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Forty years after the formation of Blondie, guitarist Chris Stein unveils his photo archive of the era with a new hardcover book Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk. Read the rest
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Punk changed my life when I was a teenager in the late 70s. It wasn’t just the music that I loved (especially The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Ramones, and X), it was Punk’s DIY aesthetic. As punk pioneer Don Letts said in the introduction to this fantastic collection of photos from the early days of British Punk, “The thing about Punk that people forget was that it wasn’t just music. The reason it has the legacy that it does is because it inspired people to make clothes, become graphic artists, photographers, writers, and journalists. It was very much a complete subculture. Nothing since has had that complete impact.”
Sheila Rock was taking photos of now legendary Punk bands before they had record contracts, and while the faces in these photos are familiar, all the photos were new to me. You can feel the crackle of the energy of a new movement here – the experimental clothes, hairstyles, makeup, posturing. The Beatles broke up in 1970 – it’s shocking to see the change in youth styles after just six or seven years, and how much these 35-40 year old photos look like the could have been taken today. Punk+ by Sheila Rock (photos), Sarah Simonon (author)
Punk legend Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and Sugar shares three decades of songs and stories with Boing Boing in an exclusive video interview and performance.Read the rest
“I’m sorry if I can’t look you in the eyes during the interview,” Keith Morris apologizes, taking the microphone from me. I’m slightly baffled by the statement until he lays down on the couch, feet facing me, mic resting on his chest.Read the rest
Dooley writes, "Introduced on national TV by Arthur Murray's wife... 'And now we have some young singers who are creating a great deal of excitement in the Paramount Theater here in New York... Now if you haven't heard of these young men, then you must be the wrong age...' After that apologetic introduction, Buddy Holly, his drummer Jerry Alison and his bass player Joe Mauldin perform the new hit single 'Peggy Sue' and blow away the TV audience and the remainder of all recorded time." Further essential reading: Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede. Further essential listening: Buddy Holly Was the First Ramone.
[Video Link] The Saints, The Scientists, The Simpletones, and even some 60s garage punk bands are in this excellent YouTube lineup.
Scott Asheton, co-founder and drummer of The Stooges, died on Saturday at age 64. Iggy Pop posted the news on Facebook. The drummer's older brother, Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, died in 2009.
Happy Fangs is the punk pop duo formed last year by singer Rebecca Gone Bad (formerly of My First Earthquake) and guitarist Michael Cobra of King Loses Crown, plus drum machine. Their self-titled EP, released last year, is a raucous force of noisy guitar and anthemic vocals that thrill me like the late-1970s sounds of X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie, and Suburban Lawns. (Listen here!) Tonight, the band plays in their hometown of San Francisco at Slim's as part of Noise Pop 2014. Tickets available here. It'll be their first show with their new live drummer, Jess Gowrie. To celebrate, we're delighted to premiere this version of the slow-burning Happy Fangs track "Alone," remixed by Mercury Rev's Anthony Molina. Listen above. (Here's the original song.) And below, the video for the single "Lion Inside You," from the Happy Fangs EP. Read the rest
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Fashion Beast was a ten-issue comic created by Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren -- the impresario behind the Sex Pistols, who "invented Punk as a Situationist prank." The project began as a screenplay written at the time that Moore was writing Watchmen, and was never produced. Thirty years later,
Moore Antony Johnston re-adapted the work for comics, and last September all ten issues were collected in an amazing graphic novel, which I have just inhaled.
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Mike sez, "In Mother Jones, Will Potter profiles Ryan Shapiro, a punk rocker-turned-PhD student who wanted to study how the FBI monitors animal-rights activists. Through trial and error, and a lot of digging, he devised a perfectly legal, highly effective strategy to unearth sensitive documents from the bureau's 'byzantine' filing system.
