Thursday, August 31, 2017

Poseur Punks in Trump's America (Written November 2016)

Signing on to get some things straight… 

Ever since I had the capacity to understand politics at all, I realized that evil does exist in the world. I remember learning about our so-called “political system” in elementary school, and them trying to convince me that even though right wing people were basically embracing fascism-lite that the importance of balance brings us to the middle, a safe area, between liberal and conservative politics. 
Of course, we all know, that that was a lie. fascism-lite’s only potential outcome is grasping on to its own nature in order to survive. Its own nature is selfishness, greed, narcissism, psychopathy, oppression, etcetc, etc. 
The lunacy of Trump supporters wanting “liberals” to reach across the aisle to meet in the middle again is an absurdity. 
Donald Trump embodies the coke fueled ludicrousness of the Neo-Republicans in the 21st century. He ran on pure hatred, and people ate it up. Around half of US citizens decided that liberals voting in a black man as president was the last straw, and they wanted revenge for liberals forcing them to pay attention to a black person on a daily basis. They wanted revenge for liberals putting a black man on a pedestal that is higher than them. They wanted revenge for them having to face the fact that there are black people out there in the world that are better than them.  
The irony of their defense of Trump being attacked is that Obama was threatened (in public protests) with lynching. His daughters were threatened on their birthdays with rape. The list goes on. The Obamas failed a lot of people’s hopes for that family, the first black presidential family, but the Obamas also bore the burden of not being actually radical. If Obama launched executive orders freeing all black political prisoners, exonerating the Black Panthers, ceasing oil pipeline’s, etc, then it would’ve been 100 years before another black person could hold the office-if he could avoid assassination or impeachment, that is. Instead, the Obamas embodied traditional classiness, and ruled, semi-status-quo. But, he does have a legacy of a health care system that isn’t sucking the for-profit insurance companies’ cocks, that exists in his name. That is something that I, and we all, have benefitted from. Or did you already forget the for-profit insurance companies’ favorite term “pre-existing conditions”. That means, if you have cancer for example, and you have to switch insurance companies, that your new insurance company doesn’t have to cover YOUR CANCER. 
So, fuck Paul Ryan, and fuck Trump, we never need those days back. 
Great, you heard the age old “a vote for _____ is a vote for _____” shit argument that is not only illogical, but stupid. Of course, in this case it was “a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump”. This cliché is as tired as it was when the first democrat intern yelled it at me on UC’s campus “a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush!” No, it’s not. If you want to address 3rd party or non-voters, then the best argument would be that it’s a null vote. But, in the case of Nader/Stein/Green Pary/Socialist/Whoever voters, their vote goes to a party that they actually think will address issues that they value. And, not let things like drone striking schools, or torturing potentially innocent victims at Guantanamo Bay. 
For real, how many conversations have you had with Uncle Jim about his support for Trump. No, you may not make a breakthrough. However, it’s your responsibility to be accountable for the people you have in your life. So, bashing your friends who are disenfranchised enough by the Democrats (what sane person isn’t?), especially after Hillary’s white lady super delegates swarmed to bring us the FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!!! right after the first black president?!!? woah, that’s one for the history books! stole the primary from someone who actually had a chance against Trump, Bernie Sanders. 
So, now it’s time for you white liberals to do the thing you fear most, actually address the fact that you have racist / sexist / homophobic family and friends, and maybe it’s time for you to draw the line and say “if you’re going to be as outwardly and actively hateful and ignorant, especially in a way that directly affects the survival of people that I care about, then you cannot be a part of my life.” The thing that these family / friends / acquaintances all have in common is that they will all throw it in your face consistently. Whether it’s your friends at shows that have Nazi friends, but they like, don’t do politics, man, so they don’t deserve to be held accountable (these people have existed everywhere I’ve been so far, Boston, Portland, Cincinnati, obviously--members of Fucked For Life in Cinci, members of Nux Vomica in Portland, etc)—yes people that have played in or with out-Nazi bands. Or it’s your family member that likes to stealthily drop the occasional racial slur. Or an acquaintance that you know has put women in uncomfortable situations, and has sexually assaulted other acquaintances, but they like seem like a nice guy, even when they’re drunk, though they do get a little touchy… 
The weakness in these standards is so obvious, yet so accepted. Maybe it’s because we were raised in our white supremacist / rape culture context that it’s borderline normal to make excuses or tolerate these behaviors. But, I know, and think you should know that Trump should be the last straw. You cannot humanize that “man”, his [hate] speech, or his history of rape, abuse of women, and real life actions of discrimination based on racism. If you don’t draw the line at people making a hero of this man, then where do you draw the line? Probably nowhere. If you don’t draw a line, then you are signing off on these behaviors being normal and acceptable. 
As most of you know I dropped out of punk for the reasons above. Because, punk scenes are a haven for Nazi sympathizers, rapist apologizers, and all out right wing assholes who veil their beliefs by pretending to know what the word “Nihilism” means. Nihilism, academically, and in the Rancid interpretation that the punks think it means, are both really fucking stupid. 
Punk will not get better, because Trump winning this election has empowered all of the shitty white bros, to be shittier white bros. They don’t have to make excuses for hanging out with Nazis, rapists, etc anymore, because Trump won. The president is one of those guys. And, the shitty white bros in the punk scene all pull their excuses from mainstream culture and then pretend like they’re some minority in the punk scene. Which is fucking hysterical because they pull their ethics from right wing mainstream culture, then act like they’re a marginalized group within a “radical” environment (even though punk isn’t even that radical, it’s barely democratic party extreme at best—usually it’s just drunk bros). 

