Friday, November 27, 2009

The Tree of Punk and Its Many (Rotten) Branches: An Introduction

Punk rock.
What these two words mean has been a debate in many circles-- from creaky 50 year olds in New York City to the skinny jeans-wearing 11 year old boys in basements of suburbia. Punk rock has mystified me, personally. It has inspired me, motivated me, and it has pissed me the fuck off. I've gotten into many arguments about punk rock, I've made some friends and enemies over punk rock, and have been made to feel pretty stupid at record stores -- because of punk rock.

"Punk" is a loaded word. In terms of rock music, it connotes aggression,
rough-ass-ness, and a disregard for composition and rules. It's tough and it's mean. I think it's safe to say that in its origins, punk rock was a way of saying "fuck you" to the then-contemporary rock scene. Punk = pissed off.

But punk was and is WAY more than music. Music is just a cog turning in the machine that is the punk movement, or the punk scene, or the punk manifesto. Fashion plays an epically huge role in these
aspects. I mean, sure, you can listen to Minor Threat or the Misfits or NOFX or the Ramones and feel like a bad-ass and hate your parents and want to light the world on fire, but how will people KNOW how you feel? How will the classmates/relatives/authoritative figures in your life realize that you are pissed off and a unique creature of rebellion (or rather, part of the movement? See? Got you there.)? Well, fuckface,

Simply, punk rock began with this:

This is a hefty genre to tackle, and despite punk's flair for defiance, punk fashion and music can be sub-catagorized. The posts that will precede this one will merely summarize what could likely fill dumpsters with knowledge, fact and opinion. So, forgive me for my brevity, but I shall attempt to analyze and report on one of the most expansive, stimulating and ever-evolving movements in rock and roll music.

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