In short, he got too smart for the feds, so they've cut him off. Now Shapiro has sued the FBI to release some 350,000 documents he's requested under FOIA. If the court buys the FBI's argument here, open-government groups say it could make it harder for scholars and journalists to keep tabs on federal agencies. Potter explains:"
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Alien She is a new exhibition that examines the lasting impact of the punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl on artists and cultural producers working today. It’s currently on view at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before traveling nationally to cities including Philadelphia, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Below are photos of the exhibition and several of the featured works. Read the rest
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The Cute Girl Network, a hilarious and sweet rom-com graphic novel by Greg Means, MK Reed and Joe Flood hits stores today. It recounts the adventures of Jane, a smart, no-BS young woman who is the sole woman on her local skate scene; and Jack, a gawky, gormless slacker-dude who is completely smitten by her.
Jane and Jack meet cute one morning when Jane falls off her board in front of Jack's soup cart, and Jack gives her a bottle of iced tea to put on her butt to take down the swelling. As their romance blooms, Jane's friends reveal that they know Jack of old. He has dated several of them, with disastrous results, and has been added to the dossiers of the cute girls' network, a semi-secret organization of cute girls who keep tabs on dirtbag dudes and bros in order to keep one-another from repeating old mistakes.
Dead Kennedys perform "Holiday In Cambodia" in 1982 on the pioneering Los Angeles TV program New Wave Theater. The song appears on DK's still-killer debut LP, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. (The host of New Wave Theater was Peter Ivers who also composed the lovely song "In Heaven" for the film Eraserhead. For more about Ivers' impact on underground culture and his mysterious murder, check out In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre.)
Stockholm-based quartet Holograms mine and modernize the desolate punk landscapes that spawned Joy Division, Wire, and The Wipers. It's gritty, lo-fi punk (and post-punk) elevated by singer Andreas Lagerstrom's dramatic melodies. Holograms' second LP, "Forever," is out now on Captured Tracks. Above, director Emmanuella Zachariou's music video for the track "Meditations" from the new album.
In 1977, the band X lit the fire that birthed the Los Angeles punk scene. Their impact on underground culture and music in California, and beyond, can't be overstated. X: The Unheard Music is a fantastic documentary that tells the story of the band, and where they came from. (Thanks, Patrick Kelly!)
[Video Link] A couple of weeks ago David wrote about this exciting new video series on the art of punk from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. This time, series producer Bryan Ray Turcotte looks at artist Winston Smith and his outstanding work for the Dead Kennedys. I just wish they would have focused more on the actual art! (Here's a great book about Winston Smith's art)
Two members of Pussy Riot have travelled to London under a cloak of secrecy to speak to the press about the plight of their bandmates in Russian labor camps. Laurie Penny was one of the reporters who got to interview them in a small, no-photos press conference:
These girls are young. Very young. For their safety, I can’t say how young, but imagine how young you think they might be. Are you imagining it? They’re about five years younger than that. When they arrived I wondered, for a second, who let a couple of moody work experience kids into a clandestine meeting...
And then there’s the cultural backlash - including sexist attacks on what Pussy Riot stand for. "The simplest example is the idea that there’s a [male] producer behind us, or that we must be being paid by foreign governments - nobody can imagine that women themselves are expressing their opinions!" says Schumacher.
"In the Russian mass media they're saying we're stupid girls, not able to think. Among the orthodox believers, in the media, they tell us to stay at home, do cooking, give birth to children," says Schumacher. "And Masha and Nadya are attacked for not fulfilling their roles as mothers." This last is particularly cruel, because not only is it the Russian state that placed Masha and Nadya in Labour camps far from their children, but both have been denied the usual clemency that allows mothers of young children to receive suspended sentences.
This jacket is a wonderful mystery to me; found upon the tumblrs, and seemingly sprung from the ether. Do you know where it came from?
I am overjoyed about the new video series, "The Art of Punk," from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. The project comes from Bryan Ray Turcotte, author of the fantastic art book Fucked Up + Photocopied and Bo Bushnell (Teenage Teardrop, Kill Your Idols). The first episode is about the icongraphy of Black Flag. Future episodes dig into BB pal Winston Smith's Dead Kennedys artwork and Dave King's Crass logo, which he wrote about earlier this year for Boing Boing. (LA Weekly)