I wrote this before Trump took office. So, did this come true? Or is punk a mecca of greatness that resists Trump so successfully, and hasn't completely embraced all the shitty aspects of punk and abandoned all the good?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Martyrdod (Martyrdӧd):

Origin of M:


Crazy Spirit:

No Statik:

Burning Leather:

Doom w/ Hellshock @ Branx: Portland Oregon May 30, 2011

Doom video (doom is fucking d-beat now, oi!)

Hellshock 2011:

Ain't it just a ripoff:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What the fuck is punk anyway?

So, over the years people have beat themselves to death trying to define the subculture/counterculture/music/movement/lifestyle/fashion of punk.

Of course, the first logical stop in the journey is our noble source of divine information in the age of the internet, wikipedia. Typing "punk" into the search engine yields these results:

"Punk may refer to:
Punk rock, an anti-establishment rock music genre
Punk subculture, a subculture associated with punk rock
Punk fashion, clothing styles associated with the punk subculture
Punk ideologies, a group of social and political beliefs associated with the punk subculture
Punk visual art, artwork associated with the punk subculture
Punk (magazine), a 1970s United States punk fanzine
Punk (fireworks), a utensil for lighting fireworks
Punk, an archaic term for prostitute, as used by Shakespeare
Punk, one of the Mega Man Killers, robots in the Mega Man Classic video game series
"Punk", a single from the 2003 album Right of Way by Ferry Corsten
"Punk", a song from the band Gorillaz's debut album "

from taken on 08/06/2008.

At the basis I think that the problem in defining punk as an umbrella term is that it can't be defined in that manner. Rather, punk exists in 2 different manifestations: punk as subculture and punk as counterculture.

Punk does exist as simply a group of different people who adapt whatever branch of punk fashion and can actually believe politically, socially, and culturally in any sort of system--whether they're republican, anarchist, or simply the "punk's about doing whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want!!! blarghh!!!!!!!!!!". This is the punk as subculture situation that many of the people you run into within the scene are existing.

