Friday, August 19, 2005

Who and What is punk?

What is “punk”?
Or maybe I should ask, what is “Punk Music”?

Webster Dictionary defines Punk Rock as a form of hard-driving rock 'n' roll originating in the 1970s, characterized by harsh lyrics attacking conventional society and popular culture, and often expressing alienation and anger.

The word punk in its self is not so easily defined, as it has several meanings such as, dry decayed wood, used as tinder; any of various substances that smolder when ignited, used to light fireworks; Chinese incense; of poor quality; worthless and/ or weak in spirits or health.

I ask this question because of a debate I heard on the radio. The debate was over whether or not the Dead Milkmen (DMM) are a punk band. Here at Fakiegrind, the Dead Milkmen are held in the highest regard and we don’t take attacks upon DMM kindly. As we speak Fakie Agents are infiltrating the radio station with plans to highjack the air waves in order to free the people’s minds from the oppression of stereotypes, social and consumer images and bad music.

Most of the bands you hear on the radio air waves have one tenth of the talent of the DMM!
Crappy so-called punk bands are signing multimillion dollar record deals, just because they fit the image and look the part. Hmm. Punks with a silver spoon.

Anyhow, a lot of people would not classify the DMM as a punk band. I will agree that punk is hard to define; however, the stereotype of today’s punk should not define what punk is. By today’s standard, unless you wear a leather jacket with safety pins and dye your hair a cool-aid color you’re not punk.

What happen to punk being anything that went against the grain of the social statuesque?
Sure, the safety pins, dirty clothes and crazy mowhawks are visual outward expressions of defiance to society’s social standards, acceptance and expectations. But punk is so much more than the wardrobe. It is bigger than tattoos, the hair dye and the piercing.

It’s a choice, it’s a way of life, its possibly a virtue.


johnny rotten said...

Today, it seems that punk has become mainstream.

Popular bands like Green Day tote the punk image with popular rebel balads, but they somehow seem tamer to me than the original punksters like the Clash, Sex Pistols, or the immortal Ramones.

The Dead Milkmen continue to rock it out, and their legacy can be felt to this day, every time the burrow owl hoots from his subterranian lair.

Punk is an attitude of defiance, irresponsibility, comaraderie and freedom. It has nihilistic aspects, and should always be a little scary to the mainstream, but it's certainly not dead. It's not really alive, though, either. It could be undead, but that would be more goth than punk.

I think "putrid" might be a good word for it.

Powerserge said...

I'm punk.