Posts tagged "Punk"
Don't Call It Freedom Rock

Don’t Call It Freedom Rock

I’d been looking forward to reading ex-Bitch Magnet guitarist Jon Fine’s Your Band Sucks, his memoir of his life in the indie rock scene, for some time. I’d been fascinated with (the stupidly named) Bitch Magnet ever since I first heard Ben Hur in Thirty Ought Six front man Sean Roberts’ basement in Portland a couple of lifetimes ago. More»

I Want To Play My Guitar

I Want To Play My Guitar

The Director had ideas for this video. It was called “Qwi Mai Yab”, or ‘Quit My Job’ as might be filtered through the thick Cuban accent of singer-songwriter Jem Marie’s extended familia. The Director was thinking of clever satirical scenarios: perhaps dull office work, or repetitive factory labor, or handling of toxic materials, something static to be upset by the burst of punk energy from the song and its players. More»

Vinyl Solution

Vinyl Solution

For nearly four decades, punk was America’s counterculture. The scene was remarkably resilient, replicating itself hundreds of times over, in nearly every part of the country. Punk had a sense of timelessness to it, which made it seem independent of its partnership with pop culture. More»

The New Information Economy

The New Information Economy

There’s a point in Don Letts’ Clash documentary Westway to the World where bassist Paul Simonon talks about the uncertainty that they all felt about their status after they’d signed their first record contract with CBS Records (for £100,000) in January 1977. More»

Punk’s Past Alternate Future

Punk’s Past Alternate Future

I first started listening to punk and hardcore in 1988—not that music’s best period. Many of the great early bands, including the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, and Crass, had broken up a couple years before, and it seemed that the genre might be at its social and aesthetic end. The politics were fading while metalcore and straightedge hardcore bands were in ascendance. More»

Never Mind the Women

Never Mind the Women

Between 1976 and 1979, the British punk scene produced some very good albums (Never Mind the Bollocks; London Calling; Damned, Damned, Damned) and a couple of real brilliancies (The Pop Group’s Y, Gang of Four’s Entertainment.) But for sheer transgression, there is nothing to top Cut, the first album by The Slits. More»

Cynicism and the Left

Cynicism and the Left

No clichés here. As far as leftist flyers go, they’re don’t exactly inspire you to speak truth to power.  Dispensing with images of marchers standing up to the man, and police beating up protestors, they relied more on sarcasm, and a pronounced sense of contempt, to make their point. Feeling flushed down the toilet? Sick of the bread, and the circuses, and promises of pussy? We relate. More»

Punk Feminism

Punk Feminism

If you’re someone whose social media feed inclines towards progressive politics, there’s a good chance you’ve seen someone making fun of Women Against Feminism. But if you haven’t bothered to visit that popular tumblr yourself, you may be in for a surprise. Because, while there are certainly posts of an explicitly conservative nature and plenty that seem ill-informed, others are harder to dismiss on principle. More»

The Paper State

The Paper State

Fucked Up and Photocopied. It was an appropriate title for a book documenting the first generation of American punk flyers. Published in 2000, just as print ‘zines were giving way to online gig listings and, eventually, blogs, the coffee-table sized collection could not have been more timely. It was as though it were a concluding chapter to an era, which had not fully given way to something else yet – the Internet. More»

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»

Bored in Berlin

Bored in Berlin

At first, you don’t even notice the pattern. You wander the streets of this city, looking for subjects to photograph: a political poster here, a billboard there, and, down the block, an impressively tagged stretch of wall. But then you notice, like Oedipa Maas in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, when she starts seeing muted post horns everywhere, that one message cries out, over and over: “Bored.” More»

Metal Beyond Metal

Metal Beyond Metal

What would it look like if metal culture abandoned music? How necessary in fact is music to metal? This might seem absurd, but there are precedents of a sort. Both goth and punk are only partially dependent on music. Music is one element of goth culture, alongside fashion, literature, visual arts and film. More»