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January 9, 2012 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Punk's Not Dead. The revival of punk in couture fashion and elsewhere
posted by fearfulsymmetry (113 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish it would die, so that we could be nostalgic about it without a bunch of damn kids reminding us how young and stupid we were.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although to be fair, the article seems to be proof and insistence that what we used to call punk may indeed be dead. Despite the title.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:10 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The fashion houses of Jean Paul Gaultier, Balmain, Burberry and Balenciaga have been working plenty of haute couture spikes, studs and black leather into the autumn shows and the signs are that next month's London Fashion Week will follow through with hard-edged trends as an antidote to summer frock frippery.

GDI that's the least-punk thing I've ever heard.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:10 AM on January 9, 2012 [52 favorites]


I like other forms of Classic Rock better than the punk form, but, hey, to each his own .
posted by thelonius at 9:12 AM on January 9, 2012


Johnny Rotten – the Sex Pistols' frontman, is financing his next album using money he raised by promoting butter in TV ads

Never Mind the Margarine
posted by chococat at 9:14 AM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


John Lydon – Johnny Rotten – the Sex Pistols' frontman, is financing his next album using money he raised by promoting butter in TV ads.

Yeah, that was about 4 years ago.

Is there anything in this article that is different than the rants I heard 25 years ago?
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The caption to the photo: Alice Dellal sports the posh punk look.

Punk is most certainly dead. As it should be, because it was never about hanging on for dear life years and years later. It was about the opposite of that.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I saw Rihanna wearing a plaid dress, ripped tights and creepers on the X-Factor, I knew punk was making a resurgence.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:16 AM on January 9, 2012


it was never about hanging on for dear life years and years later

I don't know about you, but I've been hanging on for dear life ever since 1977. That tenuous grip on life itself is kinda what made us punks in the first place.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:17 AM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


it was never about hanging on for dear life years and years later

I don't know about you, but I've been hanging on for dear life ever since 1977. That tenuous grip on life itself is kinda what made us punks in the first place.


It was about being sick of the classic rock dinosaurs hanging on for dear life when they should have just let it die.

I can't imagine punk trying to hang on for dear life--its a light that burns brightly and goes out, deliberately.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:20 AM on January 9, 2012


Johnny Rotten – the Sex Pistols' frontman, is financing his next album using money he raised by promoting butter in TV ads


Yeah, about that. Something I don't really understand is how that tool doesnt have like Scrooge McDuck cash by now. Yes I know the OG pistols probably didnt make much, nor did PiL in their OG run, but the Filthy Lucre tour? All the TV hosting? The PiL reunion festival dates? He should be more than fine moneywise.

It's like when someone like Steve Martin hides behind the "Im just doing X stupid Hollywood movie to pay for my small play I'm doing in New Hampshire" or whatever, but they make $10 million on the former and spend $300k on the latter.

Now I admit that I dont understand the intricacies of showbiz finance, but it really seems like he should be way more than flush by now.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:20 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The second sentence disproves the first.

Of course, punk is in fact not dead, there are kids (and old timers) still out playing shows in hole-in-the-wall clubs, houses, garages, and the occasional church. As long as people are angry and love music, punk will be around.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I ran a little punk boutique in the east village for a couple of years in the mid-2000s. The sheer amount of variety in what qualified as "punk" -- from homeless crust/street punks to clean-as-a-whistle skinheads to UK88 street punks born well after 1988 to tween mall punks on vacation with their parents and everything in between -- was staggering. It never went away and I don't think it ever will.

(And it was always, always commercialized and capitalized on out the wazoo.)
posted by griphus at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Punk is dada. That being said punk is heavily iconic in its iconoclasticism. There is a strong identity in saying "I reject your ideas of identity, establishment fuckers!". It's dada, and in dada, the paradox is just part of the groove.

Ironically -or not - that translates into marketable fashion, especially after several decades have passed, and the we are happy to see our kids angry and rejecting insipid saccharine suburban values. Especially when our idea of rebellion was to buy a house that wasn't in an HOA.

Punk isn't fashion. But it is. There are poseurs. And that's ok, because hey, isn't it better to be a pretend punk than to not be one at all?

Besides, the Sex Pistols were heavily promoted by people who were trying to sell clothes.
posted by Xoebe at 9:24 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm always dubious whenever someone tries to attach the label of "punk" to anything these days. It was a moment in time - and a great time - and it's passed.

