Friday, January 28, 2005

magazines, hardcore, internet!

New discoveries have been made. I was informed today of a site called polaroidscene.com. I guess everybody knows about it. It kind of reminds me of our old website scenefashion.com where I took pictures of kids at clubs and wrote about them. We even had a picture of a sleeping homeless guy on our site, though that was of questionable taste and I would not post it now. This site is all Hollywood party pics and homeless guy pics. I can't say they copied us. I can say we didn't copy them. Scenefashion was such a good idea, I should have gone with it until someone offered us ad money, and that almost happened. Of course, having real friends was more fun than taking pictures of people you sort of knew and then sitting in your room alone making websites about them. No one bothered to make more content for the site, and in the end it was just pictures of me and Cub on dates. Now I type and type here for my five internet fans. I have a better work ethic, but no popular website.

polaroidscene.com is now
cobrasnake.com and the pictures are great - better pictures than I could take, I've tried.

On the subject of links, there is a blog that I like by the famous Jessica Hopper. I doubt she would care for my blog, but I think her writing is awesome. She wrote the famous article about emo being sexist and her interview with the Locust contained the most famous question about them ruining hardcore for overweight people. I made a comic about this phenomenon (though it was not based on her interview or about specifically the Locust) and it offended many people who thought I was bashing fat people. No, I was making fun of the hardcore sheep mentality ...obviously.

Jessica Hopper's
blog

I read magazines on my break at work. This may be a waste of time as I don't retain much of this information, but one article I will remember is in this month's Revolver and it's on the subject of New York hardcore. It's not so much an article, as it is a collection of testimonies from key players. Their short accounts of incidents, when put together, paint a picture of what that scene was like in the 80's. The people include Roger Miret of Agnostic Front, Harley Flanagan of the Cro-Mags, and Jimmy G of Murphy's Law. It was a lot of fun to read about this period that produced the sounds and lyrics that I want to hear. When I wrote my list of the top hardcore vocalists of all time (for this site a couple months back), five of them were from New York.

Anyway, I don't know if I could have hung with those guys in Tompkins Square, it sounds like rough times. For me, listening to that music is like an escape to world that is not my own, kind of like listening to metal songs about battles. It's not my reality.

A point was brought up, I'm not sure by who, the magazine is still in the break room. It is mentioned that the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame skips from early British punk to Nirvana in it's punk history. This New York time period is rarely mentioned by rock journalists. I wrote about this on an older website of mine, (yup, scenefashion.com) though I don't know why I expected scenesters to care about punk or anything other than indie rock and metalcore. I'm sure people skipped over this short essay, they were invited to, because I had four other essays about shitty phenomena, written right after it. So now is your chance to read something nobody wanted to read two years ago. I talk about New York towards the end.

Around the end of the millennium we've come up across loads of TV specials and magazine articles describing the history of punk. The first I saw was a PBS episode in their history of rock series. All histories since have followed about the same pattern. Begin with references to the Stooges, MC5, and NY Dolls before going into detail about the Sex Pistols. Then a bit on The Clash, Gen X, and the Damned along with New York coverage of The Ramones, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. American coverage continues with a profile of the L.A. scene, X, The Germs etc...

Then skip to Nirvana, skip to Green Day. Whole eras in punk are missing. What I've never seen included in any of these histories (magazine issues include Spin, Q, Pulse, Alternative Press, Total Guitar and many guitar magazines) is much or any attention given to the big spiked hair bands. Any kid who is a punk rocker today does listen to The Exploited, G.B.H., Discharge, Chaos U.K. etc... Their influence, especially in fashion (big mohawks, studded leather, more hair coloring) cannot be denied. I suppose the U.K. in the early 80's was considered dark days with punk being declared 'dead' by many in the music press. No one from the before mentioned bands moved on to commercial pop/new wave success like some of 77' punks on both continents did. Another factor that might make the media show less interest in the relevance of such bands would be their faster, more hardcore, more metal sounds. I've rarely seen metal analyzed in a respectful way by intellectuals (or give historical relevance).

Perhaps the messy topic of skinhead violence scares writers off. I was shocked to see a best of oi album in Spin's list of top punk albums of all time. Media confusion about skinheads probably has a lot to do with the absence of coverage of the NYHC scene in all documentaries. How is a reporter gonna explain that scene? "Well they are not nazis, but they are very right wing. They beat up punks, but they play punk music." That's too confusing. Anyhow, the Cro-Mags and Warzone all my friends and I talk about, so they should be mentioned.

I would expect the Crass Records related scene would be subject to much historical documentation, but no. Neither do revolutionary hardcore bands like the Bad Brains and Minor Threat get deserved attention (though that may be because of geographical separation from the happening L.A. scene.)
The bottom line is that punks know punk history and journalists do not.

So that is that, I write better now, don't I?

3 Comments:

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I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

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