Ask me anything
One of the great things about punk is the plethora of pics from all eras and so many of them have such character. One of my favorites is the photo of Billy Idol, Siouxsie Sioux, and Debbie Juvenile from an early Sex Pistols show.
It's great because it says so much about the people and the scene at the time. Look at how young Billy Idol is. I think this was before he was in Chelsea even, but you can just tell, by that hair and that sneer that he's going to be a rock star. When you think about it, how crazy is it that the sometimes roadie for the sex pistols went on to sell many, many, many, many more records than they did.
Then look at Siouxsie. Her shirt, which I think was made by Vivian Westwood, shows two gay cowboys. Even today that shirt would be a real jaw dropper in public. Plus the concept of two gay cowboys is a really neat idea of commenting on concepts of masculinity. I wonder if that shirt was even more wild back then, of if society (or more specifically, the art/music scene) is actually more conservative now than it was in the mid -70's.
Likewise, Debbie Juvenile's swastika shirt is just as interesting. (Of course we all know that Nazis are bad, evil people.) But, what is Debbie saying by wearing it? Is she just trying to shock? Is she saying that symbols themselves only have the power that you give them and that the swastika actually means nothing? Is she commenting on the evils of countries? Is it in bad taste to just wear a symbol? s bad taste just a small sin, or is it signifying of deep character flaws?
Who knows and I don't think there is one answer. Likewise, you could never wear that shirt today. I wonder why that is? (I'd also like to point out, that I think in the UK, the swastika is perceived slightly differently then in the USA. In the USA, the swastika seems to represent the horrors of racism. But, in the UK, while it means that, I think it also represents the army that bombed and killed many Britons. I think in that the swastika as perceived in the UK would be analogous to how the Taliban is perceived in the USA right now, though I could be wrong).
What I love about these old pictures is that they raise any many questions as they answer.
I totally do. THE ROLLING STONES, baby. I have to give insane props to the stones because hey ratcheted up rock music by a factor of 90 in the early 60's, merged rock with soul and gospel, have evolved with each release through rock, soul, country, disco, punk, funk, dance, and so much more, and have like a million awesome albums. Plus, they destroy it live.
People like to name check bands that were only around for a few years before breaking up, or only have one or two greta albums, and then say "Just think of what they could have achieved!" (I like those bands, too.) But, the thing is, the Stones DID achieve what their early releases suggested. they achieved that, revolutionized rock music, and then KEPT going for another FORTY years, and kept making awesome music. No every Stones release is good, but at least they tried and took a lot of risks. A lot of people like to favor flash int he pan bands because that's easy. Joy Division won't ever make a bad album because it's impossible. by contrast, the stones had the guts to keep going and keep trying new things. For me, longevity wins out and man, the Stones STILL rock.
My favorite album is The Stones' Some Girls because it represents so many things. First and foremost, it is an awesome album. But it also shows the stones tackling new styles, like funk-disco, punk, and 70's style country, and making it their own. Plus, Beast of Burden, baby. BEAST. OF. BURDEN. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tRdBsnX4N4)
The stones doing punk in the late 70's. What could be better, music wise? Nothing.
Also, they released one of the funniest music videos of all time before music videos were even a thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyK1bZZ7E-s Just look at how melancholy Charlie Watts looks. JUST LOOK AT HIM!
Close runners up, in no order, and in an incomplee list, would be: AC/DC, Judas Priest, Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, GWAR, Slayer, Lee Scratch Perry, Misfits, Samhain, Danzig, Billy Joel, Elton, Yellowman, Gnarboots, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Bauhaus, Amebix, Jello and DKs, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Ice Cube, Ice-T, NWA, Public Enemy, Digital Underground, The Coup, Funkadelic, Mikey Dread, Rush, Joy Division, Bad Brains, Mischief Brew, Pink Floyd, Zounds, Frank Zappa, Dwarves, Bob Dylan, Sublime, Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople, Bowie, Celtic Frost, Queen, Ceremony, Stevie Wonder, The Damned, Beastie Boys, Dexys, Peter Tosh, Minor Threat, Rudimentary Peni, Crass, Vivian Girls, Babies, La Sera, Johnny Cash, Choking Vicim/LOC, Junior Murvin, Max Romeo, Sam Cooke, Frankie Valli, DEan Martin, Sinatra, Sammy Davis, The Cure, No Doubt, and MEEEEELLLLLLVVVVVIIIIIIIIINNNNSSSSS!!!!!!