If you're a band that insists on using the word "punk" to describe your sound, the only thing people will think is that you're the musical equivalent of a war reenactment society.
posted by panboi at 9:28 AM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Capitalism and profit make things feel unauthentic and diminished. Hence the frequent emphasis on DIY and poverty.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


...the only thing people will think is that you're the musical equivalent of a war reenactment society.

Except the kids actually going to the shows. Who will think "boy, I'm having a great time!"
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Well, closer to "bo*THUD*y, I'm ha*THUNK*ving a gre*SLAM*at tim*KA-THUD*e!")
posted by griphus at 9:32 AM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Judging by the number of angry rants I've read, punk was dead approximately 5 minutes after it was born. The rest has all been marketing.

Which makes it odd that people still get upset about what it "means."
posted by emjaybee at 9:32 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next up on the Paris runways: steampunk.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:32 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]




...the only thing people will think is that you're the musical equivalent of a war reenactment society.



The good news is that glorifying the past and denying it to generations too young to have been there is a really good way to spark the kind of rebellion, nihilistic destruction and disobedience that inspired punk in the first place.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The thought of Francisco Lachowski sashaying down a runway in Paris clad in steampunk garb makes my cock blaze.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 9:39 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


second time as farce -
posted by facetious at 9:41 AM on January 9, 2012


fashion punk == poser punk
posted by wcfields at 9:41 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk is far from dead but '77 style punk is fucking boring.
posted by rainperimeter at 9:42 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk is ____________.
(Note: Write in any answer you like, but every answer will be wrong.)
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:45 AM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Pink is butter, butter is punk.
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The concept of fashion is an antithesis to punk.
posted by cmoj at 9:47 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That pose is out, too, Sunny Jim.

The new thing is to care passionately and be right-wing.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


cmoj, that idea only gained traction around the 80s with the rise of DC punk -- Minor Threat et. al. -- before (and after) punk and avant garde fashion were joined at the hip.
posted by griphus at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk is most certainly dead. As it should be, because it was never about hanging on for dear life years and years later. It was about the opposite of that.

If there was ever a stereotypical hallmark of punk being alive, it's in telling others what punk was/is and was/is not about.
posted by rhizome at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2012


But it's sort of interesting in a self-contradictory way that there's a recognizable visual punk aesthetic, no?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:51 AM on January 9, 2012


Punks are hipsters.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not self-contradictory at all. It's because there was a heavy fashion component in Punk subculture.
posted by rhizome at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


didnt a lot of 'punk' people go on to be libertarian/right-wing

i realize that might be what herodios is talking about

also 'hipsters' vs right-wing: gavin mcinnes
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2012


After postmodernism, nothing ever really dies.

So I guess what I don't get is why anybody really cares whether punk is dead or not. If you're into punk, you think it's not dead and I don't know why you'd care about anybody who disagreed. If you're not into punk, I'm not sure why you think you have an informed opinion.
posted by penduluum at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it's sort of interesting in a self-contradictory way that there's a recognizable visual punk aesthetic, no?

Not just "a", but a shitload, each with their own subtle differences between the decades, (US) coasts and countries. An American punk from NYC ca. '77 and a British UK88 streetpunk and a DC punk from the anti-fashion days all look very distinct and very different.
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2012


From 1978.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:56 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or for those that don't feel like watching a video:

Yes that's right, punk is dead,
It's just another cheap product for the consumers head.
Bubblegum rock on plastic transistors,
Schoolboy sedition backed by big time promoters.
CBS promote the Clash,
But it ain't for revolution, it's just for cash.
Punk became a fashion just like hippy used to be
And it ain't got a thing to do with you or me.

Movements are systems and systems kill.
Movements are expressions of the public will.
Punk became a movement cos we all felt lost,
But the leaders sold out and now we all pay the cost.
Punk narcissism was social napalm,
Steve Jones started doing real harm.
Preaching revolution, anarchy and change
As he sucked from the system that had given him his name.

Well I'm tired of staring through shit stained glass,
Tired of staring up a superstars arse,
I've got an arse and crap and a name,
I'm just waiting for my fifteen minutes fame.
Steve Jones you're napalm,
If you're so pretty (vacant) why do you swarm?
Patti Smith you're napalm,
You write with your hand but it's Rimbaud's arm.

