Saturday, August 25, 2018

Punk Rock

“Punk rock is just another word for freedom.”
Patti Smith

I'm a goth before a punk. Goth music itself was an out-growth of post-punk but I was into punk music too when I was young. I still like to hear some of it too. My husband is really into punk music. I guess when we met, some of these mutual interests coincided. We always talked about "do it yourself" which impacted my idea to do my own art shows years ago and the "ethos" of punk. Yes, we are different couple. There was politics in punk too, like when the Clash stood up for striking miners and advanced political and social justice.

The worse thing in punk was "selling out".  We are now in an era, where we need some more music that stands up instead of corporate manufactured music. The music made what some called "ugly" beautiful. You didn't even have to be able to sing to play punk music. You could do your own thing. Some connect punk rock to rebellion, but is rebellion a bad thing? It made for some damn good music.

Punk bands I used to listen to and still listen to at times now,  included The Clash, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minute Men, Buzzcocks, Lard with Jello Biafra, Husker Du, Dead Milkmen, Public Image Limited, Violent Femmes, and L7. My husband introduced me to the Ramones and many others.


  1. I think the obvious intersection of punk and goth, which are two very different subcultural tribes, is that both exist largely outside of the big business system that would prefer something much nicer and cleaner-sounding. You know how I feel about that one: I don't want a nice clean sound on anything, guitar-wise, usually!

    But the important thing is that these things can exist on their own terms, with the approval or permission of the dominant (read: mainstream) culture. That's one thing that drew us together then, keeps up together now, and drives us still in a lot of the things we do.

    I could add many more bands to your list -- one thing to note is that it's really important to listen to punk bands from other countries. Yes, the US and Brit acts are important and revelatory, but if you're not checking out their counterparts from Sweden (Ebba Gron), Denmark (The Sods, later to become the Goth band Sort Sol, still active today), Holland (BGK, The EX), or Australia (Radio Birdman, The Manikins, The Numbers, and so many, many more), you're really only hearing half the story.

    Suffice to say, there's no lack of interesting sounds out there to scoop up, once you start digging under the surface -- which is something that Christian rock, for example, will always feel hard-pressed to compete with, since it tries to bleach out the rebellious/anti-establishment aspect that's such a critical main ingredient in the worlds of punk, goth, and other subcultures like it. But as the cliche runs, once you get ahold of the real thing, you'll never want to settle for something lesser -- which is how I felt after hearing the Ramones, for instance, and others like them, for the first time.--Mr. Peep

    1. LOl about the clean sound, well you know how much how I hate my food over-processed the same goes for music as well. That's one thing I've noticed they smooth all the edges out now there's almost nothing left. I always considered goth and punk outside the mainstream too, for people out on the fringes, the real anti-establishment. Yes I agree these mutual musical values and others is what drew us together. :) I agree about investigating the bands from foreign countries there too, even there, the non-Western world has their alternative music too.

      Christian rock was so awful even as a Christian, I never could get into it. I did used to worry wondering why the music was so "dead", that's due to the basics of Christianity that it is authoritarianism and about conformity. With "Rebellion" and "independent thinking" GONE, creativity is squashed into nothingness. In some ways I never fit in the Christian world, before I gave voice to my doubts as you know even 5-7 years ago I was having thoughts about not belonging there, I got lost in the "True Christian" thicket, realizing that was an illusionary unicorn. Yeah I couldn't settle for that watered down mush either, I had to have the real thing too. As you know Mr Peep, I am happy to have the music back in full force. :)

  2. Christian rock doesn't even belong in the same sentence. All it is, is supposed Christian's attempts to curry favor with an industry they have no business associating with.

  3. >Christian rock doesn't even belong in the same sentence. All it is, is supposed Christian's attempts to curry favor with an industry they have no business associating with.<

    Well, but therein lies the rub, as our friend Will Shakespeare put it -- one of my issues with that whole Christian rock or CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) business is that it essentially apes much of the entertainment industry norms it's claiming to subvert (as in: let's win one for old JC, eh?).

    However, that spiritual-secular divide often leads to some weird compromises. I remember sitting up late at night, doing my thing, when I saw an ad for a Christian rock CD of Christmas songs...all the secular ones, that is ("Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", and so on). Aside from a stab or two at "Silent Night," none of the religious songs were featured....which caused me to suspect that the compilers probably didn't want to offend anyone. But it was a strange thing to see, just like when Amy Grant went through her own weird Madonna phase, dress-wise, in the '80s, when she came up. I remember thinking, "But isn't this what you're claiming to be fighting against?" Confusing all the way around. --Mr. Peep

    1. Well you know in the IFB, CCM was evil. All music with a beat was supposedly SATANIC. I broke that rule over and over. Some of them down at the first IFB were horrified I was hanging out down at the co-op. I hate CCM, and did as a Christian. Boring and watered down. There was part of me you know that started doubting Christianity even before I voiced it, because so much Christian "art" was insipid, from the music to the art. [I guess art in the middle ages was religious and great, but I am talking modern art so to speak] That's what happens when everything is watered down not to offend or to break one of the Bible's million rules. The poster above is correct, they tried to co-opt rock and then watered it down, it was all a marketing ploy so they could appear "cool" too. I thought Amy Grant was awful, but yes I remember that Madonna phase too, remember with the evangelical Christian set, they had to avoid the Catholic stuff and other songs, that may lose customers. I am glad to have music fully back. Oh I always listened to it, anyhow but now it's free of the stupid guilt. Christianity and art now doesn't go together.