In order to understand the topic that is to be discussed in this essay, one must first understand two seemingly unrelated topics. Those topics are feminism and punk rock. These two social movements spawned the love child that has come to be known as the riot grrrl movement. The history of the riot grrrl movement is deep and intensely intertwined with themes of monumental social change, musical evolution, and the previously unseen all-encompassing nature that is unique to third wave feminism.
The attitude common in the subculture is the resistance to selling out, which means abandoning one’s values and changing in musical style toward pop to embrace anything that’s mainstream capitalist culture in the exchange for money, status, or power. Punk rocks’ common thinking wasn’t only anti-authoritarism, and not selling out but also non-conformity, direct action, and a DIY ethic. The DIY attitude was pointed towards stepping forward and speaking without any restraint. To fight with warrior qualities to achieve what you were striving for. The kind of thinking and motives for punk rock subjects was to not settle for what society made acceptable and standard but to think and work outside of the box that was holding them in.
“He [Pearson’s father] would freak out when he read the song titles to the cassettes that my friends and I would shoplift from the mall…He was certain that I’d become a Junkie if I listened to that kind of music. But with an alcoholic wife-beater father who didn’t give a shit about his son I was bound to avoid the cliched, nihilist aspects of punk culture” (Pearson 12).
Music has been a long standing form of expression for hundreds of years. More recently however, it has become a way for artists to make social commentaries on the society they live in. During the 1970s, Punk bands and Ska bands emerged in England and rose to become a major
Music, in the past, has often spelled bad news to society at large. It can challenge norms and invoke a sense of hype in places that modern culture may be uncomfortable with, such as sex, sexuality, and drugs. Personally, when I think of punk music, I see a genre that stands to be individualistic, aggressive, and rebellious. Phrases such as ‘anti-establishment’ also come up. This notion comes from many aspects of punk subculture, including dress, music, performance, and my interpretations.
Nevertheless, punk shouldn’t be held to such high standards of influence. It’s influential; it’s something that made misfits feel as though they had a place, but not something to be held to the unattainably high standards. All things considered, it did do something positive, it provided a home and inclusive environment for those who were frustrated and just plain angry.
The Sex Pistols are a very important topic to bring to attention because they were such an influential band. Even though they only lasted two years, they “never really faded away.” (Dougan 413) According to Dougan, they are always present “when the words punk-rock are uttered” (413). The Sex Pistols not only instilled a love of punk rock, but also imagined a world where “a crud could become a king.” (Dougan 414-415). Hence, the Sex Pistols advocated for the English working class, and had a revolutionary impact against the norms
The Origination of Punk Rock The time was in the mid-seventies, there was a void in the music industry that needed to be filled. This need for a new sound was aptly filled by punk rock, a new type of sound that had evolved from mostly rock and a little pop
Our world is full of propaganda and unique activities of every sort. There are countless methods of entertainment pushed towards us in an effort to capture our undivided attention. These forms of entertainment are available through the freedoms Americans have - the freedoms derived from our Constitution. Americans enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” more than arguably every other country; moreover, they will be the first to say so. Americans have little restrictions on expressions and, therefore, many groups feel the need to do just that – express themselves. However, these expressions by such a plethora of actors also is the very reason none of them succeed in holding one’s attention for great lengths. When analyzing “punk” rock as an expression or propaganda, it actually is one of the few which has been able to capture the attention and live through the people for a long period of time – over 30 years.
As a teenager growing up in 1970s Washington D.C. one might rise out of bed in the morning, squeeze into their bell bottoms and skin-tight t-shirts, not expecting that that would be the day they ran into a group of kids dawned in black with clothes pins in their shirts, who called themselves punks and were looking to make a change in DC music history. In a time where the country was divided by political beliefs, a raging war, and racial tensions, smack dab in the center of Washington D.C. came the punk scene. It was said that the hippie scene majorly influenced the punk scene, some would say that the hippies were “the real punks”(Punk: Attitude, 3:12). The punk scene consisted of kids who opposed hippies, so in retrospect the hippies are what
Despite the internal turmoil in the punk movement, punk rock made several things clear to international audiences. Punk Rock, in its subculture, managed to break down many barriers of expression and language. It made an indentation in the commercial music industry. It provided a fresh alternative to a boring, stagnant music scene. But most of all, punk's legacy lies in its introduction of self employment and activism, most essential to Britain at the time. It illustrated that anyone can do it themselves, without reliance on the commercial media or the luxury of having financial abundance. Against the backdrop of mass consumer conformity, the punk rock movement made a statement of individuality that was heard worldwide. Through the words
To situate concepts of gender in punk rock, a brief look must be given to the history of punk rock. Punk started in the late 1970’s, primarily in New York and London. The New York bands were influenced by artists such as the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and The Stooges, with the London bands being influenced by glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Mott the Hoople; as well as pub rock performers such as the 101ers. The punk movement flourished briefly between 1976 and
All of my work will be focused on songs underlining each analysis or historical fact. In addition, I will use as a reference "London Calling" (album) by The Clash, showing that this was a turning point that marked the end of punk.
Punk rock music has been used for decades to express dissatisfaction with society, government, or any idea common in mainstream media. Yet punk rock is not simply a tangent of the mainstream, it is a dynamic and fluid genre with many distinct songs. Don Letts, a mainstay in the London punk scene during the 70’s and 80’s, went as far to say that hip-hop was essentially “black” punk. While punk and hip-hop music are stylistically different, the fundamental tone of the two genres is the same. Even throughout the decades, hip-hop has sang the same issues as punk, including the plight of the lower class, police brutality, and gang violence.
Most of the original rebellion was directed towards the British class structure. They wanted to express their disapproval of the structure that governed their country. In The Jam’s “Eton Rifles”, the band sarcastically attacks the upper class, calling them arrogant and preaching to them that rugby is the only thing making them strong (Punk 68). The Sex Pistols’ album “God Save The Queen” portrays the Queen of England with a safety pin through her nose on their cover. The reaction to this outburst of shocking rebellion from the mainstream society was a strong, displeased one. American writer Greil Marcus defined punk as, “…refusing the future society has planned for you.” Thousands of social misfits attempted just that. Through the many causes for this rebellious political expression: communism, anarchy, feminism, etc., the punks of England had a focus and a reason. It was this that made the “punk” a valid, yet undesired member of society, and the British public got to see this sociological change first hand (Chamberlain par.8). Although this movement was short lived, its impact was a phenomenon, and its effects were long- lasting, which distinguished this group from previous generations.