Posted tagged ‘Riot Grrrl’

The History of Punk, Class #10

2012/09/27

The Edmonton Free School
Sunday September 30 3:00PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punks in Plight”

Pussy Riot in Russia. Punks in Indonesia. Goths in Uzbekistan. Emos in Iraq. In many countries, members of subcultures are finding themselves in trouble with authorities. Some are activists, some are not. But they are all facing repression for dissenting from traditional societal norms.

In this seminar, we’ll examine how punks are facing jail time, Orwellian reeducation, or even death – in some cases for speaking out, and other times just for dressing differently. We’ll look at the response by the wider music community, the media, and, because they hate being left out, celebrities.

Readings:
“Self-Expression meets Repression: Pussy Riot’s plight is only one example of mistreatment by authorities”
“After Pussy Riot, artists everywhere must stand up for each other”
“Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books”

Playlist: 
Rites of Spring – “For Want Of” (live 1985)
Embrace – “Dance of Days”
Warsaw – “Warsaw”
Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Arabian Knights”
The Cure – “Killing an Arab”
Why Indonesian Kids are Crazy for Punk”
Marjinal – “Hukum Rimba”
“Report on Emo Killings in Iraq”
“Pussy Riot Grrrl Protest”
Tobi Vail & The Pussy Riot Olympia Solidarity band – “Free Pussy Riot”

A wHole lotta…Grundge?

2012/06/28

Flagpole Magazine, 24 July 1991.

The History of Punk, Class #6

2012/06/14

The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 16 June 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Racism, Gender, & White Male Punk Privilege”

The punk movement is often generalized as largely male, white, and straight. Such a view, however, excludes many participants. This seminar will examine Riot Grrrl feminism, Homocore, and scene members that didn’t fit the typical stereotype.

This week we will be starting with a short lecture, and then moving outside to discuss things in our usual intellectual picnic format. Bring food to share if you can!

*Following the class, we will have a podcast lecture from Dr. Lucy Robinson, The University of Sussex, posted online.

Readings:
Lester Bangs – “The White Noise Supremacists”
Not Just White Noise Supremacy: The Diversity of the Underground Punk Network in late 1970s-early 1990s America
Kurt Cobain’s Interrogation of Hegemonic Masculinity
Gimmie Something Better, pp. 409-419
Grunge is Dead, pp. 303-314
Top 5 songs to play for someone attending a white pride rally
Joining the 27 Club isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be

Playlist:
The Replacements – “Androgynous”
Pansy Division – “Groovy Underwear”
NOFX – “Jamaica’s Alright if you like Homophobes”
Propagandhi – “the only good fascist is a very dead fascist”
Nirvana – “Been a Son”
Bikini Kill – “Double Dare Ya”
7 Year Bitch – “The Scratch”
The Gits – “Insecurities”
The Offspring – “Cool to Hate” 

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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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Forget the labels, but don’t forget Ari Up

2010/10/22

Blast from the past: “The Slits are an all-girl band featuring a 14-year old singer called Arianna who stamped and screamed into a tantrum as the equipment made rude noises. This was at their world debut, opening for The Clash at Harlesden’s Colosseum…Noisy, aggressive, and trashy, but lotsa fun.!” (Kris Needs, “And the Best of the Rest…” New York Rocker 1977)

Ari Up passed away 21 October at age 48. The band that she formed when she was 14 years old, the Slits, “are known to many as an all-female punk band, such as the Clash is not known primarily as an all-male punk band.” (my italics, Rombes, 2009)

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Joining the 27 Club isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be

2010/07/13

A lot of American musical heroes have died at the age of 27. Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Heck, Brian Jones was from England but you can count him too. Superstars dying while still in their prime has become the climatic symbol of rock-star excess and glamor – the ultimate and almost necessary outcome for those who believe it’s better to burn out then to rust.

But there have been other American musicians that have died at age 27. While their deaths have still been incredibly tragic and often taken place under mysterious circumstances, their stories have lacked the excess and glamor of  “the Big-Five.”

Mia Zapata is perhaps the best example.

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