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
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)
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. Read the rest
[Video Link] The Saints, The Scientists, The Simpletones, and even some 60s garage punk bands are in this excellent YouTube lineup.
Above, watch the entirety of "There Is No Authority But Yourself," a 2006 feature documentary about seminal anarcho-punk band Crass. It was directed by Dutch filmmaker Alexander Oey. Read the rest
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
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. Read the rest