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"What is Punk?" A lesson from Joe Barnett

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ChemicalJoe27's picture
on November 19, 2014 - 11:28am

3,2,1 WE CAME TO SUCK! Whats up guys? So today i got into a heated debate on weather or not good ol' in your face middle finger to the world fuck you style punk is real music? I say HELL YES AND ITS BEING FUCKING DECIMATED BY THIS MODERN SHIT! Lets be up front, FOB may be alternative, but not punk. Give me a fucking break. And you may be pissed already, but I know my punk. (MCR is not punk either, they are in a genre called "Emo" as much as they dont want to admit it. Its not a bad thing, emos just a genre that is very deep lyrically, but thats for a different day) Lets start with what punk is today. When you hear punk, you think green liberty spikes, leather jacket, ripped skinnys, and combat boots. Well, thats not always the case. Punk was like a gang war in California, With the north being your leather jacket anarchist like the Sex Pistols, and we had the south that was more of a Vans, tees, shorts, and skateing. This is where we get our bands like social distortion. Now you may be wondering (Or shouting) "WELL THIS ONES CLEARLY MORE PUNK!" im not going to go down that road. Punk got its start in the early-mid eighties and stayed pretty deep underground. But it was in the late eighties that it started to become like the west coast herpes. bands were popping up all over and trying to get something across to the world, and that was "FUCK YOU!". Unfortunately that message came with ruined bars, ER visits, and fights, making it hard for bands to find a bar owner to let them play. This led to the what was punks short run death. Or so it would seem, that was untill it got a shot in the arm that same year in december 31st with a beautiful cure all called Gilman street in 1986. Quoted by rancid guitarist "It was the first time everything clicked. No fights, no broken windows, nothing went wrong, and it was right. We found it. I would stay with other dudes bands and mine cleaning it every night." Punk was a mind set now that you can do anything yourself and independance. Gilman street became a teen rec center pretty much and became more of a piece of art than a bar. But punk was still not quite there. Then with a nice kick into gear with a surf video NOFX shot, punk exploded. "We went to perform where surfing was big, australia, and we say so many people for the bands before us and were like THERES GOT TO BE AT LEAST 40,000 PEOPLE! NO WAY CAN WE DO THIS! and when it was our turn it turned into at least 80,000. I couldn't even see the end!" -Fat Mike. This spread to england, where we got the Ramones, and many others i cant even mention. But on our side of the lake we where birthing two of what may be the best bands, (If not than maybe the most influential) Green Day and Nirvana both in the west coast. Green Day released 39/smooth and could be argued as the first punk band to make it big, with billie barely being 20. Then in 1991 Nirvana released "Nevermind" With Hit single Smells like teen spirit. Kids rushed into the store to buy the CD And blast it in there bedroom on repeat. But this was the kick star of a new genres fame, Grunge. (Ill teach you about that one another day) and the alternative scene was torn between the two. That was until 1994 with the suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Everyone on both sides was devastated. Grunge heads burned there flannel saying Grunge is dead, Punk lost its attention from the media and then punk became dead. Hip hop was on the rise. It seemed like Rock was dead in general. Some bands tried to bring it back with Nu Metal and some others, but it just wasn't happening. It was like metal got its wish of killing all rock but its self. Untill the early 2000's when alternative made its way to the mainstream once more. Granted most punk bands were disbanded and all that where left where considered to be anti punk for signing onto major record labels. (Greenday was denied access to Gilman for signing onto Epitaph. Yea. They have a list of who's not aloud, its bull shit) This was the birth of something new, called Pop Punk, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Etc, you all know them, with its trusty side kick, Emo. The Used, Spill Canvas, Dashboard confessional, MCR. It also had a BFF called screamo. And thats when the alternative once again became the mainstream. Then in 2004, Green Day released the Rock Opera that is American Idiot that made it to broadway and again in 2008 with 21st century breakdown. With those two albums, and the help of the growing popularity of VANS warped tour that started in 1995 and was strictly punk and made to sponsor skating, the music became the important part. And how punk became what it is today. So before you call someone punk, make sure your using the right label. Bright hair and black clothes does not a punk make. Thanks for listening.