Really, the point of all this is, is to keep your mind open about music. I recommend giving everything a chance and if you don't like it, revisit it later. I used to hate Parliament/Funkadelic and now I'm a maniac. I find that at some points in your life, you just don't have the experience to be able to appreciate what a certain band is doing at a certian time in your life and you can't hear their intentions. Would you believe that I used to not like the melvins? It's crazy, but true. When I first heard Houdini, I thought it was boring. I came back to "Nude with boots" years later and it totally clicked. Man, I am glad that I kept an open mind and re-checked.
Don't waist time hating music. Keep searching for those golden jams. There are more than a life times worth out there.
p.s. I am still trying to appreciate HWM and their ilk, and man, I am just not getting it at all. We are on like year five here of me just hearing a bunch of sedate guys with throaty voices sing about things that I don't care about. Same with Jawbreaker. I feel like everyone in that abnd has an iron deficiency. Same with bands like Captain, we're sinking and all those guys. But, hell, I could be wrong. Maybe those bands ARE good and I just can;t hear it yet. Maybe one of these days I WILL get it. The quest for sweet jams continues indefinitely. Until then, Amebix singing about ancient pagan rites it is. WE ARE STRAINING AT THE LEASH!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUDjbFVmPgs
Oh man, what a question! Well.........
There's the "first" Black Flag show at the Moose lodge where they played first, were kicked out, and snuck back in wearing wigs and played a second set after the Alley Katz and Rhino 39 (http://www.punknews.org/article/51349/interviews-flag)
There's the infamous Dwarves show at 924 Gilman that started, and ended with HeWhoCannotBeNamed swinging his guitar at the audience like a battle axe
There's the Rolling Stones live in Texas in 1978 where they played almost all of some girls and a did a bunch of older tunes and Chuck berry covers in a punk rock style. Thankfully, after years of sitting in the vaults, this show was released as a live album and I think it might be the bes live album ever (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYvy3kBYN4Q)
There's the famous Beastie Boys/Reagan Youth/ Bad Brains show where all three bands were at their punk rock prime (http://www.beastiemania.com/gigog/show.php?g=19811201) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NAPYIMMbWQ)
The stooges in 1970 when Iggy was wild but not completely out of his skull on drugs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5kY2mets5Y)
Dean Martin, Sinatra, and Sammy Davis at the Sands in their rat pack prime (Dean was the most talented, Sinatra was the hardest working, and Sammy was the funniest) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLIo1Ey4cT8)
The insane and secret all punk rock Beastie boys show where they played under the name Quasar from 1995 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6kRS7ZhZic)
There's the wild show by Jerry Lee Lewis where he was mad at Chuck Berry for making him play first, so he did an insanely berserk show in a gym auditorium that ended with him lighting the piano on fire (http://oldies.about.com/od/rockabill1/f/jerryleepiano.htm) (We could also see if he really did use the N-word, or if that is just someone trying to defame him)
Johnny Cash live at Folsom prison where he played to a packed house of inmates and recorded maybe his best album (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMACDEwr-nE)
One of the earliest Ramones shows where they would argue with each other on stage
The Clash live with reggae legend Mikey Dread (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDt1tdppuj8)
How about World/Inferno Friendship Society, GWAR, Mischief Brew, Crazy and The Brains, The Dwarves, and Kicker RIGHT NOW, because they are the best live acts around right now
I think, if I have to pick ONE, I'd have to pick The Sex Pistols live at Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall. People hate on the pistols these days, but the lesser free trade shows literally introduced a new sound, concept, and aesthetic into punk rock. The music was as dangerous as any other music from any time period. This was ground zero for a great deal of punk rock today, even bands that claim to not like the sex pistols. Also, the guys that would be joy division where there, buzzcocks, and so many other bands. Not too mention, if I was there, I could say "The Sex Pistols WERE awesome live, I saw it with me own eyes.) Really, this gig is probably the most important gig i punk rock history. Even if you don't like the pistols (and you would be wrong if you didnt like the Sex Pistols- they are awesome) this show had such a huge impact on punk that it's importance cannot be denied. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_7fOUKY5d4_
Whew! That is a very, very, very tough question. First of all, how do you qualify "best"? Is best where the band was really, really good, or is best where you personally had the best time?
