Milk It!

Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90s





Taking its title with suitable slacker irony from a song on Nirvana’s In Utero, Milk It! is an anthology of pieces written in the heat of the moment—an urgent and diverse overview that mirrors the chaotic rush of the postmodern sounds it covers. Headnotes and connective material—the “stories behind the stories”—provide running commentary on the music business, rock criticism, a troubled generation, and an attempt to put the fast-moving alternative-rock era in perspective from the safe distance of the comparatively bland new millennium. Compiled by a critic who shared the Generation X outlook, attitude, and biting sense of humor with the musicians that he covered—Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, and many others—Milk It! is the first serious attempt to chart the alternative music scene. Compelling, amusing, and provocative, Milk It! captures the excitement of an era, and reckons with its enduring influence.





“Even though DeRo can sometimes be a DICK, he’s only exercising his right to free speech, and ultimately he’s got balls and takes on the man—a lot. He can’t be bought, and he’s got ears.” — Courtney Love


“Jim has always taken the ‘investigative reporter’ approach to any area of exaggerated hype in music culture—which usually means the bigger the egos of those being critiqued, the more fun he has pointing out their blunders. If only he could’ve been around for the birth of Christ.” — Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips

“DeRogatis knows his stuff, as a lot of rock writers do, but he also feels his stuff and communicates that feeling, so that we know what it was like to be there, for better or worse.” — Roger Ebert

“Jim has pissed off a lot of people over the years, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. His voice—caustic, ferociously opinionated, and always passionate—is that of a moralist trying his damn best to right the wrongs of rock by the sheer power of his convictions. It hasn’t worked, but he hasn’t stopped trying, God bless him.” — Marc Weingarten, author of Station to Station: The History of Rock and Roll On Television