidering The Tubes, and Kris Kendall rights the wrongs dealt to the Dream Warriors by both industry and history. Unlike some music writing, these reviews are carefully written — as opposed to sounding like rewritten press releases — and recall Creem Magazine at its most prickly and acid. Should the comparison not be apparent to the reader, excerpts from Creem are reprinted, wink-and-nod-like, throughout its pages. Walk away right now and go back to your mid-period Sonic Youth records if you think this is irony. Lost in the Grooves is as sincere as disco and just as satisfying, providing a final home for music — from The Auteurs to Aaron Carter — that only wanted to be loved. Maybe that’s the pop difference; music that isn’t too cool to say "I love you." Do you have the balls to say it back? (Brian Joseph Davis, Eye Weekly, 12/02/04)