And me, yes I, do I want to burn?
Is there something I can learn?
Do I need a business man to promote my angle?
Can I resist the carrots that fame and fortune dangle?
I see the velvet zippies in their bondage gear,
The social elite with safety-pins in their ear,
I watch and understand that it don't mean a thing,
The scorpions might attack, but the systems stole the sting.

PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD.
PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD.
PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD. PUNK IS DEAD.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


From 1978. yt
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:56 PM on January 9 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


You know, last time we had a Crass thread, there were all these photos of a bloke called "unidentified" in their setup shots. And I was all like "Fuck me, that's English Dave."

Last I heard he was part of a collective that wrote anarchist hip hop..
posted by Ahab at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2012


From almost the beginning, weren't most punks just in it for the fashion, the music, and the dancing? It was much more a revolt against Barry Manilow than against the Man.
posted by pracowity at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2012


My punk is(was) better than your punk.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:02 AM on January 9, 2012


Is it on vinyl or cassette?
posted by Ahab at 10:03 AM on January 9, 2012


OPINIONS BOUT PUNK!
OPINIONS BOUT PUNK!
OPINIONS BOUT PUNK!
I'M ON MEFI WITH OPINIONS BOUT PUNK!

* throws bass at mosh pit, spits *
posted by everichon at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


By not giving a shit at all, and putting Stiff Little Fingers (or whomever) in my playlist between England Dan & John Ford Coley and Massive Attack, I am the most punkest of all. Might even put some Firefall in there too.

Because really, who gives a shit?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:08 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


punk and avant garde fashion

The concept of avant garde is an antithesis to fashion.
posted by cmoj at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2012


As a kid in the sticks Punk Rock kind of come as something a bit remote but actually dangerous like a combination of the IRA and the Lovecraft Mythos. Something that was happening in the big cities and you only really heard about through the telly news or tabloids. The few actual punks you saw were bogey men to be avoided. Never Mind The Bollocks was basically the Necronomicon and just listening to it was invited great harm, never mind owning it. It was pretty exciting to be honest.

Then I grew up a bit and realised it's just what the Establishment does to stuff it does like and has the potential to mix things up a bit and stop people being boring contented drones, even if just for a little while, like Mods and Rockers and Teds before and Hip Hop, crusties, ravers etc etc afterwards. And it all eventually becomes nostalgia and gets absorbed into the mainstream. Once they were selling mohican wigs in Wollies it was all over.

NMTB is still a blinding record mind.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:23 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


About punk:

What I have heard is that LA punk and French punk were in their respective ways much more about dancing and drugs than about politics (The Beautiful Fall has some stuff on Paris 70s punk.)

But as far there ever having been a pure moment for punk...nope, nope, nope. A lot of the original political punks came from posh backgrounds - or relatively posh, anyway - like the Clash and Mark Stewart and so on; plus um um um what's her name, that seventies fashion designer with the floaty dresses and the funny-colored hair, did a punk collection in the late seventies with diamante safety pins and so on.

More than than, any art scene has a lot of crossover from rich people and the avante garde as well as writers, artists and sex workers. Punk did too. Punk gets positioned/positions itself as this "proletarian kids ain't half angry, eh?" thing, which is both inaccurate and makes it easy to pigeonhole and dismiss some actually pretty neat artistic and political achievements.
posted by Frowner at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk is far from dead but '77 style punk is fucking boring.

Are you nuts?

1977 also saw the release of several pivotal albums in the development of punk music. Widely-acknowledged as masterpieces and among the earliest first full-length purely punk albums, The Clash by The Clash, The Damned's Damned, Damned, Damned, the Dead Boys' Young, Loud and Snotty, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers' L.A.M.F., The Jam's In the City, the Ramones' Rocket to Russia, Richard Hell & the Voidoids' Blank Generation, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Television's Marquee Moon, and Wire's Pink Flag are usually considered their respective masterpieces, and kick-started punk music as the musical genre it eventually became. The year also saw the release of debut albums by bands often associated with, if not defined as, punk, such as Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True, Motörhead's Motörhead, Suicide's Suicide, and Talking Heads' Talking Heads: 77. It also saw the release of Iggy Pop's Lust for Life, his second record as a solo artist.

