Posted tagged ‘DIY’

The History of Punk, Class #20

2014/02/23

The History of Punk
Monday 24 February 7:30PM
Location: Humanities Centre 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages & All-Welcome

“Attitude”

PUNK ATTITUDE

In this class we’ll be watching the documentary Punk: Attitude. The film surveys the history of punk, especially the relationship between the United States and England.

Afterwards, we will discuss the transmission of punk back and forth across the Atlantic, the formation of bands and music communities, and the lasting impact of the movement. We will also look at punk’s relationship with other subcultures, such as hip-hop.

Readings:
“Punk’s Passionate Heart”
“Where did Punk Start? Who Cares?”

Clash in NYC

Getting to Know your Edmonton Music Community

2013/02/05

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to sit down and chat with some pretty rad Edmontonians. I’d like to tell you about three of them, since they’re all up to really good things in the community, and that’s cool.

I met two of ’em at an event put on by the Edmonton Public Library and the CBC. Called the Human Library, it was a chance for people to sign out human books and talk with them. It was like reading a book with lots of pictures, but EVEN BETTER.

OmarThe first guy was Omar Mouallem. You might know him from all the writing he does for little publications like Metro News, Avenue Edmonton, and the Globe and Mail. He’s also the Edmonton Public Library’s 2013 Writer in Residence. Oh, and he also raps – he has two albums out, and has performed at Nextfest and the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

The one thing he doesn’t do apparently, is sleep.

And, he uses his powers for the good of the community. Take this song for example:

In the near future, Mouallem will be putting on rap workshops, participating in Story Slam, and organizing other events for youth and newcomers.

In fact, this Wednesday, 6 February, he’ll put putting on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Writing” at Stanley Miller Library, in the basement at 7PM. In light of him hosting an event on bad writing…I hope he never reads this.

The next guy I talked to was Stephen “Komrade” Goyette. That’s him on the left there, beside some dude who really needs a haircut:

CBC Human Library

I’d met Goyette briefly a few weeks before, at the fifth annual Hip-Hop on the Ave, which happens every year at Avenue Theatre on 118th Ave. Dozens of local artists perform in support of Santa’s Anonymous. For many, it’s their first chance to get on stage.

Goyette organized it. He also opened the doors for youth from the inner-city to attend for free. He understands how important it is to give back to the community, and to give people opportunities. His own music, and the songs he releases with his younger sibling as the Brothers Grim, reflects this. Just check this out:

His plan, Goyette says, “is to stay in the community.” He knows that’s how to really make a difference.

ButlerThe third fellow, Tyler Butler, wasn’t a human book this time around, but you can still learn a lot about what someone is up to when you’re having coffee with ’em. Butler is a folk musician who firmly believes in participating in your local music community, and lucky for Edmonton, that’s where he’s from.

Butler also understand the importance of networks, and being supported by other music communities so you can do things like, you know, tour.

As such, he’s started a new record label made up of like-minded musicians called Cabin Songs. Recently they put on a concurrent 17-city show. Taking place all over Canada, each show was locally organized.

This, you might have noticed, nicely combined the local community with the trans-local network.

Butler believes in taking the DIY ethic to the next level, or DIT. Do-It-Together. It’s community at its best.

Tonight, Tuesday February 5th, is Edmonton’s big Cabin Songs Showcase, with Nick Everett, Tyler Butler, and Mike Tod. It kicks off at the Wunderbar at 9PM.

You can also read more about the label here.

So that’s what those guys are up to. And I’m off to get more coffee.

Raising the Maximum Punk Age

2012/08/20

Back in the early days of punk, the kids used the age of 30 as the marker for when someone was too uncool to be part of the scene. Who would ever get that old, right?

Well, this summer, one of the most important punk institutions passed through that barrier.

Happy 30th birthday to the fanzine, Maximum Rocknroll!

Not so funny now, is it?

(more…)

Do-it-Yourself Dutch Punk

2012/07/03

“The New Messiah” was recorded in 1986 (or maybe ’84 or ’85) by two friends in the Netherlands. Music and background vocals, Joost Maessen. Lyrics and lead vocals, Tibor van Rooij.

It’s DIY, political, and an example of youthful self-expression. The song highlights what kids outside traditional punk centres were up to, and it also shows punk as an attitude rather than a specific sound.

Listen to it over here, on the Tumblr:
http://thepastisunwritten.tumblr.com/post/26424505052

The History of Punk, Class #3

2012/05/23

The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 26 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“The Underground Punk Network”

By following the DIY ethic, the alternative music milieu in North America created a vast network that spanned the continent and operated outside the mainstream music industry. We will examine the bands, scene participants, and institutions that turned a few scattered, fledgling communities into a viable cultural force.

