...umh, there seems to be a question of when you can call something punk,..but hey, wasn't it declared dead in 1980 anyways? Wasn't that when New Wave came into full force as the funeral music to punk's demise? what is punk rock really mean? It started off as destroy and now it's DIY-Make. Make it New & make it now. It's the American Way.
But you can't make something from nothing. You need pieces of rubble from the destruction & all the stuff you pick outta the trash few free. Yup. American punk rock has become the art of scavenger mentality -- just like our national emblem.
I remember one time when I was in Alaska. I was sitting in a field on the bluffs of the Kenai Estuary and I saw these 2 birds fighting. They came to right where I was sitting, maybe 20 feet (or less) up from me. frighteningly close. It turned out it was a bald eagle and a seagull fighting over a Dairy Queen wrapper. It wasn't a fair fight. The eagle's about 200 times bigger than the seagull, the bird is HUGE! It blew my mind when I figured out what they were fighting over. a piece of trash (and of course my mind went wandering into the millions of sick analogies...big bully carrion foul fighting for shit.. what an appropriate national emblem...). so this is translating to punk rock being american by some twisted logic & fate.
It's 1994 and we're here in America fightin' over the debris left over from 1978 when punk rock was in it's last seizures before it self destructed. what was really left... memories (words are useless full of excuses you used me well...) and so maybe it took a couple of years & a lot of misinterpretation (media) of what really happened in the punk rock english pubs. What's so scary about some skinny sickly unbathed kids jumping up & down & spilling beer on each other. spitting cuz they ain't got nothing and know there's no future & feel like shit & don't give a damn but are really too pathetically weak to hurt anyone besides themselves.
So the jocks came in & beat everyone up & there was no more punk rock until someone out on the frontier West with the true american pioneer DIY spirit picked up fragments of punk rock waste. Black flag had to find places of their own to play all over the country. punk rock is evil punk rock is violent punk rock is banned in your town. They started their own record label & figured out how to distribute those records cuz no one else would. Ruth Swartz helped out her friends by selling records for them & making sure everyone got paid. Calvin, Heather & Brett found some instruments & started to play songs for their friends...people were constantly figuring out that they could do anything they wanted to even if it was out of key. That streak of workaholic in all america found it's way into the edges of society & the kids there took what they could outta the gutter & made something to bring home & live for.
and that's the warped version of how punk rock resurrected & reformed & mutated. Now we get all the fine tuning arguments of punk-rock-as-genre punk-rock-as-attitude punk-rock-as-indie-rock-as-nirvana-as-yuppie-commodity-as...well, if it doesn't matter cuz there is no future and we're all scavengers & thiefs, why can't it include acoustic? and doesn't somehow, that eagle fighting over the scrap of trash remind you of major labels fighting for the debris we indies resuscitated from our past as a trace of sanity & hope?
Punk rock is alive and well in the 90's. It's the ephemeral realizations that occur when you listen to some music or look at a couple of pictures & know that you can do something, too. Next thing you know, yr calling up yr friends & get a guitar or typewriter & throw away the instructions cuz you know that the directions on the package have nothing to do with what you've got in yr mind to do...
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