Andrew W.K. recognizing the value of those tedious piano lessons his parents had
signed him up for. Chromeo’s Dave 1 recalling how he’d sneak younger bro A-Trak into clubs through the back door at his shows. Melissa Auf der Mar championing her mother’s fiercely independent and bohemian spirit, remembering a 2nd year birthday spent in a remote Kenyan village.

These are but a sampling of the 70+ poignant family stories compiled in Black Sheep: An unconventional look at good ol’ family values, a gorgeous coffee table book self-published by Karyn Gray, a former editor at Under Pressure Magazine. A project two years in the making, Gray carried out the ultimate exercise in DIY know-how by making the most of her rolodex of contacts culled from a wide range of alternative scenes.

From electro animal Plastik Patrik’s opera mother and graffiti artists Scien and Klor’s street savvy offspring to a pretty darn sappy Bloodshot Bill, Gray has pooled together a fascinating collection of stories and memorabilia that challenge the antiquated notion that having a few too many pieces of metal around the cheeks or barely an inch of unmarked skin on one’s arms somehow equates traumatic childhoods, broken homes or parental neglect. This is a celebration of families that relish in their own understanding of the American dream, and who rock out with their wee ones.

Black Sheep: An unconventional look at good ol’ family values

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