Readings:
Music Scenes, pp. 1-10
Tune in, Turn On, Go Punk, pp. 42-52.
We’ve got the Neutron Bomb, pp. 53-56
All Over But the Shouting, pp. 78-85
Our Band Could Be Your Life, pp. 131-133
Gimme Something Better, pp. 185-206
On the Road to Nirvana, pp. 23-30

Playlist:
The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb” 
The Decline of Western Civilization Part 1(The Germs)
Germs – “What we do is Secret”
The Replacements – “Kids Don’t Follow”
Hüsker Dü – “Eight Miles High”
Minutemen “Ain’t no Picnic” 
Black Flag – “Six Pack”
Bad Brains – “Banned in DC” Live at CBGB 1982
Minor Threat – “Minor Threat”
MDC – “John Wayne was a Nazi”
Butthole Surfers – “Cough Syrup”
Mission of Burma – “That’s When I Reach for my Revolver”
The Pixies – “Hey” Live 1988
U-MEN – “They”
Sonic Youth – “Teenage Riot”
Fugazi – “Waiting Room” 

The History of Punk, Class #1

2012/05/08

The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 12 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“What is Punk?”

In this seminar we will trace the origins of punk and see if we can pinpoint its beginning. We will examine the basic tenet of punk, the Do-It-Yourself Ethic, and look at a foundation of the punk community: the fanzine. Ultimately, we’ll wrestle with two important questions – can punk be defined, and does punk have a history?

Readings:
We Got the Neutron Bomb, pp. 1-5.
A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, pp. 26-27, 169-170, 234-238.
Please Kill Me, pp. 163-173.
When did Punk start? Who Cares?
The Philosophy of Punk, pp. 21-41.

Playlist:
Los Saicos – “Demolicion”
The Sonics – “Strychnine”
Rocket from the Tombs – “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”
Richard Hell and the Voidoids – “Blank Generation”
The Ramones – “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” CBGB 1974
Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer” Live at CBGB, 1975
Blondie with Fred Smith – “I Love Playing With Fire – May 4, 1977”
The Saints – “I’m Stranded”

The Slits – “Vindictive (Peel Session 1977)”

Here’s a working draft of the syllabus that we’ll be reviewing during the first class. Ideas and comments are very welcome!

Les Paul was a Pirate?

2012/03/06

(via WFMU, who got it via Modern Mechanix)

There’s No Tim in Team: A Modest Proposal for the Political Influence of Entertainers

2012/02/27

While growing up in a country that relentlessly bombards youth with the social conditioning to be obsessed with ice hockey, it’s not surprising that I spent a large chunk of my allowance collecting hockey cards (the rest was spent, of course, on comic books and 5 cent candies). I had a lot of great ones – a card commemorating Wayne Gretzky’s “1000th point,” heck, I think I had the card of every Edmonton Oiler that was later sold off or traded for a profit at a loss to the community. Yep, I had a pretty big collection. Also, I think I have bitterness issues still resonating from the late 1980s and early 90s.

This card is tucked up under my 50 mission Cap

(more…)

Not Just White Noise Supremacy: The Diversity of the Underground Punk Network in late 1970s-early 1990s America

2012/01/22

Recently, a book called White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race, edited by Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay, was released. Race has been at the forefront of debates on punk, probably before, and definitely since, Lester Bangs wrote his article “White Noise Supremacists” in the Village Voice in 1979. Reactions to White Riot reveals the diversity of opinion on race and politics in punk milieux, especially this review of the book in Maximum Rocknroll, White Riot: Another Failure.”

Discussions on punk and race instantly brings to mind not only the Clash song “White Riot,” but also the Minor Threat song “Guilty of Being White.” The song was written by Ian MacKaye, who was frustrated by being mistreated, because of the color of his skin, by black youths in the community he grew up in. Highly contentious, debate and different interpretations continue to surround the song. As the book White Riot and the reactions to it show, this contention extends to the issue of race and punk as a whole.

The thing about punk is, as D. Boon said: “punk is whatever we made it to be.” From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, punk was a melange of not only different races, but also voices, messages, outlooks and ideas. Music scenes sprung up across the United States (and parts of Canada), forming an underground network where people could raise voices differing to the status quo of the mainstream.

In the following, I try to touch on the diversity that existed in the underground punk network in the United States. It is by no means comprehensive, but should provide a taste of what was happening, and how the varying elements of that diversity mixed together.

Well, except for Diversity being an old wooden ship from the Civil War era

(more…)

Creating Space for Questions

2011/12/18

Writer, musician, and all around punk rocker David Gault has made a video. Produced for a class taught by Dr. Michael B. MacDonald at the University of Alberta, it explores the role of urban space in politics and music.

By focusing on a song written by Ben Sir from the Edmonton punk band Worst Days Down, Gault highlights the importa…actually, instead of me going on about it, just see for yourself:

Check out more from Worst Days Down at: http://www.myspace.com/worstdaysdown