I really wasn’t expecting to bump into Jerry Only and his Misfits bandmate Chupacabra (yeah, yeah, I know, it’s not the original line-up) at New York Comic Con, but that’s part and parcel of the madness of that event. I don’t do many music industry interviews (and this one was spur of the moment with zero prep time, and entirely off the top of my head to boot) but I rose to the occasion and did the best I could under the circumstances. Chupacabra doesn’t talk much, by the way. Hope you enjoy, Disinfonauts.
Tag Archives | punk rock
Via the New Statesman, Laurie Penny speaks with members of Pussy Riot who are non-jailed, but on the run from the law, about the meaning of their subversion:
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When we meet in a secret location in central London, they make it clear that this interview is on condition of anonymity. The Russian punk-feminist protest group, two of whose members are currently travelling the world, raising support for their band-mates in prison, are wanted by their government. It will be illegal to read or share this article in Russia.
Since the trials, a smorgasbord of new legislation, informally known as the Pussy Riot laws, have been put into place in Russia to clamp down on the group and anyone who might try to imitate their art-protests. You can’t cover your face in public. Distribution and discussion of Pussy Riot’s protests is strictly forbidden. People have been prosecuted for making t-shirts with their image.
With punk as the theme of this year’s Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute benefit, Nitsuh Abebe asks “If a movement known for rage, rebellion, and adolescent id becomes the focus of a high-fashion celebration, is it the final studded nail in the coffin or proof of everlasting life?” for New York Magazine:
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Punk rock has always had an easy time living up to E. M. Forster’s view of music as a kingdom that “will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit—the “Oscars of fashion,” currently co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and perhaps the city’s most glamorous large social event—feels like the opposite: a celebration of rare finery and a discerning elite. The gala’s theme is generally the same as that of the Costume Institute’s spring exhibit; say, Jacqueline Kennedy or Chanel. But this year’s exhibit is “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” a look at punk clothing and high fashion’s varied responses to it.
“Whats the 411 on the local music show tonight?” …Life imitates art as authorities attempt, very poorly, to infiltrate and break up youth subculture by creating imaginary electronic personas, Slate reveals:
Boston police are finding out as their bungling efforts to infiltrate the underground rock scene online are being exposed. A recently passed nuisance control ordinance has spurred a citywide crackdown on house shows—concerts played in private homes, rather than in clubs. The police, it appears, are posing as music fans online to ferret out intel on where these DIY shows are going to take place.
This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like:
Late-seventies broadcast from The Efrom Allen Show on New York cable television finds the shirtless Vicious sitting on a panel with his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys, and Cynthia Ross of the B Girls. “THAT’S SID VICIOUS ON YOUR SCREENS, FOLKS,” scrolling text tells the viewers. “IS SID VICIOUS? WHO CARES? CALL 473-5386 TO SPEAK TO THE PUNK OF YOUR CHOICE.”
It’s exciting when something happens in the news that reminds you how subversive punk rock can be. Via OUT, a conversation featuring remembrances from Bruce LaBruce, Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould, and numerous notable others about a movement which changed the world, whether people know it or not:
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The Queercore scene grew out of a generation that bristled against what it saw as the bourgeois trappings of a mainstream gay lifestyle and the macho, hetero hardcore scene that punk — a movement founded by women, people of color, and gays — had become. It started out as a loose collective, trading fanzines and letters, and evolved to include dozens of bands.
There was a gay element to early punk, such as the Los Angeles group The Germs — whose singer was the closeted Darby Crash—as well as Seattle transplants The Screamers, The Apostles in the U.K., and, in Texas, The Dicks.
The eloquent and defiant closing statement from band member Yekaterina Samutsevich in the Pussy Riot trial explains the meaning (which Americans might not have understood) behind the punk band’s acts of art. Via chtodelat, translated:
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I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we now expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. Now the whole world sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial.
During the closing statement, the defendant is expected to repent or express regret for her deeds, or to enumerate attenuating circumstances. In my case, as in the case of my colleagues in the group, this is completely unnecessary.
The fact that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Via Common Dreams:
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Three members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock band, began a hunger strike Wednesday after a Moscow court suddenly told them they must prepare their defense for trial by Monday.
Maria Alyokhina, Yakaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were taken into custody in March, after the group’s February performance of “Virgin Mary Put Putin Away,” an anti-Putin song, inside the Russian Orthodox Church’s main cathedral, asking the Virgin Mary to chase President Vladimir Putin out of power.
The three women were arrested over four months ago and have been held without bail on charges of criminal hooliganism — which carry a possible seven-year prison sentence. Two other female members of the band have avoided arrest thus far.
“I announce a hunger strike because it is unlawful,” said Tolokonnikova, wearing a T-shirt with the famous slogan of the Spanish Civil War, “No pasaran!” (“They shall not pass”), emblazoned across it.
Can anyone save the world’s boldest feminist punk rockers, now that they have been unmasked and thrown in Russian jail? Is this the last stand for politically-subversive pop music? The Art Newspaper writes:
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The lawyer for three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who are currently awaiting trial for an allegedly blasphemous protest in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral shortly before the election that saw Vladimir Putin returned for a third term as Russian president, says only appeals from Western celebrities and high-profile cultural figures can save them from further criminal charges and long jail sentences.
The performance infuriated the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I, and other top church officials, who were criticised in the “punk prayer” performance which also asked the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Putin.
“The authorities must now, in essence, falsify the charges,” says Nikolai Polozov. “It’s very hard for them to back down.
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys has passed away at the age of 47. GlobalGrind has confirmed this very sad news. One of our heroes, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away this morning after a long bout with cancer. Yauch was a member of the groundbreaking, incredibly innovative and creative group, The Beastie Boys, with his two friends, Mike D and Ad-Roc, which changed our culture forever...[continues at Global Grind] For those who'd like to remember MCA in his prime, here's Fight For Your Right (Revisited):