Believe it or not, this is actually a work-related post. As my library's resident punk music expert, I often get the most random questions about the history of the genre, beyond what's offered in our collections. Blogwise, I've recently seen a spike in IMs dealing with the genre, thanks in part, I think, to these guys rocking the goddamned house. (I've seen them live a grand total of eight times in the last few months. Loud and proud, true disciples of the Hardcore Old School, I tell ya.)- Jason
WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU PAY? [MP3]
Code of Honor, Seven-Inch release (Subterranean, 1982)
You know, I remember a time when it was okay for an American hardcore act to not whine about high school crushes, being socially acceptable outcasts, etc... when a bunch of punker kids could scream down with sexism, racism, and down with global warmongering without worrying about iTunes sales or looking pretty on Rolling Stone covers.
That's punk music, my friends.
MEDIA BLITZ [MP3 ]
The Germs, (GI) (Slash, 1979)
Joan Jett produced this classic album. And yes, that Pat Smear, that other guitarist from that MTV Unplugged set (look for the red, white, and blue guitar in this clip), that former Foo Fighters guitarist, holds a bigger place in the history of punk music than either Dave Grohl or Kurt Cobain.
JEAN IS DEAD
The Descendents, Milo Goes to College (New Alliance, 1982)
If you hold an advanced degree in anything and grew up listening to punk music, well, there's no explanation needed. Milo really did, as the album title suggests, go to college. He earned a doctorate. And he's still a punker.
THESE GIRLS FUCKED YOUR GIRLFRIEND
The Raging Rags, release status unknown
An opening act I caught at a punk show once or a dozen times when I was younger, one of the first all-female punk bands I ever saw live, in fact. I've had this song stuck in my head for some reason, off and on, for the past three months.
Let's put it this way: any guy who would dare say something as stupid as women can't rock obviously isn't a punk or hardcore aficionado. Guys like that tend to be, well, chaches. And, trust me, chaches don't get laid at punk shows. They tend to be way too fragile for punker women.
LIVING IN MADRID [MP3]
The Crowd, Beach Blvd., (split-artist LP, Posh Boy, 1979)
Ironically, I recently rekindled my love affair with this band, the original SoCal surf punks, while back in California for Christmas.
The Vandals, Peace Thru Vandalism (Epitaph, 1982)
One of my all-time favorite songs. My dad even likes it. C'mon...who doesn't want to be a cowboy?
POLITICAL SONG FOR MICHAEL JACKSON TO SING
The Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (SST, 1984)
I may be the youngest person alive today who thinks that this is probably the single-most important punk concept album of all time. The Minutemen were the first band to turn a scene into a true art form, the guys who put refused to put punk back into the garage and instead took the garage to the masses. D. Boon died way too young, one of the greatest guitarists of 1980s.
For those who remember the listening to the song "Corona," way before those dudes from Jackass conscripted the opening riff for a silly TV show theme, check this awesome live acoustic version that some saint of a human being added to YouTube.
DOWN IN FLAMES [MP3]
The Dead Boys, Young, Loud, and Snotty (Sire, 1977)
For those of you who've never read her site, Kendra's one of the coolest chicks in librarianship. She has everything it takes to one day make a badass degree-certified librarian - she's a rabid Athletics fan, she has a pet Diva Piggy, and I'm actually jealous of her playlists.
Recently, she announced on her blog that she has breast cancer. But rather than accept defeat, to let the psychological effects of her diagnosis drag her down to the place where the human spirit is easily corrupted, she's taking the bull by the horns, ready to rassle the sucker to the ground. She's even planning on live blogging her chemo and doing her Library School homework, too.
Rather than post some sappy "oh, you poor dear" post, rather than simply include the sometimes overused cliches that, yes, tend to go along with breast cancer awareness posts during Women's History Month, I wanted to do something for Kendra that only a fellow (though retired) college radio god would understand.
I'm dedicating a song to her. And not just any song, either.
When I was overcoming my various narcotic addictions, when I was recovering from my PTSD, my first instinct was to let my woes run my life. But, each time, some song would come back into my life to remind me that, well, I'm in charge of my life.
"Shot Down in Flames" is one of those arrogant, snotty, downright balls-to-the-wall songs, the kind that just reminds people that attitude means something. One can be their own Alpha and Omega, can build their own manifest destiny out of nothing more than dedication, fortitude, and willpower.
I don't want Kendra to mope. I don't want anybody who may swing by to leave some silly comment with Bible verses or sympathy quotations or anything like that.
I don't just wish Kendra a quick recovery; I want her to stomp the livin' shit out of breast cancer. And I hope you do, too.
- # # # -