Posted tagged ‘Environmentalism’

The History of Punk, Class #4

2012/05/30

The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 2 June 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punk and Politics Picnic” 

The alternative community was a magnet for radical beliefs, on all sides of the political spectrum. This seminar will look at issues such as the Cold War, Environmentalism, Women’s Rights, and the power of the state.

This week we’ll be having class outside. A punk rock picnic!

Vegetarianism has become a tenet of many punk rock participants, so try and bring something to share that fits that theme of not being meat.

Readings:
Dave Grohl: ’80s Hardcore
Not Just White Noise Supremacy: The Diversity of the Underground Punk Network in late 1970s-early 1990s America

Playlist:
Dead Kennedys – California Über Alles
Jello Biafra is running for Mayor?
Yup, Jello Biafra ran for Mayor”
The Ramones – “Bonzo goes to Bitburg”
The Clash – “Louie Louie”
Black Flag – “Louie Louie”
Iggy Pop – “Louie Louie”
The Offspring – “Tehran”
The Offspring – “I’m not the one”
The Offspring – “LAPD”

Ian MacKaye – straight edge & vegetarianism
Ian Mackaye talks politics, protest and profit
Ian Mackaye testifies against an all ages ban
Jello Biafra on Oprah with Tipper Gore
Henry Rollins Teeing Off – Defenders of Free Speech
NOFX – “Franco Un-American”
Joey Keithley at Occupy Ottawa

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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

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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

Making the World Safe for Punk Rock

2010/11/11

doa_talk_action_=_0Before Blink 182, Nirvana, Rancid, Green Day, Pennywise, NOFX,  or the Offspring, there was D.O.A.

Before bands and the wider independent music community created a network that enabled bands to survive on the road and (almost) make money, there was D.O.A.

Before it was trendy for musicians to support environmental causes because it could increase their own popularity, there was D.O.A.

Before the Iron Curtain fell and bands didn’t play in Eastern Europe, there was D.O.A.

Joey “Shithead” Keithley

On the frontlines of punk rock since the late 1970s, the Vancouver band D.O.A. has been playing music, touring the world, supporting political causes, and developing alternative cultural institutions….mostly all out of a broken down van. D.O.A. has gone through many changes over the years, but the one person that has stayed steadfast, loyal and true is Joey “Shithead” Keithley. Not only that, but he’s written a book.

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Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action! Part III

2010/05/22

Now then, here’s part III. You may have noticed that the theme of this blog is supposed to be about the American underground music scene. BUT here I am yattering on about a Canadian band, and “direct actions” that occurred in Canada. Well fear not: This is the part of the story that explores the wider punk community and that means I bring in AMERICA.

Well, eventually I might mention them, so read on!

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Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action! Part II

2010/05/18

Now then, here’s part deux. So I promised I’d show how there were links between Direct Action and the underground punk scene in Vancouver. Well actually, the links even extended through the overall punk network in North America, but before we go into that wider story I have to tell you this: Gerald Hannah, member of Direct Action and was also known as Gerry Useless, and he was a founding member of the Vancouver band the Subhumans. Not to be, of course, confused with the Subhumans.

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Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!

2010/05/14

“Bomb explosion rocks cruise missile factory.”

This was the headline on the front page of The Toronto Star, way back on Friday 15 October 1982. Above the headline were the words “Canada’s first terrorist attack, Etobicoke mayor says.” It isn’t that surprising the mayor would assume the first terrorist attack in Toronto must then also be the first in all of Canada, but it wasn’t even the first attack in 1982. Nor would it be the last.*

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