The Ramones promoting "Ramones Mania (The Best Of 1976-1988)" on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" in 1988.
"Who writes these songs, 'I Wanna Be Sedated' and 'Teenage Lobotomy?' Do you guys write them? Can you give me the lyrics to 'Teenage Lobotomy?" Just talk them..."
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Birdpunk is the quite natural intersection of two subcultures, punk and birding. From a feature article by Steve Neumann in Audobon:
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The overlap between birding and punk might seem strange to outsiders, but for birdpunks like Croasdale, the Do-It-Youself (DIY) values that shape punk living feed perfectly into low-frills activities such as birding. The DIY aesthetic and mentality is a core philosophy for punks, who thrive on independence and individualism. Their music bucks the profiteering industry of labels and promoters and travels over a homegrown network of venues and websites. The ethic also spills over to visual media, politics, economics, and social philosophy. Hospitality, trust, and authenticity are key traits in the community.
When you consider these principles, it’s clear why many punkers are drawn to birding and its rustic qualities. Or vice versa: why their early love of birds steers them straight into the throes of punk. It’s a two-way street that draws out the best of both worlds, forming a distinctive subculture that’s holistic, aware, and expressive...
Raquel Reyes, who lives in San Francisco... (had) always been interested in biology, but she credits her volunteer work at a wildlife hospital with making the discipline more personal. Similar to the others, Reyes discovered punk in her teens; she found self-esteem in a community where being a “weirdo” was a badge of honor.
“Mainstream views about punk culture characterize it as self-absorbed and nihilistic,” Reyes says, “but there are many sub-categories immersed in ecological concerns.” The rejection of capitalism and mainstream consumerism spurs the need for self-sufficiency and self-discovery, through sewing, carpentry, gardening, and, of course, birding.
At a panel in West Hollywood last night to promote the new documentary series Punk, John Lydon gave a wonderful performance as Johnny Rotten in which he talked trash to both Henry Rollins and Marky Ramone. Highlights above and below. Please forgive the annoying auto-play. Also on the panel were Duff McKagan (Guns 'n' Roses), Donita Sparks (L7), and Punk producer/fashion designer John Varvatos. From Rolling Stone:
“...You called Black Flag a bunch of suburban rich kids and we wanted to tear your ears off,” Rollins said (to Lydon.
“Yes, I did, but I didn’t like the fucking music,” Lydon said. “It was boring.”
After (Marky Ramone) spoke to how the Ramones blazed a trail for punk in New York and took that to London, Lydon said that he was “not even an original Ramone.” “But I did the Blank Generation album with Richard Hell, and you took his image,” Ramone replied. “All you guys took Richard Hell’s image. That’s all you did.”
“And you’re still covering your fucking ears,” Lydon said, grimacing that he’d gotten a rise out of the drummer.
"And Sid Vicious was the star,” Ramone said, prompting Lydon to smile and stick his tongue out. “That’s right, he was,” Lydon replied. “He was the star for asshole fake idiots like you. Enjoy your drugs and fuckin’ have a happy death.”
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NYC punk band The New York Rats is launching their new album on Sunday: it's a heavy vinyl LP with amazing sleeve art by Andrea Sicco; the album itself is Ramones-y, Husker-Du-ish uptempo punk that I've had on heavy rotation all week: it's 7:30PM on at Our Wicked Lady, 153 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn.
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Nine Inch Nail's Head Like A Hole no longer feels all that.
Static-X's Push It also has lost a lot of its edge. The video cracks me up.
On the other hand... Punk still has it. The Sex Pistols God Save the Queen still hangs in there for me.
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Lorna Doom, badass bassist of influential Los Angeles punk band the Germs, died yesterday. Formed in 1976, the Germs -- Doom, Darby Crash, Pat Smear, and Don Bolles in the classic line-up -- were at the center of the early Hollywood punk scene that spawned Black Flag, X, Fear, the Go-Go's, and so many seminal acts. From the Los Angeles Times:
Born Teresa Ryan, Doom became an icon of the U.S. punk explosion despite having to learn her instrument after already joining the band. Along with her high school friend Belinda Carlisle, who would become lead singer of the Go-Go’s, the bassist was part of the posse of Hollywood punks who sparked a West Coast music movement.
Doom’s death at age 61 was confirmed by her longtime friend and former Germs bandmate Don Bolles. A cause of death was not immediately available...
Germs' primal first album, “G.I.,” set the tone for the U.S. hardcore punk movement. The debut release by the fledgling indie label Slash, which was founded by the punk fanzine of the same name, the 1978 album felt zapped onto turntables from a way messier, more uncontrolled galaxy...
Slash Records also released the soundtrack to the Penelope Spheeris documentary “The Decline of Western Civilization,” which documented the Germs and other bands in performance. When the film became an unlikely indie hit, Doom’s work served as inspiration to countless female punks itching to break through the genre’s male-dominated glass ceiling.
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Maximum Rocknroll, the seminal punk print 'zine launched in 1982, is ceasing publication of its paper edition. This truly marks the end of an era in punk culture and underground media. According to today's announcement, MRR will continue its weekly radio show, post record reviews online, continue its archiving effort, and launch other new projects that will keep the unbreakable Maximum Rocknroll spirit alive. From MRR:
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Maximum Rocknroll began as a radio show in 1977. For the founders of Maximum Rocknroll, the driving impulse behind the radio show was simple: an unabashed, uncompromising love of punk rock. In 1982, buoyed by burgeoning DIY punk and hardcore scenes all over the world, the founders of the show — Tim Yohannan & the gang — launched Maximum Rocknroll as a print fanzine. That first issue drew a line in the sand between the so-called punks who mimicked society’s worst attributes — the “apolitical, anti-historical, and anti-intellectual,” the ignorant, racist, and violent — and MRR’s principled dedication to promoting a true alternative to the doldrums of the mainstream. That dedication included anti-corporate ideals, avowedly leftist politics, and relentless enthusiasm for DIY punk and hardcore bands and scenes from every inhabited continent of the globe. Over the next several decades, what started as a do-it-yourself labor of love among a handful of friends and fellow travelers has extended to include literally thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of readers. Today, forty-two years after that first radio show, there have been well over 1600 episodes of MRR radio and 400 issues of Maximum Rocknroll fanzine — not to mention some show spaces, record stores, and distros started along the way — all capturing the mood and sound of international DIY punk rock: wild, ebullient, irreverent, and oppositional.
