Posted tagged ‘subcultures’

Punk Podcast

2012/06/19

Dr Lucy Robinson, from the University of Sussex, has graciously contributed a podcast lecture for the Edmonton Free School’s History of Punk course. Entitled “Gay Punks in T-shirts: AKA ‘I’ve sucked rock,” the talk delves into issues involved in gay identity and punk identity, as well as what the meaning of this picture is:

Please feel free to watch the lecture, and ask questions and leave comments on this page or in the History of Punk Facebook group.

Here’s a link to the lecture that should be open to all. Contact me if you have any problems:

http://echo.uscs.susx.ac.uk:8080/ess/echo/presentation/525ec90f-cd53-4b4b-954a-72aa855715f8

Hopefully this will be the first in a series of punk podcasts, so stay tuned. A special thanks to Dr. Lucy Robinson, and happy learning!

Personal Expression vs. the Powerful’s Repression

2012/03/12

Personal expression takes on many forms. Got something to say? Write a song. Draw a picture. Compose a poem. Do a dance. Heck, you can even express yourself by going for a run – as proved by Kevin Bacon in the film Footloose. As everyone knows, Bacon used running and dancing to not only express himself, but to help solve his problems and save the youth in his town from the repression of Jon Lithgow. Oh, and I guess he used gymnastics too.

pick up your Sunday shoes, Kevin.

Lithgow thought he was keeping kids safe from the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll. He decided that music and dancing threatened youth, and used his authority on the Town Council to get them banned. He connected personal expression with societal ills that were a blight on respectable values, and kids’ safety. Dancing was a gateway drug to trouble.

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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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Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

2011/08/25

On September 15th and 16th, I’ll be in Foggy London Town reading a paper at the Subcultures, Popular Music & Social Change conference. Folks like Dick Hebdige and Caroline Coon will be there too. Will you?

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