Tom Maxwell presents A REALLY STRANGE AND WONDERFUL TIME, with Bill Smith

A graphic showing the book A Really Strange and Wonderful Time, by Tom Maxwell, appearing at Flyleaf Books with Bill Smith on Tuesday, April 9, with the talk at 6 pm and the signing line to follow at 7 pm..

Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Talk begins at 6:00 pm, signing line to follow at 7:00 pm.

Scroll down to order your book and please indicate in the comments if you’d like 1-2 seats held for you at the event!

Flyleaf will offer seating for up to 100 in-person guests, with priority access given to folks who purchase the book.


The first biography of the thriving and influential rock scene in Chapel Hill, which gave the world artists like Ben Folds Five, Superchunk, and Squirrel Nut Zippers

North Carolina has always produced extraordinary music of every description. But the indie-rock boom of the late 1980s and early ‘90s brought the state most fully into the public consciousness, while the subsequent post-Grunge free-for-all bestowed its greatest commercial successes. In addition to the creation of legacy label Merge Records and a slate of excellent indie bands like Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, and Polvo, this was the decade when other North Carolina artists broke Billboard’s Top 200 and sold millions of records―several million of which were issued by another indie label based in Carrboro, Chapel Hill’s smaller next-door neighbor. It’s time to take a closer look at exactly what happened.

A Really Strange and Wonderful Time features a representative cross-section of what was being created in and around Chapel Hill between 1989 and 1999. In addition to the aforementioned indie bands, it documents―through firsthand accounts―other local notables like Ben Folds Five, Dillon Fence, Flat Duo Jets, Small, Southern Culture on the Skids, Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Veldt, and Whiskeytown. At the same time, it describes the nurturing infrastructure which engendered and encouraged this marvelous diversity. In essence, A Really Strange and Wonderful Time is proof of the genius of community.

Tom Maxwell is a writer and musician. A product of the fertile Chapel Hill music scene, he was a member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers from 1994-1999. Tom’s song “Hell” peaked at Number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, propelling the band to multi-platinum status. His songs have appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, a Super Bowl commercial, an Academy Award-nominated documentary, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway soundtrack. As a writer, Tom has contributed to Al Jazeera America, The Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner, and the Library of Congress, among others. He is a member of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Bill Smith is the author of two cookbooks and many articles and essays in various magazines and journals. In 2019 he retired, after twenty-five years, as head chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill. He was also co-owner of the Cat’s Cradle from 1972 to 1984.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2024 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
A Really Strange and Wonderful Time: The Chapel Hill Music Scene: 1989-1999 By Tom Maxwell Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780306830587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - April 9th, 2024

Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook's Corner and from Home By Bill Smith, Lee Smith (Preface by) Cover Image
By Bill Smith, Lee Smith (Preface by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781565125506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 20th, 2006