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A behind-the-scenes look at underground punk history, with stories about Jello Biafra, Black Flag, the Dead Boys, Raw Power, and more. Book, audiobook, and records now available from Microcosm!
A behind-the-scenes look at underground punk history, with stories about Jello Biafra, Black Flag, the Dead Boys, Raw Power, and more. Book, audiobook, and records now available from Microcosm!
137 backers pledged $4,576 to help bring this project to life.

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Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records

$4,576

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Update: Yeay, we made it!!! Thank you all so much! We'll stay in touch—but if you want to keep up with the news on the Crate Digger book, here is its permanent online home.

The book!
The book!

Bob Suren spent more than 30 years immersed in punk rock. His obsession with punk music, culture, and especially record collecting began with a loaned mix tape in a small town in Florida when he was a teenager and slowly took over all aspects of his life.

He started a record label and distribution company, opened a record store, managed a thriving bootleg merchandise empire, published a magazine, promoted shows, and traveled the world with his own band. He mentored generations of younger punks and built a movement that put Florida on the map. He stayed a step ahead of all the ups and downs of the music industry, always pioneering.

Join Bob as he hangs out with punk luminaries like Jello Biafra, The Meatmen, Raw Power, Black Flag, The Dead Boys, Millions of Dead Cops, Rattus, and more. He relates his (mis)adventures breaking his curfew to see the Dead Boys' last show, almost getting arrested after seeing the Ramones, touring with his bands in Egypt, Ecuador, Brazil, and more.

As Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat said, "Really brings to life the early days of the American punk scene as it spread slowly across the country, through turntables, fanzines, and word of mouth. His vivid vinyl recollections illustrate how good record stores and adventurous college radio stations were so essential in bringing startling new music into the lives of many previously isolated kids. It follows the trajectory of a kid-turned-concert-promoter as his passion for music became all-consuming."

Then one day it all fell apart. He'd built up his life like a record collection, but it didn't satisfy him anymore. He sold everything, dropped out, moved far from home to start fresh... and wrote this book.

Crate Digger is written in short spurts tied to actual records. The result is real, heartfelt, and deeply informed by the music of the last thirty years. It's a basic piece of your punk history collection.

Don't rely on us, though -- check out this early review: "Record collecting, as it turns out, isn’t as important as the people you meet and the memories you make while scrounging for that next piece of rare vinyl. Be prepared to put aside at least a few hours of your busy life, because if you’re like me you’ll want to devour this book and read it in one sitting. And hopefully, like me, you’ll come away inspired and with a slightly different outlook on life."

About the rewards

New: All backers, all rewards: Backing this project at all earns you 2 free passes to one of Bob's book tour events, should he be coming through your town.

The sticker: We're designing one for this Kickstarter project! Sturdy vinyl, you can put it on your van or your bike or your toaster. [Update!!!! All the other Presidents saw that Reagan likes Crate Digger and the endorsements keep flowing in. We can't stop making new stickers. Check out the updates for more.]

The first (not the last) Crate Digger sticker
The first (not the last) Crate Digger sticker

More stickers: Once we started designing stickers with Presidential endorsements of Crate Digger we couldn't stop. See the project updates page for more...

The book itself: Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records by Bob Suren is coming out from Microcosm Publishing (which started as a record label 19 years ago and now puts out books about a lot of stuff) in spring, 2015.

The mix: Bob's making a mix of music that goes along with the stories in the book. Digital mp3 download (you'll get a link at the end of the project). Nothing stolen!

The extra punk books we publish: We publish a ton of books and a lot of them are punk inspired! Here are the five we're offering as extras on some of the rewards. Choose wisely!

The BFF: The BFF is a six-month subscription to everything Microcosm publishes for the six months after Crate Digger, mailed to you as it comes out. You can read more about it here.

The Facebook insult: You know what you want here.

Q: Will you have more rewards... like records from Bob's bands and illustrated scenes from the book?

A: They're already rolling in! For a cool $25 you can now get a video shout-out from the train at the mall where Bob works, Bob will make a recording for your answering machine or voicemail greeting, and we're adding new rewards all the time. PLUS illustrations based on the book are getting made and we'll post those as soon as we have them. Awesome!


