Rock
Are the Mekons a Meal?

Are the Mekons a Meal?

The other night I saw Skull Orchard, the latest side band of the Mekons’ Jon Langford, in Brooklyn. I was hungry for some good music, and the show was filling—but not the same way even the best reunions, such as Flag’s recent set, or the Avengers show a few years back, have been. More»

Nostalgic for Nirvana

Nostalgic for Nirvana

Over the past month, pieces marking the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide have built to a crescendo. For those who remember the initial coverage of his death, when his face stared out from publication after publication, the commemoration inspired a disturbing sense of déjà vu. We were being asked to relive something that wasn’t pleasant to begin with, but also, inevitably, to compare that period with our own. More»

Kiev Calling

Kiev Calling

Blame it on Pussy Riot. Thus far, the music has been a disappointment. The Ukraine, after all, is in decline. With no affluence to speak of, compared to Putin’s oil-rich Russia, culture, of the export variety, is nowhere to be found. You’d have to speak Ukrainian, (or Russian) to detect any national soundtrack, revolutionary, or otherwise, worth listening to. More»

Israeli Hardcore Sampler

Israeli Hardcore Sampler

In the forty years since its inception, punk has almost always been synonymous with radical politics. The very nature of counterculture, of which punk is a mainstay, is to fight against whoever is in power. Even right-wing bands operate within this ethos. On the far end of that, white power music is very much situated in what its practitioners see as a comparative struggle, even if the songs are lyrically backwards. More»

DIY Means Diversity

DIY Means Diversity

Focused on increasing the presence of people of color, transgender, queer, and female-identified people in punk and DIY in Philadelphia, First Time’s the Charm was a 16 band gig held in early November. Each group was playing their very first show, which made for a very exciting and interesting night of underground music. More»

Remembering Screamo

Remembering Screamo

In the mid-nineties, the French hardcore scene was dominated by bands playing  heavy, mid-tempo punk with political and emotional lyrics. Known as screamo – and not to be confused by the current subset of poppy suburban teen hardcore – the music picked up where the original emo movement of American bands like Embrace and Moss Icon had stopped just a couple of years prior. More»

(Don't Just) Print the Legend!

(Don’t Just) Print the Legend!

The legend of the Velvet Underground, which is on people’s minds with the death of Lou Reed, has its roots in what “really happened.” According to the legend, the band was never popular during its lifetime, but the few people who loved the Velvets in those early years became important parts of subsequent music culture. Yet there are other ways to interpret the group’s history, More»

Nostalgic for Nothing

Nostalgic for Nothing

It’s not every day you walk into your local newsstand and find a twelve-year-old zine written by one of your favorite musicians, seemingly abandoned behind a stack of vintage copies of Punk Planet, and way too many issues of Revolver. But I did. Call me nostalgic, but I still can’t get over it. With good reason. More»

Anarchy is Disappointing

Anarchy is Disappointing

Death was everywhere.  A large, jovial Calaveras print greeted gig goers at the entrance to Sacramento’s Sol Collective – a reminder that Dia De Muertos is approaching. Sitting on the floor, I could see the dimly lit St. Joseph’s Cemetery across the street. A painting of a skull, tucked into a deep-sea diving mask, hung above Amy Farina’s drum set. More»

From Queercore to Apartheid

From Queercore to Apartheid

How do you describe The Shondes? Indie? Punk? Jewish? Queer? After seven years and four albums, the way the band is identified has definitely changed. Souciant sat down with violinist Eli Oberman to discuss the band’s forthcoming album, The Garden, and talk about radical politics, Jewish tradition, and Tzadik Records. More»

Philly Punx Picnic 2013

Philly Punx Picnic 2013

For the fifth year in a row, the Philly Punx Picnic brought a week’s worth of noise, party, and way too much beer to an appreciative local scene. Featuring seven shows in just under six days, a softball tournament, and a bike race, the festival drew visitors from around the country and all the way from Japan and Australia. More»

Styles of Freedom

Styles of Freedom

One of the peculiarities of punk is that its ethos of personal freedom has often been expressed through regimentation. Punk’s earliest exponents had no coherent ideology, yet punk exists today as a congeries of well-defined styles and symbologies. A further feature of its history, whose appearance was roughly coterminous with the emergence of punk itself, is the view that punk is dying or that it is already dead. More»