I have a fair number of these albums in heavy rotation these days, and they are certainly not boring by comparison to anything I've heard in subsequent years. They hold up really well and bands are still emulating this stuff now. I guess you might say that today's bands playing 77-style punk are boring, but seriously have you ever seen a Guitar Wolf show?
posted by Hoopo at 10:28 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


didnt a lot of 'punk' people go on to be libertarian/right-wing

Vic Godard did, IIRC. And there was some band or other who made a big deal about voting for Thatcher - was that Joy Division?

The trajectory is this: people who want to climb will climb using the means available, and if those means are left/progressive/radical/avante garde, that's what they'll use; if it's fashionable to be right wing, they'll be right wing. It doesn't imply either commitment or selling out; it just implies opportunism. The sainted Christopher Hitchens is a marvelous example, as is PJ O'Rourke. Honestly, as are a lot of musicians who were interesting in their youth.

Also, when something exciting, mobilizing and new is happening, it lifts all boats - people who would produce mediocre or ideologically bad work in ordinary times may produce great work because of the situation they're in.

There's always a lot of anger at something called "punk" - I can only assume because people place a lot of hope and cathexis in it and are disappointed when it's not the revolution.
posted by Frowner at 10:29 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk isn't dead, but it wishes it was now.
posted by narcoleptic at 10:31 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Although I'll say as someone who was too young to know what was going on when punk peaked, I feel like the way that people who were there see punk now is not unlike how I'm seeing today's hip hop. In the early/mid 80s into the 90s hip hop was vital and dangerous and exciting and relevant. Now there's a lot more yacht rap and Snoop is a cartoon character and Ice Cube is in family movies and Black Sheep is being used in car commercials and the up-and-coming "underground" stuff sounds like stuff that came out 10 and 15 years ago.
posted by Hoopo at 10:41 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the idea of a Punk Recreation Society.

I'm picturing a bunch of theater nerds who get hold of a video tape (VHS!) of a 1985 performance by The Descendents. One of them has an uncle who still has a working VHS player, so they spend hours watching and re-watching the performance.

The fashion-obsessed ones collect era-appropriate jeans, t-shirts, shoes, etc. from various thrift shops. Now Milo dresses average, but there are a few audience members with intricately slashed and pinned clothes, so they make a few 'signature pieces' that recreate these. Four of the musical kids learn to play like The Descendents, while the rest of them devote themselves to learning the stylistic subtleties of mid-period West Coast pogo and mosh.

It's important not to over-practice, so while there is a set list, and people try out moves and give each other suggestions at school where they eat lunch in the 'drama pit', these only happen with a small subset of the total cast. And why have a complete end-to-end practice anyways? There will be no audience. There will be only one performance.

Someone's brother works as a janitor at the VFW hall, so they get the keys from him, and on a Tuesday night in February, when it's long gone dark and cold by 8:00 pm, they meet, costumes under thick jackets. The official decision is 'no cameras' — everyone must participate, fully. But I'm betting one of the film nerds smuggles one in. And is confronted by usually-mild-Steve, who notices it when he's way gone into character and spends 5 minutes following the camera 'round, getting in front of it, and screaming "fuck you" into the lens.

Amps on, jacked in, by 8:15 they're ready. Just 12 songs, short punk songs — it doesn't last an hour. Pretty true to the original. People are re-creating moves and sounds that they've practiced; a signature stage dive during "Silly Girl", a few classic jerks by the singer, a bit of a fight breaking out during "I'm Not a Loser". But you can't help but bring some of your real self to the act, and in good theater, the actors actually feels what the character is supposed to.

If you're re-creating something, it's probably already dead. But punk's pretty simple, and it doesn't take much to bring it back to life, if only for one evening.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Punk is...

Half-off all week at Hot Topic!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:51 AM on January 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Punk was just a way to sell trousers.
- Malcom Mclaren, In Design/Fashion
posted by peagood at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2012


Once fans started using the word punk to refer to themselves instead of just the music it became mostly a fashion statement. For many, that statement was "It is of the utmost importance that I make you aware of the fact that I don't give a shit"
posted by rocket88 at 10:53 AM on January 9, 2012


The collection revolves around Salander's leather jacket and hooded sweatshirts, according to Anna Norling, H&M's head designer for Divided department, which is targeted at younger buyers. "The look is very wearable, and spot on trend," she said.