The reason those who believe in punk as a revolutionizing force become so frustrated with the scene in general. The people who exist in the left-wing, anarchist, feminist, etc. side of punk are usually hardworking, organized, and informed individuals, and are easily jaded and alienated by the subculture side of punk. This is because in being a part of the counterculture side it is hard to understand or empathize with the subculture side. If the countercultural side didn't exist, there would barely even be a scene for the subcultural side to exist in at all. They would simply be left with commercial shows at the bigger venues with Social Distortion, The Misfits, and whatever other Clear Channel/Ticketmaster/Target-core bands are out there riding punks to the bank-alongside the shitty nihilist/GG Allin local punk shows where the bands just play to their friends at bars. Left to the subculture the DIY scene doesn't exist, and there are no smaller bands from around the world touring smaller bars, DIY venues, and basements/houses.
That is the base of the frustration of the counterculture against the mantra of the scum fuck "punk's all about not giving a shit, and doing what you want" punk. And, the goal of the countercultural punk is to remedy that frustration by attempting to educate-via various media-others about alternative ways of living, being open-minded and feminist, and political and social organization.

I am not insane--I would never be as bold as to say that the subculture will be swayed by the counterculture into being more radically minded. A lot of people that end up in the subculture are just alcoholics who like the music and fashion and could care less about anything else. But, the frustration will always exist as long as there are two conflicting branches within the punk scene. Hopefully, though, the countercultural side will always be willing to work to convert sub to counter, because it is worth while, and there are converts won everyday. It is hard and depressing at times though, especially when the subcultural side is hellbent on their apolitical and apathetic stance. Being apolitical and apathetic create a long line of problems, but one consistent element (and for some reason this is specific to the punk and oi! scenes) is to allow those on the radical right to have a place within the scene which is neither alright nor safe for the scene at all, ever.

Oh well, this rant is complete, and probably should, and might be edited at some point. But, there are my thoughts on defining punk.
The subculture are those who like punk and adapt listening to the music and potentially attending shows, adapting the fashion, but refrain from any of the social/political aspects of the movement-and are often apolitical and apathetic.
The counterculture are those who are not only attracted to the music and fashion, but also immerse themselves in anarchist or left wing movements, and often work within the punk scene in booking, promotion, and/or creating and maintaining alternative spaces to host events.
coun·ter·cul·ture: -noun: the culture and lifestyle of those people, esp. among the young, who reject or oppose the dominant values and behavior of society.
coun·ter·cul·ture: n. A culture, especially of young people, with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture.

subculture: A group within a society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values, often accompanied by jargon or slang. A subculture can be organized around a common activity, occupation, age, status, ethnic background, race, religion, or any other unifying social condition, but the term is often used to describe deviant groups, such as thieves and drug users.
sub·cul·ture: n. A cultural subgroup differentiated by status, ethnic background, residence, religion, or other factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member.
sub·cul·ture: -noun: the cultural values and behavioral patterns distinctive of a particular group in a society.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fighting Dogs-2005 Summer Tour Pre-Release CD

Fucking brutal crusty-hardcore-punk out of Philly and Baltimore. Fighting Dogs bring a heavy and intense technical hardcore to the punks. Trade-off female and male vocals round out the sound (and both are super-interesting and original) that is carried by the constantly chugging strings backed by a solid and interesting drummer--then all the sudden there are crazy leads out of nowhere. I love this fucking EP-CD...check this band out if you can, you'll love yourself for doing it. Cut off all of your sleeves, throw away all your shirts that aren't black, get out your sewing machines and taper your jeans, Fighting Dogs is coming!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Noothgrush: "Erode The Person"

Kings of sludge, Noothgrush, just released their second collection of tracks recorded in 1997-1998. Some tracks were previously unreleased, but most are from 7"s, splits, tour CD's, and various other formats. They broke up in 2001, and unfortunately, I don't think I picked up anything of theirs until that point--I usually don't find out about sweet bands until they are already broken up.

The disc starts out with "A People Defeated Will Never Be United" which is definitive Noothgrush, funky rhythms and guitar-work slowly trudging along with vocals that you can tell are for real--unlike a lot of the "screamy" bands gracing the TV screens and magazines today who simply turn the volume up on some throaty whispers. For a collection this one, and the first, "Failing Early, Failing Often vol. 1" definitely fit together like an album. If you didn't investigate further than popping the CD you wouldn't know that this was a collection of a couple years' worth of material spread across a handful of releases.