Why fund this project?

Trees answer: So we can print books and share Crate Digger with people all over the world. The people need their punk history! (NB: The books are printed on post-consumer recycled paper and printed in the USA. The trees are safe from us.)

Forest answer: Times are weird. It's not quite as bad as the music industry, but the publishing industry is going through a lot these days. Microcosm has stayed above water through trying times thanks to a combination of excited and loyal readers, an affinity for spreadsheets and dumpster diving, and pure stubborn refusal to go over the edge. Are we asking you for a handout? Hell no. We're asking you to back this project and tell the world about it so that you can get books and so that we can get books to more people and so that the world, generally, can continue to have reasonably priced and seriously awesome stuff to read in an age when Amazon wants to reduce writers and publishers to working for pennies. Don't let them win!

Seriously, why fund this project instead of pre-ordering the book on our website? Because Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, we need to make our entire goal of $4,000 by the deadline. If we don't make it, nobody gets charged and we don't get anything. If we make more than the goal, we can put it all into love and good rewards for this book! 

*Thank you.*

Risks and challenges

Due to payment schedules, a more successful book is actually more difficult to get off the ground. We pay for the books after 45 days but don't get paid for 130 days so having to pay an extra $4,000 to the printer puts a strain on us! Thanks for the help!

We've been getting excited about books and publishing them for almost 20 years and we've got it down to a science. And there's *nothing* more punk than being reliably on time.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    A limited-edition Crate Digger vinyl sticker made just for this campaign, and our thanks!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A copy of Crate Digger and a special limited edition sticker. Enjoy!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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    42 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited reward! A copy of Crate Digger, the music mix, a sticker, and Bob will record a custom message for your voicemail or answering machine!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited reward! A copy of Crate Digger, the music mix, a sticker, and Bob and friends will post a video shout out on Facebook just for you from the train in the mall!

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited reward! A copy of Crate Digger, the music mix, a sticker, and Bob will personally insult you on Facebook, in the style of the Iron Sheik.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    Crate Digger, plus your choice of one out of five of our other punk books (see the project description for a list!), a mix by Bob, and a sticker!

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    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    Original Art!!! Bob's "Rock Lobster" illustration of a scene from the book, straight from his notebook to your wall. (See updates for photo) PLUS A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Crate Digger, your choice of 5 other punk books, a music mix, a sticker... and Bob will craft an insult for you personally and shout it out on Facebook.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Crate Digger, your choice of one out of the 5 other punk books listed in the project description, a music mix, a sticker... and Bob will craft an insult for you personally and shout it out on Facebook.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Be our BFF! A copy of Crate Digger, a mix, and sticker... plus a copy of every book Microcosm puts out for the six months afterward, shipped to you as they're released!

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    Pledge $73 or more About $73

    Original Art!!! Mary Rodriguez's "Sound Idea" illustration of a scene from the book (see updates for photo) PLUS A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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    Pledge $83 or more About $83

    Original Art!!! Scott Charles Bentz's original "I wanna join the army dad!" illustration inspired by the We Can't Help It If We're From Florida chapter (see updates for photo) PLUS A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Ten copies of Crate Digger, mailed to you, plus ten stickers and a music mix. Perfect for superfans, prolific gift givers, record shops, and traveling bands with crowded merch tables.

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    Pledge $93 or more About $93

    Original Art!!! Scott Charles Bentz's illustration of Sound Idea shop dogs Edgar and Oliver finally reveals why all those records smelled kinda funny (see updates for photo) PLUS A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Build your library! Crate Digger, plus all five of our extra punk books, plus a mix, plus a sticker, mailed to you!

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    Pledge $103 or more About $103

    Original Art!!! Chris Newcity's 1/1 "Dead Boys" print PLUS A copy of Crate Digger, a digital download of a music mix made by Bob especially for Kickstarter backers, and a sticker.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Collector's Special! Crate Digger, the five extra reward books for this project, plus a giant teetering stack of more books and zines about punk that we publish and think you'll dig. And a mix and a sticker!

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Funding period

- (29 days)