So they're using the "shambling decomposed corpse reanimated into a hellish twilight existence by an eldricht force of dark magic" sense of "not dead" then?
posted by nanojath at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hoopo, I'll agree on Wire and Motorhead. The rest of that list of bands and albums I'll pass on. I've listened to punk rock (and metal) for over half my life now, and that whole era, not entirely, but mostly, just does nothing for me.
posted by rainperimeter at 11:02 AM on January 9, 2012


From here on out I predict post lengths to polarize: short comments will get shorter and more pithy/polemic, and the long ones will get longer and more explanatory.
posted by rhizome at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk is at it's heart about music, politics, and community, with fashion playing an important but lesser role. I'd say it's alive and well.
posted by TheCoug at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2012


I love the idea of a Punk Recreation Society.

There are some rich Japansese kids on St. Mark's Place you may want to talk to.

Punk isn't dead, it just wants to close it's eyes for five fucking minutes cause its back is acting up again and it's been on it's feet like ALL DAY.
posted by The Whelk at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, last time we had a Crass thread, there were all these photos of a bloke called "unidentified" in their setup shots. And I was all like "Fuck me, that's English Dave."

Last I heard he was part of a collective that wrote anarchist hip hop..


The Crass commune (which has been successful for like 30 years) had an interior design writeup in (I believe) the late, lamented Nest Magazine.
posted by rhizome at 11:08 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk isn't dead, it's just unevenly distributed.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk's not dead, it's undead and lumbering toward your shopping mall.
posted by klangklangston at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2012


I saw PiL in Brussels this June. They were fantastic. Here's some videos of it.
posted by quarsan at 11:21 AM on January 9, 2012


Also, in a time of computer-assisted singers hitting every note with mechanical precision and on-key over squeaky-clean pop productions of synths and drum machines, people bashing out music on their instruments and screaming and shouting with little regard for rhythm or melody is refreshing again.
posted by Hoopo at 11:22 AM on January 9, 2012


After more than half a century of life, I'm not sure about too many things in this world. But one thing I am sure of: this shit ain't punk. Not even fucking close.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:24 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk is back in style? Excellent! *goes to buy some new Dickies, chucks and a t-shirt*


Also, Punks Not Dead but it wishes you were.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk looks hawt, and hawt never dies.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:30 AM on January 9, 2012


punk
punk
punk
posted by rainperimeter at 11:36 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I need Bitter Old Punk to tell me how I feel about this, as he is the only authority I recognize on the topic.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 11:38 AM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are poseurs. And that's ok, because hey, isn't it better to be a pretend punk than to not be one at all?

QFT. In fact, pretend-punk might be even better - reaping full financial advantage of being part of The System by day, while eschewing it in a blaze of awesome by night. :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


punk
punk
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:47 AM on January 9, 2012


Punk was just a way to sell trousers.
- Malcom Mclaren, In Design/Fashion



Malcolm McLaren was just a fatuous asshole.
-Everybody
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


He did sell a lot of trousers though.

Also introduce an important Dadaesque element to Punk.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish we stop getting sub-cultures confused with fashions. I hate fashion designers because their culture is the fashion industry, which is by its definition vapid and empty.

The only positive part is that a few people will start as poseurs and maybe find something useful in the philosophy.

As for punk being dead.

‘Punk’s Not Dead’ Despite Aceh Arrests

Jello Biafra is still touring with the Guantanamo School of Medicine and Rollins is still around. There are also new punk bands all over the place.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Punk's not dead, it's only sleeping. It will wake up when it's good an ready. And when it does, you'll know.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:10 PM on January 9, 2012


punk
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:11 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk isn't dead, it just goes to bed at a more reasonable hour.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:18 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Punk's not dead, it was never born, aborted in a dirty alleyway by Malcom McLaren with a rusty clotheswire.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:29 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Punk rock died when the first kid said "Punk's not dead."
posted by defenestration at 12:46 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, actually it really is. Those who think otherwise have either forgotten what it was or else never knew.
posted by Decani at 12:48 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


the children of the 60s weren't the only children to get angry in their teens and twenties. Nor were they the first to borrow riffs from early rock and roll songs and make them sound contemporary. I think it's possible punk is still around, but it's not your punk.
posted by Hoopo at 12:59 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


punk is not dead, it's just locked in metal's trunk, begging and screaming to get out
posted by pyramid termite at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dont need music to be angry and dangerous and threatening to old people.
I need music to be good and compelling and exciting.