It's a slow, doomy, depressing tribute to the idea that things will only get worse, and that we are all a part of the problem. Definitely one of the best sludge bands ever--this CD is chock full o' classic sludge hits.

Noothgrush on myspace

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kid Ginseng "Blesse CD EP"

Um...what the fuck can I say? This EP is fucking awesome--straight outta Westport, CT. Kid Ginseng blends together the artistic electronic-synth-pop-rock sound in a way that destroys everything the Faint was trying to do. The first two tracks off of the "Blesse" EP are great electro-synth-punk songs . They get you dancing, and his low-end heavy voice mixed with a kind of "stuffy nose" sound really carries the songs along, and sounds great, and lulls you into a trance. I couldn't find any lyrics anywhere, otherwise you'd get some serious quotage right now. The third track "Boom Boom Kid Song (featuring Anat Ben-David)" sounds like Eve Libertine brough some old material off of the old "Penis Envy" album and had Kid Ginseng we-write Crass' music electronically. Think "Poison in a pretty pill". The fourth track is a collaboration with Jonny Steady that takes a more purely electronic sound. And the fifth is what seems to be a return to his roots of using video game samples mixed with manipulated horror sounds.

His live shows also look off the chain.

If the Refused didn't so pretentiously name their last album "The Shape of Punk to Come" it could've definitely been the title of Kid Ginseng's next release (and it wouldn't be a lie) . Especially if it was a split-release on a zip disk with Mother 33 from Russelville, Arkansas.

"Blesse" is on La La Land Records
You can get it in the US here: Sacred Plague Records
Check out Kid Ginseng's myspace for the jams:

score: 3/5

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Acme " reduce the choir to one soloist"

I guess when Acme first started their onslaught of mid-tempo-metallic-hardcore it actually fit into more of a sludge category. Currently sludge is a lot slower than what is on this album. Acme hails from Bremen, Germany and if I had to guess, was probably around for 3 years or so. I found out about this band from a friend who was more into the underground hardcore punk and metal coming out in the mid-90's. I actually ended up finding it on Wal-Mart's website (apparently Edison Recordings has some serious distribution) through google searches, and couldn't find it anywhere else (and didn't care as much about anything at the time) so got it via Wal-Mart online, which is hilarious-to me anyway. All the information I'm writing on these guys comes from mostly second-hand sources, but I'll give it a shot. This is a discography of stuff that Acme put out on a 7", some compilations, etc. It came out in 1996, but the material is from the early to mid-90's formed by members of Systral, Carol, and Morser.

I poked around a bit on the internet to see what others had to say about it, and pretty generic references are made to sludge and Eye Hate God and the like. But, as far as sludge goes these guys don't fuck around with the stoner metal Black Sabbath guitar work that's typical for the genre. They play heavy as hell hardcore with metal riffage that doesn't show intense experimentation or genre destroying innovation, but instead, exactly what should happen happens. Depending on what sort of bill they played on you could probably find kids doing windmills or burning blunts and headbanging. However, the borderline "mosh" parts aren't complete and utter musical bullshit signature to a mosh-core genre. Instead they have a couple layers of guitar that allows for some lead guitar work over the chugs and juds. They also mix up these parts by not riding on open "E" chords all day, but actually showing some craftsmanship. The drums are constantly hammering along, and always tight, with some skillfully placed double-kick (which is often way overused, misused, and abused). Sound-wise it's probably a more straight-forward and faster version of Ire with more metal guitar, some crazy old-school Dillinger Escape Plan guitar sounds, but obviously not as techy, and some Catharsis type feels are accomplished by the contrast as the album progresses, which I can respect in a discography-style album. The vocals are really throaty, and he sounds like he's out to brutalize his vocal chords (which I always love since there are so many kids out there that just fake it), and more mid to high in pitch of scream. The lyrics are very socio-poetic, and in English, not German.

Basically, the songs go from fast in your face blast parts, to brutal breakdowns, and sweet mid-tempo parts that carry the songs where they should go, so check it out.


score: 4/5