A relatively long time ago, when I was in high school, I went to see Nicole Georges read from her zine, Invincible Summer, in the basement of Mac’s Backs on Coventry. It was a pretty successful night out — I thought Nicole was dynamic and funny and liked that she opened her reading by singing a song from Annie.
A couple of years later, I heard that Nicole was in a band called the Sour Grapes. I mail-ordered their CD, No More Drama for the Sour Grapes, and then I listened to it a lot. No, like, a lot. Like, all the time. I listened to No More Drama for the Sour Grapes so much that people around me started to hate it, which only led me to listen to it more, because how could anyone hate anything so catchy? The Sour Grapes write sassy pop songs with guitars, keyboards, & a lot of sincerity, which, if you haven’t noticed, is something I’m really big on. Listening to No More Drama for the sour Grapes sounds a lot like friends having a conversation with each other — you get the sense that very real emotions and experiences are being shared, even when the songs sound fluffy and lighthearted.
Aside from being astoundingly catchy, No More Drama for the Sour Grapes also taught me a lot of important lessons that helped me to survive my teen years in the zine scene.
Important Things I’ve Learned from the Sour Grapes
1. Yeah, it’s cool to do things like make zines and ride bikes, but it is decidedly uncool to shame other people for not being as zine-y or as bike-y as you.
2. Don’t let people make you feel bad for your supposedly “mainstream” interests.
3. There is nothing wrong with being a homebody.
4. 7”s are indeed going up in price and that is indeed a shame.
5. It’s okay to call people out for doing something inappropriate, even if they are your friend or colleague.
The Sour Grapes have sadly disbanded, but you can get their album for just $5 from Tugboat Press, which also publishes Nicole’s zine Invincible Summer as well as Clutch which is my favorite comic zine, even though it is more or less unrelated to the Sour Grapes aside from occasional appearances by Nicole.
You can sample the Sour Grapes on MySpace. I recommend listening to their track “Send My Valentine to the Burn Ward.”