Dischord is to punk and indie rock what Def Jam and Death Row Records are to rap. Read the rest
I'm delighted to report that Boing Boing pal Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) has a new rock and roll platter on its way February 8! Above is the title track from the punk pioneer's new album, Sunshine Rock. If this catchy psychedelic number is any indication, expect the album to be a burning light of gritty punk optimism in these dark times.
“To go from [2011 autobiography] See a Little Light to the last three albums, two of which were informed by loss of each parent, respectively, at some point I had to put a Post-It note on my work station and say, ‘Try to think about good things,'" Bob says. "Otherwise I could really go down a long, dark hole. I’m trying to keep things brighter these days as a way to stay alive.”
Bob Mould plays the history Fillmore in San Francisco on March 2 as part of the Noise Pop Festival 2019. More tour dates here.
Below, Bob Mould on Boing Boing Video, an interview and performance from 2014 produced by the talented team at Remedy Editorial:
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Punk historian and music journalist Jon Savage has assembled an oral history of Joy Division to be published in March 2019. "This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division" features interviews with all the surviving members of the pioneering band -- Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris -- along with Deborah Curtis, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson, Anik Honore, and others. It sounds to be a compelling companion to the 2007 documentary Joy Division, written by Savage and directed by Grant Gee.
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The Ramones' fourth studio album Road To Ruins turns 40 tomorrow. To celebrate, Rhino Records released the Road To Ruin: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition with three CDs and one LP containing two mixes of the album, additional unreleased studio and live recordings, and a hardcover book. They've also unearthed this previously unreleased video for their classic punk ditty "She's the One."
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The Pogues were my entry point into punk. They caused a massive shift in my understanding of music: they made my growing up to play the mandolin, tenor banjo and bodhran feel cool. The music I played needn't be something from the past. As much as I loved and continue to adore traditional Irish tunes, The Pogues showed 15-year-old me that there was new life in the tunes I knew; new themes to explore. Discovering A Pair of Brown Eyes, Thousands are Sailing and The Broad Majestic Shannon kicked open other musical doors for me. It wasn't too long until my Discman was pushing The Waterboys, The Levellers, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span into my skull.
I've got fond memories of The Pogues Live at the Town and Country. When I was 18, I skipped my high school prom in favor of shipping off to Halifax. I'd fallen in love with a girl there, the summer previous. She was waiting for me. The relationship smouldered itself out, as flames that burn too hot, too fast, often do. Before we parted ways, she bought Live at the Town and Country on VHS for me as a birthday gift.
I watch it and listened to it until there was nothing left of that tape. Read the rest
High priestess of punk poetry Patti Smith assaults us with her epic 1975 jam "Land" in this trailer for her new concert documentary "Horses: Patti Smith and her Band," celebrating 40 years of her seminal album. The documentary screens tonight as part of the Tribeca Film Festival and the band performs following the movie. Wow.
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The Cramps got together in the same year I was born. I didn't discover them until I was 15 years old: the kindly middle-aged punk who ran a record shop in my hometown told me to check them out or he'd lay a whooping on me. I've never been so happy to have been afraid for my life: their love of trashy 1950's pulp culture, pinups and catchy surf guitar licks never fails to make me happy. Also, the band's guitarist, Poison Ivy, had some of the best damn hair in the history of music. I'll fight you on that.
The Cramps played, in one form or another, until the band's lead singer, Lux Interior, died of heart failure in 2009.
From the New York Times:
In 1979 the Cramps were guest D.J.’s on WPIX-FM in New York, spinning records by Wanda Jackson, the Electric Prunes, Herbie Duncan and other vintage rockabilly and garage acts. Lux Interior was asked by one of the station personalities about the music.
Taken aback by the question, he replied: “Rock ’n’ roll has absolutely nothing to do with music. It’s much more than music. Rock ’n’ roll is who you are. You can’t call the Cramps music. It’s noise, rockin’ noise.”
Naked Girl Falling Down the Stairs is from their self-produced album, Flamejob, released in 1994. It was the first record of theirs I bought. I had the chorus from the song stuck in my head for weeks. At school, in bed at night. Read the rest
The Damned are responsible for a number of ear worms that routinely refuse to leave me alone. Formed the same year as I was born, they were raw, angry and too much fun. New Rose has been on constant rotation in my head, both as part of my internal soundtrack and while playing on my headphones for close to three decades. So, you can imagine my delight to find that The Guardian recently took a deep dive into how The Damned got together, wrote and recorded New Rose.
It's a longer read, but a good one. Read the rest
Mark E. Smith, the inscrutable and inimitable poet frontman of UK post-punk band The Fall has died. He was 60. Read the rest
At the MTV Movie Awards in 1995, The Ramones played a medley of the five nominees for "Best Song from a Movie."
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"Big Empty" by Stone Temple Pilots — The Crow
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" by Elton John — The Lion King
"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Urge Overkill — Pulp Fiction
"I'll Remember" by Madonna — With Honors
"Regulate" by Warren G — Above the Rim