Friday, May 11, 2012

Punk punk pu punk pu punk punk

Okay so blogger got it'self a new look in the tradition of needless innovation that is the true legacy of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. So I'm trying to type between the incomprehensible html code or something today, which was not intuitive at all and hopefully this post will come out somewhat readable unlike the past 10 or so I wasn't really aware where coming out like the unedited streams of consciousness my mental prostate has swollen and prevented from ever actually happening. With that - Punk! What is it? Well if you have say 4 hours, you could read the wikipedia page. And then write some kind of social anthropological thesis on it. But basically it was the music that emerged in the 70's with the Ramones and Sex Pistols, then again in the early 90's with Green Day, dissappeared for about 5 years, then reappered with Blink 182, Sum 41 etc. That is of course the tip's of icebergs visible from the decks of the goodship mainstream. Of course, like breakdancing went away to france and korea between 1989 and 2005, Punk never dies it is almost always underground in the substratem. Now I will maintain if you open your mind you can find good shit in any genre of music, so long as you are just receptive to it. Most shit I don't like because I just don't 'get it', punk I get, but it took me really long to like it. Like I liked Green Day, but when Dookie came out it was 1993, I was in Grade 4. Of course it was really cool to me then, the idea of colouring your hair was like textas could work on real life and not just paper. Helen Raiser was a host on Breakfast JJJ with Mikey Robbins. She sounded like she was 16 years old in my imagination a phenomanally old and mature age in the world beyond primary school, a world I simply hadn't bothered to understand. (I found out about secondary school when my brother went there in grade 5. I had assumed he would start driving some kind of utility vehicle and having kids post grade 6, how little I knew of the world). Helen Raiser did the voiceover for the TV ad for Dookie, telling me to 'Get it, or get lost' the paradime shift of getting it - get lost was not lost on my pre-adolescent mind. This was my introduction to punk. But it isn't a fair introduction to punk. Green Day may use 3 chords, but they had walking bass lines and swinging beats. They were well composed songs, structured and musical. So too with Blink 182's break out hit a seeming eternity later, but with the speed of adulthood, in reality, not much later 'Dammit' it was simply too much of a song to really reflect the whole philosophy of punk. Those that did in the pay day that followed pop-punk were simply, shit to me. They sounded shit. I had no interest in them. Then I started listening to the vandals, because I find Josh Freese fascinating. Josh Freese was introduced to me via a performance of Devo on Letterman. He dances behind the kit, but never misses a beat. I find him far more entertaining to watch than to listen to. Listening to him is for the most part, like listening to a metronome. Less so on live recordings and watching him is mesmerising. He can actually do 'the running man' on the drumkit. Anyway, Josh Freese brought me round and behind enemy lines into the very bowels of I mean not even a very hardcore punk band, but he made me enjoy the genre. I enjoy the vandals. Now that you don't have to put up with pretty boys and try hards taking the genre seriously because it is cool, many things from your youth are finally both safe and enjoyable, to explore like providing hand relief to somebody of your preferred gender. And I find the vandals hilarious. I mean, it is great to even finally listen to Dookie, and assure the what 10 year old me that I have it, and thus I will not be getting lost. And I can't emphasies enough that while sometimes its great to have somebody to discuss your interests with, sometimes its even greater to be able to explore interests without having to discuss them with anybody. Furthermore, I felt in the 90's punk was really all about playing fast, it was also really a Drummers genre, I mean playing 3 chords fast on a guitar may be harder than playing 3 chords slow, but it isn't harder than say playing an actual solo. But just playing an instrument as 3 dimensional as a drum kit must be hard to play fast. But then the Vandals guitarist said 'anybody can play a good song, not everyone can play a fast song' which I have to admit is probably fundamentally true. Not everyone can write a good song, almost anybody can probably write a punk song, infact writing a punk song I imagine is often not even necessary, you could simply describe it vagually to people who know how to locate a C on their instrument. But even so, not everybody can play a song fast. Is it an artform? I don't know. You see, I didn't get emo, and I didn't like it. I don't get hipsters, and I don't like them. In the 90's though, I got punk, I got it's ethos and philosophy, I understood it, but I still didn't like it. That's an achievement. But now, now I am going to backflip, I am going to say that I now finally both get and like punk. Will this journey take me into NOFX's backlog, or having me rocking Ramones and The Clash t-shirts? Probably not. But I get it, I always have, now I like it.

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