Tag Archives: Punk Music

Book Reviewlets: Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon confirmed my adolescent suspicions that society shakes down into strata of cool. And that the people I love most not only occupy the same social latitude. They’re also all best friends.

Mixing drinks, sharing babysitters, dating each other before hardening and wizening into the wrinkle years.

Kim Gordon dated Danny Elfman, y’all. In high school.

And she’s best friends now with Carrie Brownstein and Amy Poehler?!

Thus the rusty gears of the universe click into nearly Renaissance degrees of harmony.

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Suburban Mom AND Punk Rock Star?

Corin Tucker is both and more.

Watch Tucker in drag as the mom from The Wonder Years gone brunette, a hippie in a dirtyhippievan, and the lead singer of “C-Ray Spex.”

Since this video’s a fantasy, I’ll stop wondering how the kids could see the rock show and still be home in time to fall asleep before the nighttime mom check.

Maybe rock shows ended at 6pm in the early 80s.


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Stone Arabia: Artifice and Identity

In one of my younger moments of trivial triumph, I told a friend that I was continually amazed that the Velvet Underground made music at the same time as the Beatles.

She did not believe me.

But I was right. Both about the coincidence of the two discographies, and about the unbelievability that “Heroin” came out the same year as “When I’m Sixty Four”.

Don’t you want to take the Velvet Underground home and feed them soup?

People get their decades confused.

  • The Beatles = the 60s.
  • The Velvet Underground = proto-punk = the 70s. The early 70s, at the very least. But nope. They were straight 60s too.

This is one way that punk is a 60s legacy. And one way that Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia, in part about punks-all-growned-up is a novel that deals with the legacy of the 60s, though a bit less directly than her Eat the Document.

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With Friends Like These

The Pussy Riot verdict came in.

The band is guilty of “hooliganism,” a crime that warrants an exasperated, shaking fist on The Andy Griffith Show but two years in prison for these women who dared to criticize Putin in a church.

We can pee on Jesus in an art museum here and get yelled at on TV, and maybe lose our funding, but we would not be put in prison. Let alone a prison where “more than 50,000 inmates have tuberculosis, there are 35,000 people with HIV and there are nearly 90,000 drug addicts.”

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Smartypantses On Trial

Or should I say, smartydresses on trial.

Or should I say, punk rock on trial.

Or should I say, how can a nation look anyone in the eye after this?

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Music is a Force of Goodness. Really.

Yesterday, on radio news (why be coy? It was NPR, the station for minivan and minivan-curious road warriors), guests discussed ways that the alleged killer Wade M. Page was egged on by “hatecore” music.

White power hardcore is a powerful tool for recruiting, fundraising, and inculcating the touchy-feely community spirit that helps white power groups feel good about their hate thing. Wade M. Page played such music. He said the army made him racist.

As a child of the 90s whose idea of community spirit was forged in a mosh pit and whose journey to adulthood was signposted by riot grrls and post-punk distorters, I often forget that music can be a tool of hate, not love.

Though I suppose the white supremacists would say they are motivated by love: a love of whiteness.

Which saddens me. Profoundly.

Thank goodness I had the wherewithal to click on the NY Times Style section, where I can usually find some feminist articles. (They hardly ever get printed in the front section, dontchaknow.)

Some riot grrls are on trial in Moscow. They go by the name of Pussy Riot. They may have exercised their free speech rights in the wrong country.

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