I'll give you three of my top favs.
One of my top favs was in high school. David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar were doing a joint tour where they both would play Van Halen songs. DLR was doing all VH and Sammy Hagar was doing VH and solo tunes. My pals and I went to see the show. Of course, we were (and still are) extremly pro-DLR and extremely anti-Van Hagar.
DLR came out first. This was the last tour where he had long hair and wore spandex and did a lot of karate moves on stage. DLR absolutely desroyed the stage. He did about 14 songs, all VH, and just kept doing hit after hit after hot, without any breaks in between. He did them all. he did "Hot for teacher." He did "Beautiful Girls." Of course he did "Jump" and did the jump(TM) off the drum riser at the end. Is was just a phenomenal rock show.
Then Sammy comes out, and let me tell you, he was looking a little... rough. He had a beach towel wrapped around himself. I think he wanted to look like a "beach party animal" (TM) but really just looked like a drunk slob. he took no less than three pauses doing the show to plug his tequila brand "Cabo Wabo"(TM) and even took two shots of it on stage. He then laid down for literally three songs and sang on his back. I don't know if he was drunk or just lazy, but the set was terrible. Anf by terrible, I mean awesome, because it was so hilarious. DLR destroyed it and Sammy was just sloppy. It was so great.
The second best show I've probably been to was probably Amebix in San Francisco. They suddenly reunited after being broken up for like 20 years and out of nowhere, basically said "Oh, yeah, we're playing San Francisco." My mind was blown because I figured that there would be no way that I could ever get to see Amebix. It so not a possibility that I never even considered it. Then, all of a sudden, there they were.
I went with a girl I was seeing at the time who was very much into the arts. The show was awesome because though she was very much not a crust punk girl, she was able to appreciate and enjoy Amebix for what they were. Second, Amebix fricking killed. I've got the only official Amebix live album fro their original run, "Make some fucking noise" and while that's a greta album, Amebix 2008 destroyed it. They were louder, faster, heavier, and just better in every way. It was an awesome show and Jello Biafra even showed up to sing Lardactyl. The Amebix reunion is proof alone that sometimes reunions are awesome and also that sometimes they blow the original run out of the water.
Probably the best show I've ever seen so far was the Rolling Stones in Hershey in 2005. I had just taken the LSAT's earlier that day and was feeling good. I went to panda express (which was a rare indulgence in my college days) and then went to my place and watched three whole episodes of Star Trek TNG. THEN, I drove to hershey and got a ticket off a scalper for like 1/3 the price. (At that tour, the scalpers had purchased like over 50% of the tickets, and finding that there isn't much of a markup on a $350 ticket, took a real bath on reselling tickets and lost a lot of money- it was awesome). The Rolling Stones came out and were absolutely phenomenal. Mick Jagger is without a doubt the greatest front man of all time. The Rolling stones are not THE ROLLING STONES because they are the rolling stones, but rather, the rolling stones are THE ROLLING STONES because they are the greatest rock band to ever play live and wrok like maniacs up on that stage. (I hope they are good this summer and don;t harm the legacy) The show was really awesome because they did a lot of semi-rare songs that are actually really, really good like "She's so cold" and an amazing cover of "Night time is the right time." Also, "Midnight rambler" was stretched out to like 15 minutes and blew my mind.
