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punk is flawed. Discuss:


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From Comic Book Resources' music forum:

"That's kind of one of the ideals. One goal was to break down the barrier between audience and band. Meaning, some punks believed that being on stage above an audience was an elitist thing, and if you couldn't play worth a damn and still got on stage that was one way of tearing down the notion of idealizing performers.

But the problem with that goal is that if you continue to play an instrument, you'd almost have to get better at it. I'm not saying that anyone would become an amazing musician given enough time, but once the ignorance of your instrument wears off, at least a small amount of skill would creep in. And then you have SOLD OUT! See, punk's not built for the long-term.

The punk bands that people remember from that era are known because they wrote some really good songs, which ironically means that they were less punk than bands who wrote a bunch of tuneless gibberish. But that's okay, because I'm going to go listen to "Rudie Can't Fail" right now...."

What do you think? Is punk doomed to fail? Was it inevitable Warsaw would become Joy Division would become New Order? Lydon would form PiL? Minor Threat would eventually give way to Fugazi?

Are punk bands somekind of teenage endeavour, only to be discarded when "real-life" hits? Is punk and skill incompatable? Do I feel like Kilroy asking all these questions?

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Guest allsystemsfail
From Comic Book Resources' music forum:

"That's kind of one of the ideals. One goal was to break down the barrier between audience and band. Meaning' date=' some punks believed that being on stage above an audience was an elitist thing, and if you couldn't play worth a damn and still got on stage that was one way of tearing down the notion of idealizing performers.

But the problem with that goal is that if you continue to play an instrument, you'd almost have to get better at it. I'm not saying that anyone would become an amazing musician given enough time, but once the ignorance of your instrument wears off, at least a small amount of skill would creep in. And then you have SOLD OUT! See, punk's not built for the long-term.

The punk bands that people remember from that era are known because they wrote some really good songs, which ironically means that they were less punk than bands who wrote a bunch of tuneless gibberish. But that's okay, because I'm going to go listen to "Rudie Can't Fail" right now...."

What do you think? Is punk doomed to fail? Was it inevitable Warsaw would become Joy Division would become New Order? Lydon would form PiL? Minor Threat would eventually give way to Fugazi?

Are punk bands somekind of teenage endeavour, only to be discarded when "real-life" hits? Is punk and skill incompatable? Do I feel like Kilroy asking all these questions?[/quote']

Interesting points. Certainly, this breaking down of barriers - between both audience and band was extremely important to the initial punk phase, as it is today. Regarding musicianship, I don't think competence (whether a band is skilled or otherwise) of any real importance. If an individual becomes extremely skilled in his/her playing, then that should not mean that that individual (or band to whom he/she belongs) has sold out. What is more important is a band's beliefs and actions - their attitude to the music biz and commitment to the DIY ethic. Fugazi are an excellent example. Though now skilled musicians, they've remained still strong in their beliefs.

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I still always think that punk is always an attitude towards making yr music and how you treat others with respect to the music i.e. not consciously making commercial material to sell lots, or fleecing fans etc...

I think people get bogged down with you can only be a punk band if yr songs are three chords, which totally limits the music. I know alot the 70's bands were writing such simple songs due to musicial ineptitude (musical technique is irrelevant in my opinion) and as a reaction against prog rock hippies... that and they were all ripping off the modern lovers and the stooges... :D

Punk is doomed to fail because it always gets taken over by mass media, then suddenly when a new wave of punk attitude bands comes along, record companies spew out more commercial alternatives of these bands which the mainstream public prefer e.g. the new rock revolution gives us Busted and McFly, grunge gave us Bush etc...

Blah, i could ramble about this shit the whole time... but i think the lasting thing about punk should be a respect to not ripp off fans, make music real to you, and create a musical community.

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Guest allsystemsfail
I still always think that punk is always an attitude towards making yr music and how you treat others with respect to the music i.e. not consciously making commercial material to sell lots' date=' or fleecing fans etc...

