like a pair of bottle rockets

My name is Sophie. I'm a writer.

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#punk

“I’m not interested in punk as an aesthetic and I certainly don’t give a shit about what some hardcore kid thinks of our record. It’s a fucking arm-wrestling match and it’s pathetic. My idea of punk is not being interested in what other people think of punk.”

– Bradford Cox

“Yes, it is hard to be a punk band in a city where living costs are skyrocketing, we have very little of what you might call “DIY infrastructure”, and I think we are constantly wondering, “Is this the best way for me personally to question and resist what’s going on? This stuff happening that benefits the few, the rich and usually white, and sends everyone else packing? How am I part of this problem?” But, I read this really great Grass Widow interview last year where they said something like, “We have a friend who quit playing music recently. He said he wanted to do something more important with his life. And we thought to ourselves, why don’t you make your music more important?” So, on that hand, No, it is not hard to be a punk band here. We have our work cut out for us. It is really audacious and perhaps narcissistic of us to decide that we are going to make important music. And, ultimately, we don’t get to decide whether or not our music is or will be important to other people. But we can make work that is important and meaningful to us, and that in and of itself is a victory against “the capitalist system”, as Barbara Dane would call it. This is a system that discourages us, and makes it incredibly difficult for us, to create meaningful work. People will laugh or roll their eyes if you talk about the capitalist system too long, and that’s fine, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable because it doesn’t seem sexy, in the same way that feminism was derided by conservatives in the ’90s (and nearly every decade, really) to a place where it seemed really scary and uncool, generally unappealing to a lot of women (let alone men!). Priests is a band, we’re really just performers in one sense. Our job is just doing whatever will make you entertained for as long as possible. But I think we can entertain and communicate. We can use our music as a tool and a weapon and a celebration all at the same time.”

Katie Alice Greer of Priests

“It was J.D.s, as in Juvenile Delinquents. That was the initial inspiration [for the zine]. It also stood for James Dean and J. D. Salinger. And I was drinking a lot of Jack Daniels at the time. We borrowed from The Situationists quite heavily — this idea of creating a spectacle and propping it up in the media, even though it was fiction. We created personae that we hid behind, in a Wizard of Oz style.”

– From an oral history of the queercore movement. Super super worth reading. 

“Yet finally, to invoke Janis Joplin’s death as an excuse for closing down, playing it safe, would be to trivialize both her life and her art. For the truth is that antiutopianism also has its price, which is the inability to feel our deepest longings and ultimately to feel much of anything at all. Even anger can be a kind of numbness.”

– Ellen Willis, 1993

“When I started writing this, I was worried I might trigger incidents of punk- bashing by black gangs. Now I realize that nobody cares. Most white people think the whole subject of racism is boring, and anybody looking for somebody to stomp is gonna find them irrespective of magazine articles. Because nothing could make the rage of the underclass greater than it is already, and nothing short of a hydrogen bomb on their own heads or a sudden brutal bigoted slap in the face will make almost anybody think about anybody else’s problems but their own. And that’s where you cross over the line. At least when you allow the poison in you to erupt, that can be dealt with; maybe the greater evil occurs when you refuse to recognize that the poison even exists. In other words, when you assent by passivity or indifference. Hell, most people live on the other side of that line.”

LESTER BANGS - “The White Noise Supremacists” (from the Village Voice, 1979)

So relevant.