Then, after getting back to PSU, I stopped in at a friend's party and had a great time. (I did not drunk). THEN, on my way home at like 3am, I was pulled over just as I was parking my car out in one of PSU's vacant parking lots int he middle of a cow pasture. the police said that another police officer had seen me blow a stop sign. For some reason, maybe because I was tired, I gave the cop a lot of lip and demanded to speak to the cop that saw me run a stop sign. Really, they could have locked me up. BUT, just as things were getting tense, both police received a call on their walkie talkies saying they had to respond to a disturbance downtown. Having to leave immediately, the told me to "watch [myself]"and sped away, letting me off the hook. It was awesome.
PPS, I would have also added the Keith Morris/ Henry Rollins WM3 tour shows, but I think there might be a tour this summer that will be even better...
Writing "In the flat field."
The infinite horror that is Stargazy pie.
No. Usually, bands contact us and ask for us to post their music for streaming on our site.
It should go without saying that punknews never streams any band without first getting the band's consent.
Man, you gotta play this cool. You're already botching up this date and you haven't even asked her out yet.
First first of all, you do realize that you can do both, right? Like THE CLASSIC date is dinner AND a movie. What are you , some kind of cheapskate?
First second of all, unless you are in high school, movies do not make for good first dates. On first dates, you need to have a lot of positive interaction and a fair amount of talking. Movies are not conducive to that at all. You both just it there and watch something. You need to be impressing your girl. You don't want Patrick Stewart or Ryan Reynolds stealing your chances, bro! (In high school, this rule does not apply because chances are, you probably already know the person you are going on a date with fairly well and movies can be used as makeout spots.)
Second first of all, unless you are taking out a boring girl who has an expectation of what a date SHOULD be (usually dinner and a bar or something- boring) you need to come up with an original idea and fun thing to do that will make the girl have fun and show her that you like to have a good time. Some of the most fun dates I've ever had were at a low rent, rip-off Price is Right filming and at the Roller Disco. (Seriously, roller disco is awesome.) If you know a bunch about one area, a QUICK trip to museum can be pretty good, too. The colliery is that if you ARE really smooth, dinner and a trip to the bar can work. I am not smooth, so I need to rely on ancient dead egyptians, disco duck, and imitation bob barker to help me work my mojo.
Have fun mackin my home-dawg,
Yes, I spend a fair amount.
Other editors spend waaaaay more time then I do, even.
Totally rad, bro!
Let's drink some natty lites and just hang out! Just you and me, bro! Here, have another natty!
This is an excellent and multi-faceted question. If I am forced to pick between these two poles, I'd say that you are more correct with the former. But as both Jacques Costeau and Ron Jeremy said, "Let's dive deeper."
I wonder if the concept that punk used to be about uncool people finding a place is ovestated. If you look at photos of old Sex Pistols, Clash, Ramones, Buzzcocks, and Suicide concerts, all those people look pretty cool. Really, I think the original punk rockers, or original punk fans, might have been more like hipsters than we'd like to admit. They're not "jocks," but they are people who have certain societal norms to which they all agree is the proper way to conduct oneself and thereby a way to look "cool", at least in their own eyes. I'd bet that even bands like Crass, Subhumans, and Flux all head pretty insular communities, just like crust/anarcho punk has today.
But, if we look at photos of Black Flag shows, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Reagan Youth, you see more people that look like "outcasts." Also, notice, that the audience is much more predominantly male. I'd argue that punk, generally, was originally a place of hip, artistic people, and then in the states, eventually became a haven for uncool boys. I'd even go father that for the most part, ;late 70's early 80's punk was the domain of boys that didn't know how to communicate with girls. While the "cool guys" were out on dates, the awkward boys were going to punk concerts.