I think people get bogged down with you can only be a punk band if yr songs are three chords, which totally limits the music. I know alot the 70's bands were writing such simple songs due to musicial ineptitude (musical technique is irrelevant in my opinion) and as a reaction against prog rock hippies... that and they were all ripping off the modern lovers and the stooges... :D

Punk is doomed to fail because it always gets taken over by mass media, then suddenly when a new wave of punk attitude bands comes along, record companies spew out more commercial alternatives of these bands which the mainstream public prefer e.g. the new rock revolution gives us Busted and McFly, grunge gave us Bush etc...

Blah, i could ramble about this shit the whole time... but i think the lasting thing about punk should be a respect to not ripp off fans, make music real to you, and create a musical community.[/quote']

Sure, many have sought to exploit punk's popularity, but while this is the case, the DIY punk underground has continued to move forward unaffected.

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Punk, like post rock started off as an idea and then ended up as sound. That sound gets a little tired after a time if we are honest and like change. The punk ethic lives on today on pirate stations, indy record labels, fanzines, websites and at gigs / festivals.

Dave

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Guest allsystemsfail
Punk' date=' like post rock started off as an idea and then ended up as sound. That sound gets a little tired after a time if we are honest and like change. The punk ethic lives on today on pirate stations, indy record labels, fanzines, websites and at gigs / festivals.

Dave[/quote']

Certainly. The punk ethic is very much alive in other scenes and projects, and hey, that's cool. But it's ethos is still central to the strength and growth of the DIY punk community - an idea that has reached out across the globe. What we see today is a vibrant scene, with a network of bands, zines, distros, friends, show spaces and collectives...

Regarding punk becoming a music form - yes, to a large extent that is true. However punk/hardcore (while sometimes restrictive) is extremely varied in form. We got folks such as Capdown, The Casualties, The Dagda, NOFX, Knuckledust, Guts Pie Earshot...

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all punk is not only floored its dead once it becomes formularised (as it is now)

so unless its pushing in new directions that totally fly in the face of the conformity at that given time, it does not actually exist (as punk initially existed)

now that the word 'punk' is lazily used to describe a recycled form of music, derivative lifestyles and leftist politics that are basically 'prescription punk attitudes' .....its my opinon that all things punk in 2004 would be un-punk in 1976

cos its all punk by numbers....join the fucking dots and draw a CND badge.....come on, all together now ....sound the same, look the same........etc

in 1976 things may have been different but that is long time ago and punk is not about clinging onto past mythology ....that would be a hippy thing yes?

''here they come, la la la la la la la, la la la la la la, the part time punks''

- TV Personalities 1977

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Guest allsystemsfail
all punk is not only floored its dead once it becomes formularised (as it is now)

so unless its pushing in new directions that totally fly in the face of the conformity at that given time' date=' it does not actually exist (as punk initially existed)

now that the word 'punk' is lazily used to describe a recycled form of music, derivative lifestyles and leftist politics that are basically 'prescription punk attitudes' .....its my opinon that all things punk in 2004 would be un-punk in 1976

cos its all punk by numbers....join the fucking dots and draw a CND badge.....come on, all together now ....sound the same, look the same........etc

in 1976 things may have been different but that is long time ago and punk is not about clinging onto past mythology ....that would be a hippy thing yes?

''here they come, la la la la la la la, la la la la la la, the part time punks''

- TV Personalities 1977[/quote']

By flying in the face of conformity, do you mean as in pushing musical barriers or in terms of attitudes? Sure, punk today is a very different animal from what it once was in 1976. However, anti-authoritarian/leftist politics were quickly embraced, something which should not be of any surprise, as fucking with the system was always an important facet of punk. From its artschool origins, punk rose to become a genuinely revolutionary movement - one seeking to build an alternative to the music biz, and fighting for social justice and change. Conformist? I would disagree.

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Guest Stripey

All this "it's about an attitude and it's about politics and it's about smashing the system MAN!" crap makes me want to puke. It all sounds so fake, as if it's being read from a "HOW TO BE A PUNK for dummies" guidebook. What the fuck is non-conformist about following a fashion trend and writing crap tunes about anarchy and playing them in pubs? People like that have been hoodwinked into thinking they are doing some underground and alternative and meaningful when really it's just as lame as any other lifestyle choice.

I'd definately use the citizen smith analogy, or rick and eddie from "the young ones" blended into a single person.

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