novice Buddhist, expert neurotic. writer. aspiring adult.
sophcw at gmail dot com
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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.
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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.
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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.
Swearin’ at the February 5th Permanent Wave show at Big Snow BK.
God I need to get a real camera. This band was great though.
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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.
If you thought you could live through 2011 without having to deal with a new fucking ridiculous buzzgenre, think again.
#SEAPUNK IS THE NU NEW AGE.
#SEAPUNK IS THE NEW GLO-FI.
#SEAPUNK IS THE NEW WITCH HAUS.
More to come.
In case you’re wondering what you’re gonna be angry about next. Here it is.
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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.
I told him I thought there was a difference between using words in dramatic context and just to draw a cheap laugh in a song. But the truth is that by now I was becoming more confused than ever. All I knew was that when you added all this sort of stuff up you realized a line had been crossed by certain people we thought we knew, even believed in, while we weren’t looking. Either that or they were always across that line and we never bothered to look until we tripped over it. And sometimes you even find that you yourself have drifted across that line.
I came across this piece again this week while trying to find something else I thought I remembered Bangs had written (I never found it). I posted the link on Barthel’s fb— um, I’m on there now, friends— in re: his latest smart Awl piece, but I thought I’d share it here, too. Seems relevant to all the broader discussion lately of the role of offensiveness in art, except Bangs’s focus is more racism than misogyny (though he does comment on the Stranglers, dismissively). Anyway, another perspective, from a very different era.
The quotes in here from Nico are depressing and brutal.
Pretty floored by this article.
But it illustrates one primal fact: how easily and suddenly you may find yourself imprisoned and suffocated by the very liberation from cant, dogma, and
hypocrisy you thought you’d achieved. That sometimes—usually?—you’ll find that you don’t know where to draw the line until you’re miles across it in a field of land mines.
Posting more quotes.
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