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‘The Punk Rock Movie’: The Clash, The Pistols, The Banshees and more in Don Letts’ classic film
09.14.2012
08:03 pm

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Movies
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

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thepunkrockmovie_donletts
 
Filmmaker and musician, Don Letts was working as a DJ at the Roxy club in London in 1977 when he filmed most of the punk bands that appeared there with his Super 8 camera. Letts captured a glorious moment of musical history and its ensuing social, political and cultural revolution.

Letts decided he was going to make a film with his footage, and had sold his belongings to ensure he had enough film stock to record the bands that appeared night-after-night over a 3 month period. Eventually, he collated all of the footage into The Punk Rock Movie, which contained performances by the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Generation X, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eater, Subway Sect, X-Ray Spex, Alternative TV and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. There was also backstage footage of certain bands, and Sid Vicious’ first appearance with the Sex Pistols, at The Screen On The Green cinema, April 3rd, 1977.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Pussy Riot to be released from jail in October?
09.12.2012
01:25 pm

Topics:
Activism
Current Events
Pop Culture
Punk

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Via Associated Press:

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday called for three members of the punk band Pussy Riot to be freed, a sign that the women’s release could be imminent as their case comes up for appeal on Oct. 1.

The women were arrested for performing a raucous prayer inside Moscow’s main cathedral asking Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin as he headed into the election that handed him a third term as president. They had already spent more than five months in jail when they were convicted in August of “hooliganism driven by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in prison.

Medvedev remains subordinate to Putin. But by being the one to call for the women’s release, the prime minister, who has cultivated the image as a more liberal leader, could allow Putin to put the case behind him while not appearing weak.

Medvedev said the women’s appearance and the “hysteria” accompanying them made him sick, but keeping them in prison any longer would be unproductive.

“In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody,” he said during a televised meeting with members of his United Russia party.

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Smokin’ set by Elvis Costello and The Attractions from 1978
09.09.2012
04:21 am

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Music
Punk

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Unquestionably one of the tightest punk bands to assault the airwaves, Elvis Costello and The Attractions tear through a solid set of tunes on German TV in 1978 and it’s fucking exhilarating.

01 Mystery Dance
02 End Of The World
03 Lip Service
04 Two Little Hitlers
05 The Beat
06 Night Rally
07 This Year’s Girl
08 No Action
09 (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea
10 Lipstick Vogue
11 Watching The Detectives
12 Pump It Up
13 You Belong To Me

The band is awesome but man the audience is feeble, which may explain why Elvis and the boys are ripping through the set…they can’t wait to get to the nearest bar.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Patti Smith Group cover The Velvet Underground’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ in 1976
09.07.2012
03:26 pm

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Music
Punk

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Photo credit: Kate Simon
 
Patti Smith Group perform The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” and garage classic “Louie Louie” written by Richard Berry and made famous by The Kingsmen.

Stockholm 1976.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Watch a garbage dumpster give birth to GG Allin and a blow-up sex doll
09.02.2012
10:41 pm

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Punk

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Labor Day special.

Working class heroes GG Allin and The Scumfucs perform songs you know and love, including “Drink, