Saturday, July 01, 2006

How Punk Rock Became a Thirty Year Old Creep That Lures Teens on MySpace

(courtesy of status 6)

Gabba Gabba Hey!

Those were punk's infantile utterings. Punk was an amalgam of art and rock. Art rock without the classical pretension, if you will. Art rock that artists actually liked.

In the '80's, punk was still scabrous, but even then, skeptics (including Johnny Rotten/Lydon) declared punk rock dead and created postpunk, which is enjoying a resurgence.

Man, were they ahead of their time! Indie record stores mainly sell prog-rock and folk music now just to scare away annoying skate punks that shop at Hot Topic and play Tony Hawk.

What? Hot Topic? Tony Hawk? How did punk become a thirty-year old creep that preys on teens on MySpace?

For better or worse, with the advent of Nirvana, punk left its circle of theory geeks and slept with the football team by age fifteen. Those cheerleaders in the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video were metaphors for punk's newfound Ms. Popular status after it won its catfight with pop music. Popular punk reached its peak at age 18, when Green Day released"Dookie."

But in 1997, punk felt less sexy. Hip-hop, techno and pop - yes, pop came back from that catfight with a vengeance - were all the rage. Indeed, every music publication eagerly awaited the death of rock.

Nobody loves you when you're twenty three

Funny that this is the chorus to a Blink 182 song that was on the radio the very same year punk turned 23.

Was this the problem with punk? The underground and the mainstream
were abandoning it? If so, Blink 182 took it to the senior prom.

Now, punk rock is the soundtrack to high school comedies, bad skating videos and annoying teenyboppers cruising around the suburbs. Now punk rock is a bloated creep that leers at hot teenagers online.

Only it needs a screen name: emo. It wears black granny glasses and cuts itself when no one is looking at the food court.

Will punk ever come back? Punk never went anywhere - it just aged horribly. Which is sad because we need the vitriol and energy of punk more than ever. Green Day's "American Idiot" proved to be a flash in the pan; "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" was many things, but it definitely wasn't punk.

courtesy of adamgilhespy

Even those who age horribly look sexy on the right night in the right light with the right clothes. Tonight, The Futureheads are playing the Motherfucker party. Tonight, punk will stop lurking online and start living it up in Manhattan with its old friends: the theory geeks, the art fags, the weirdos.

Ironic that The Futureheads are the surprise band because it's as if this were a surprise birthday party for punk rock.

Happy thirtieth birthday punk rock. Now move out of the basement and stop hanging out with the wrong crowd.

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