You might say, well, where are all the geeky girls in late 70's/early 80's punk? My guess is that because the area was so dominated with awkward boys flinging off energy and testosterone that it wasn't a pleasant place for most girls.
So, I'm not sure that punk was always the place of the "uncool kids" though in certain time places and periods it did seem that way.
But, more to your question, did punk make the mainstream more palatable or did the mainstream water down punk affects for its own use? If we look and see that guys like david Beckham wearing Crass, Fergie wearing Black Flag, Chris Brown wearing Cro-mags, and Miey Cyrus wearing motorhead, it definitely looks like the imagery, but not conceptual ideas, of punk have been taken by the mainstream for its own use. (I have no problem with becham, fergie, etc liking punk rock and wearing that imagery, but I'd bet if you asked them about the bands on their shirts, they wouldn't know thing one)
Generally speaking, What the mainstream does is take edgier ideas and water them down to make its own fashion and ideas new....er. The mainstream took the biker look from hells angels, watered it down, and made the leather jacket cool. The mainstream took the outrageous clothing choices of John waters and watered them down with Madonna, and later brittany and beyonce. So, it did with punk. You might see famous people wearing cro-mags, but I doubt that those people are zealously vegan and explore the concept of oneness. rather, they just like how the loo looks. I'd doubt that the world is anymore in line with the ideals of punk rock now than it was in 1976. If it is, I don;t think it's because punk has subverted the world, I think that the world is gradually becoming more "liberal" and in general, punk tends to be liberal.
Lastly, punk is less shocking because perhaps, conceptually, it hasn't grown too far beyond its originally starting point. The Sex Pistols were incredibly shocking for attacking the queen, so that was a novel, new, and dangerous concept. Now every punk band there is attacks a president. it might be a valid statement, but its not new and people have grown used to it, so its not shocking. Also, due to the dispersal of information and globalization, its harder to shock people these days because we are more aware of atrocities than ever. It's hard to be shocked by Jello Biafra putting penis pictures inside an album sleeve when people are shooting up schools, bombing parades, and holding people captive for 10 years.
So, why is punk less shocking these days? Because punk is less new than it used to be, people have co-opted the imagery, but not the general concept, and also, becuase the world itself seems to be more shocking (though maybe that's only because we know about more things now, were info about terrible things used to be less dispersed less).
Despite all that, punk is still pretty great. I'd just argue for the younger generations interested in punk to keep an open mind about music and not be so quick to determine that someone's music is not punk, and to not be so quick to berate or attack someone for thinking differently. Also, think for yourself. It is so easy to fall into a group's mindset. Take a moment, step back, and think about the party being attacked or assaulted, and see if you can;t see it from his or her perspective.
Again, I'll leave you with the words of Mr. Nick Blinko, not as an argument, but as something to ponder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8foeY9rNTTw&t=9m14s
p.s. LEARN YOUR PUNK HISTORY. THE RAMONES AND SEX PISTOLS WERE GREAT PEOPLES.
Right now, punknews does not allow html in the comments section. It has something to do with website abuse or conserving text for people that really need it or something. Every time I'm about to use a needless <b></b> tag, my mom was always like, "You know, children i Ethiopia would LOVE to be able to bold things, you know, but they can't because there's not enough bold to go around. Think about THAT."
I still am.
Ah yes, the timeless question. I answer considering the entire concepts of both franchises, and not necessarily as a movie to movie comparison.
First off, I am a huge Star Trek fan. Well, really, I'm only a huge TNG fan, though I do like DS9. Honestly, I think TOS is kind of dumb. I have never watched voyager or Enterprise. I like most of the movies, TOS, TNG, and the reboot included.
Star Trek is pretty cool because it features alien races that are often reflections of ourselves. Klingons are rage, Ferengi are greed, Vulcans are logic and pride, and so on. What is particularly interesting, is that they often show both the positive and negative traits of these attributes.