What the aging punks never seem to understand about rock music in general is that it was threatening and anti-establishment in the 1950s because it was really hard to NOT be threatening and anti-establishment in the 1950s. Having hair below your neckline was enough to freak out the squares back then.
This silly idea that rock music (or hip hop, punk, whathaveyou) must have as one of its central components some sort of rebelliousness-for-its-own-sake is pretty empty to me. If there something to rebel against which drives it (as in gangsta rap in the late 80s) then of course it makes sense to be a vehicle for that. But rebellion as its own end is kinda juvenile and short-sighted.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This silly idea that rock music (or hip hop, punk, whathaveyou) must have as one of its central components some sort of rebelliousness-for-its-own-sake is pretty empty to me.

I think that you're missing the point here. These styles rose in very specific social circumstances. Hiphop was very much the voice of the racial underclasses of American society. Black kids in the 1970s Bronx damn well had things to be angry about, and it was often very politicized, very angry music.

Similarly, whatever the intentions of marketers and song writers, Punk became a symbol of disenfranchized urban youth during the seventies and eighties. In the UK and America respectively.

It isn't rebelling for the sake of rebellion, it's music that became the anthems of angry subsections of society. Later, as the music becomes more popular, it loses context... and that's when it starts to look like "rebellion for the sake of rebellion."

Listen to the lyrics of formative punk and hiphop bands. They're not just angry. They're angry at very specific institutions. And damn right they were. They had every reason to be.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:09 PM on January 9, 2012


Metal however, is mostly about dragons and naked ladies with laser guns and flaming skulls and maybe a Pegasus or two.

I'm cool with that as well, when it comes down to it.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:10 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This seems like the perfect place to paste a link to and the lyrics of a favourite little song of mine, by Darren Hanlon:

Punk's not dead

She answered our ad wanted
We had a vacancy
We didn't know what was in store
But we were soon to see
She plays records of The Foreskins
At any given hour
She turns on the hot water tap
While I'm in the shower

And at night the house is quiet
You might wonder why
But punk's not dead
She's just gone to bed
Punk's not dead
She's just gone to bed

Couldn't give a damn about
The friends of mine she'll scare
Some people just can't see past studs
And bleached blond spiky hair
I say 'A' for Abba
She says 'A' for Anarchy
In the morning she says "Never mind the bollocks,
Here's your cup of tea"

And at night the house is quiet
You might wonder why
But punk's not dead
She's just gone to bed
Punk's not dead
She's just gone to bed

I pass her in the kitchen
She's got a longneck in her hand
She's playing me a Dictaphone
Recording of her band
Her drummer has been playing
For nearly seven hours
But he hits them with such passion
It makes other drummers cower

When the night has come
All safety pins must come undone
If the house is quiet
Well that's because punk's retired for the night
If the house is quiet
Well punk's retired for the night

Yeah she's retired for the night
If the house is quiet
Well that's because tonight

There's one little punk rock girl
Who's dead to the world

posted by wilful at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is why punk had to happen.

Every time I see another pathetic episode of X Factor I think 'it's got to happen again, hasn't it? Come on, the time is more than ripe.'
posted by Summer at 2:38 PM on January 9, 2012


I guess I see punk as always contemporary; once the label appeared, there has at all times been styles that are both considered punk for that time, and modern for that time. What punk looks like changes, as the times change, but there is always a modern wild style that people of the day call punk.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even punk may die.
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dammit Artw, I've been waiting to get back to my computer to make that joke since I saw this thread on my phone at 10:00 am and you beat me by fifteen minutes?!
posted by stet at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2012


It's not my fault that the eldritch island of Bainbridge only just emerged from the ocean.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm in my 40's, and in a band called Punk by music writers, which I don't have a problem with. When we go on the road we sometimes, if we're lucky, play to a bunch of kids who call themselves punks. They may not be what I think is punk, or used to think is punk, or whatever. But here's the thing I recognize and admire: they don't give a shit about whether I think punk is dead.

