Positive Force, the activist punk collective that in many ways shaped what it meant to enact a DIY ethos in the US, is the subject of director Robin Bell’s documentary, Positive Force: More Than a Witness. The film begins with the group’s genesis in DC’s “Revolution Summer” of 1985 and spans thirty years of Positive Force’s activism....more
Posts Tagged: punk
Her genre-defying fiction, from the mail-art chapbook The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula to incendiary novels like Blood and Guts in High Schooland Empire of the Senseless, were ways to think against every repression, to overturn the worlds—and words—of parents, gender, the academy, rationality, the traditional novel.
(adj.); willfully contrary; not easily managed; rebellious; from Middle English
“Vowel sounds work like those sliding puzzle games where you have to unscramble a picture by sliding one piece of it at a time. As soon as you move one piece, you’re left with an empty space behind you, which has to be filled by something else.”
–Dan Nosowitz, “I Made a Linguistics Professor Listen to a Blink-182 Song and Analyze the Accent”
Few music genres better fit this Word of Day’s rebellious spirit than punk: since its emergence in the 70s, it has encompassed not only its distinctive hard-edged melodies and gritty guitar riffs but a particular political, social, economic and aesthetic ethos—about as froward as you can get....more
The seminal chronicle of LA punk was re-released yesterday via Shout! Factory on DVD and Blu-Ray, bringing the three films by Penelope Spheeris together with additional archival footage into a comprehensive collection of possibly the best representation of punk, free of the exocitizing gloss that often wrecks documentaries of the kind before they’ve hardly begun....more
Inspired by the books Please Kill Me and We Got the Neutron Bomb, Craig Ibarra began compiling the 70+ interviews that make up this self-declared oral history of San Pedro’s punk scene from 1977–1985. The book consists of these interviews, accounts from band members, photographers, show organizers, and people who were there during this formative time in punk’s history, held together by the trajectory of San Pedro’s The Reactionaries, later to become The Minutemen, as they developed their sound and gained notoriety beyond the local scene...more
The formative LA group started talking about a tour with all original members at the end of last year, later coming out with a teaser trailer and plans for a documentary in the works. Sure enough, it’s all happening: tour dates are official, cover a lot of ground, and tickets might not be available for long, so get on it now if you want to catch this all-female lineup that inspired like-minded women to make riot grrrl happen....more
The Talking Heads were among a crop of epochal, genre-bending artists that emerged from New York City in the mid-70s. The music scene centered around the famous punk club CBGB, where David Byrne and company opened for The Ramones in 1975....more
The Clash are famous for their album London Calling and their ubiquitous single, “Rock the Casbah,” which is notable perhaps for its incendiary political message—a denunciation of the Iranian ban on Western music following the 1979 revolution. But it’s “Straight to Hell,” a commemoration of immigrant struggles in the UK and abroad, that best blends political panache with a strong melody....more
Multi-talented artist and writer Patti Smith has influenced groups disparate as Sonic Youth, R.E.M., and Madonna. Her seminal 1975 album Horses helped to spur the early punk movement in New York City. Smith was an important member of the scene which spawned punk heroes The Ramones, Television, and The Sex Pistols....more
[The] Bats were a fine little band, a unique assemblage of diverse strengths and quirks, anchored by one of the most rock-solid drummers ever to grace the Pittsburgh scene, and hampered only by the weakness of their goofball frontman.
That’s a quote from Michael Chabon, novelist, screenwriter, and “goofball frontman” of 80’s Pittsburgh punk band, the Bats....more
Corin Tucker, formerly of Sleater-Kinney and Heavens to Betsy and now the leader of the Corin Tucker Band, has been called “a punk-rock heroine” by Rolling Stone. Judging by her band’s newest record, Kill My Blues, there is no reason to disagree....more
“Amnesia had long streaming hair bleached to a dazzling white and was always clad in black. Flying through the air she seemed like a Valkyrie warrior plunging down from Valhalla.”...more
I grew up in Denver and moved out to the Bay Area when I was eighteen, partially because I’d heard about this magical “Gilman” place that seemed to go against everything I was raised to believe in. Of course, once I got here I never went because everyone told me not to— they said it was “dead” — and it was probably a good thing I didn’t go because by that time I might not have been into the music, and besides, the fashion mistakes I was making at the time would have likely gotten me killed (think North Face and floppy hats....more
Greetings, world. Blogging will be light today. Your humble Sunday editor is in Monterey celebrating the life of a friend who recently passed. But to keep you with stuff to look at until tomorrow, here’s a brief roundup of some of links from the book blogs from this past week....more
I have an admission to make. I’m one of those people who changes the subject whenever punk rock comes up. Don’t get me wrong. I like the music. But I refuse to memorize the name of the Sex Pistols’ first bassist, I don’t understand the difference between all the different sub-genres, and I’m always hoping no one will notice how much of a poseur I am....more
Vigilante justice: the new counterculture. Until it gets, like, totally commercial. That’s the premise of DeLeon DeMicoli’s novel, Lick Me, a spunky murder mystery saddled down with dull culture critique.