In Star Trek, people are more understanding and races are presented as having achieved utopia in many places, including Earth. Star Trek seems to suggest that if we really work towards a better future, then we can achieve it. In general, Star Trek is a show of positivity and understanding.
By contrast, Star Wars is of a much darker sort. The characters often act on greed and avarice, and quite frankly, have no motivation for doing so except that they are nasty people. Jabba the Hutt is presented as this horrible creature for enslaving people and killing them. But, Jabba is really a mirror of ourselves. Humans (and those d-bag federation people) like to think that hey are altruistic. But, if you are gardening, and you see a slug, what do you do? You kill it because it threatens your vegetable operation.
But, Jabba is just a GIANT SLUG that kills people for getting in the way of his operation. He does't consider the well being of those he harms because they are nothings too him, just as slugs (and indeed other people) are to us. JABBA IS THE HUMAN race. Gaze upon he wretched thing that you are, humans.
Likewise, unlike Star Trek, aside form Darth Vader, evil people often don't have redemption and often get away with their bad actions. Frankly, I think that's closer to life. Lastly, most heroes in star Trek are basically saints, never having selfish or hateful thoughts. But, the characters in SW, including luke, anakin, obi wan, Han, Chewie, Leia, and even Yoda, often deal with the fact that hatred, greed, anger, and despair are all a part of life that we all wrestle with it. Even the good guys face both sides of the coin, and the right answer is not always easy to discern, in opposition to Trek, were the good guys are usually always 100% good and have little internal conflict.
So, I have to give it to Star Wars. Plus, the space ships, monsters, and aliens in Star Wars are neater than Trek.
Han shot first,
Straight up. Sesame Street is a phenomenal show. It's one of the few children's shows that challenges them to come up to its level, instead of talking down or even below them. The kids might not understand everything that goes on in Sesame street, or the nuanced jokes, or the references to pop culture, but it does cause them to realize multiple things are going on at once and that not everything is spelled out, unlike other shows which frankly, I think are detrimental.
Plus, the characters are greta in that show and it is hella funny.
As for my favorite character, I'd have to go with either Elmo or the Cookie Monster, though I like the count, too (two... bwa ha hah aha... I crack myself up). I like Elmo because he encourages a sense of wonderment, adventure, and understanding. Also, he works as a stand in for the kids himself, as Elmo seems to basically be a five year old with a five year old questions.
But then, the cookie monster is also great. First he is the funniest character on the show. His crooked eyes alone crack me up. But, what I like about the cookie monster is that he's usually written as being fairly dumb, so it enables him to learn a valuable lesson. Plus, he is a living embodiment of frantic, wanton, chaotic fun, which I think all kids should be allowed to enjoy before systems such as school, jobs, peer groups, and people who just don't get it try to squash the concept of wackiness for the sake of wackiness or solidify the concept of conformity for the sake of conformity. So, Elmo is the man, but I gotta give it to my home-dawg, the CM for encouraging the youth to think independently, question authority, and getting mad grubby on some oatmeal raisins.
Damn! Tough question.
At first thought, you have to give it to science. Science is responsible for saving people's lives, making life easier, and basically creating society as we know it. I'm not a science-history professor, but I'm pretty sure that irrigation is the reason for all the things that we have. Without it, we'd still be living in caves and wearing skins. (Well, I still Do do that, but it's a personal choice.)
But, on the other hand, art is what makes life worth living. It allows us to communicate in a realm above language. It allows for the creation of complex and abstract thought. Also, art existed before science. Hence, art is responsible for science, as art was originally used for communication thus allowing the concept of science to be borne.
Also, art never killed anybody, but science has killed a TON of people.
Also, science allowed the creation of electronic acts such as The Bunny and the Bear, so science definitely loses.
PS Though, as terrible as it might be, the bunny and the bear is art without question...
PPS But, if art created science and science is what created the bunny and the bear, does that mean I have to say that art is less important than science, but science is built on top of art, but...
OH SHIT! I JUST INCEPTIONED MYSELF!