May they burn ever so brightly.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:31 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is all a media constructed background to the latest Meryl Streep movie.
posted by ovvl at 4:46 PM on January 9, 2012


Senor Cardgage, Just as an aside, Taking on a commercial job to finance a vanity project doesn't mean he's broke, just a savvy businessman. The best way to a fat bank account? Spending other people's money whenever possible.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:15 PM on January 9, 2012


Now it is.
posted by telstar at 6:17 PM on January 9, 2012


I see youngsters all punked out and I just want to pinch their cheeks, they're so cute. Was I that cute back in the day? Probably not, I was just a nasty little sneak thief hanging with a bunch of junkies and making noise. It was all fun and games 'til the junkies started dropping like flies.
It makes me angry that people who weren't there are now making cash from it (not much has changed there though).
In the end, the moneyed folk will play and make more cash, some of us will go to our jobs and some will occupy our memories.
posted by evilDoug at 6:28 PM on January 9, 2012


Kids and their accessible punk fashions nowadays. Back in my day, we had to dye our hair with Rit!
posted by Graygorey at 6:31 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


To me, punk rock died the day I saw a photo of some Eastern European graffiti that read, "PUNK'S NOT DAD".
posted by custard heart at 8:00 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Punk's not dead, but it's gasping it's last, bloody foam on its lips, with the stench of evacuated bowels filling the air.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:09 PM on January 9, 2012


Punk is alive and well in the Balkans. There HAS to be an alternative to TurboFolk!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:10 PM on January 9, 2012


it's gasping it's last, bloody foam on its lips, with the stench of evacuated bowels filling the air.

Um, that was how it was in its prime
posted by Hoopo at 8:18 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know how you know the difference between it's and its and you mistype anyway and don't bother to preview?

Well, it's all punk's fault!
posted by BlueHorse at 8:51 PM on January 9, 2012


Meryl Streep in a Punk History movie? Who could she be anyway?
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on January 9, 2012


Kids and their accessible punk fashions nowadays. Back in my day, we had to dye our hair with Rit!

You had Rit?!? I used food coloring.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:25 PM on January 9, 2012


Obligatory Punk's Not Dead song from the Doug Anthony All Stars.
posted by ninazer0 at 12:28 AM on January 10, 2012


Meryl Streep in a Punk History movie? Who could she be anyway?

Their muse obviously. Haven't you been following the oscar speculation?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:49 AM on January 10, 2012


Ke$ha wearing a Void shirt. Angelina Jolie wearing a Crass shirt.

Oi!
posted by Pope Xanax IV at 2:13 AM on January 10, 2012


Meryl Streep in a Punk History movie? Who could she be anyway?

Contemporary Vivienne Westwood looking back on her past.
posted by Summer at 3:39 AM on January 10, 2012


The good news is that glorifying the past and denying it to generations too young to have been there is a really good way to spark the kind of rebellion, nihilistic destruction and disobedience that inspired punk in the first place.

No one's denyng anything to anyone. But this reinvention of Punk is spawned from record labels and marketeers (Green Day are Punk are they?) and not from any movement from 'teh Kids'. Which is why I find it very odd when bands and/or writers keep using the term as if they've invented it.

I'll go with rebellion - as long as it's coming from the heart and leads to exciting new and original music.
posted by panboi at 3:46 AM on January 10, 2012


plus um um um what's her name, that seventies fashion designer with the floaty dresses and the funny-colored hair, did a punk collection in the late seventies with diamante safety pins and so on.

Zandra Rhodes. I really wanted her real name to be 'Sandra', just as goth girls in the early 80s went from Susan to 'Siouxann', but it's apparently Lindsey. She does stuff for M+S now.

Also: the Green Day musical will open in the West End this year. It's called 'American Idiot' and you can probably work out what the rest of the plot is yourselves.
posted by mippy at 6:17 AM on January 10, 2012


This is why punk had to happen.

Nah, Showaddywaddy were awesome and more than a bit tongue in cheek and basically a pub and club band, Punk was a rebellion against, even then, bloated millionaire dinosaurs like the Stones* and Floyd and prog rock and stadium rock in general.

But yeah, agree about X-Factor. Unfurtnartly media and music is too fragmented now to produce something as effective as punk was back then. The kids are too busy rioting or in jail and can't afford to go to the art school hot houses of musical development.

And nowadays you've got right wing establishment saint Jeremy Clarkson being oh so shocking on early evening tv not Steve Jones

*As Rotten said 'The're a business not a band'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:45 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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