Gillian G. Gaar

In addition to contributing to every newspaper in town, including ours, music writer Gillian G. Gaar has written four books about Nirvana, so it's fair to call her an expert on that subject. Her latest is Entertain Us: The Rise of Nirvana (Jawbone, $19.95), an account of the band's early days, the years leading up to the global explosion that was "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That means few pages on subjects like MTV, heroin, and, refreshingly, Courtney Love. As in Gaar's other books, Entertain Us instead concentrates on blow-by-blow accounts of studio sessions and analyses of setlists at early house shows and now-defunct venues in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. Gaar does her research thoroughly, but she also relates some sweet and personal moments. We read how Kurt Cobain, barely able to pay the rent, kept smashing guitars on stage, so Krist Novoselic got into the habit of finding left-handed replacement guitars whenever he walked by a pawn shop. And later, Novoselic warned wearers of the band's "Nirvana: Fudge Packin', Crack-Smokin', Satan-Worshippin' Motherfucker" T-shirts, "Don't wear that to my mom's house, 'cause if she saw that, she'd throw me out!" ERIN K. THOMPSON

Tue., Sept. 18, 7 p.m., 2012

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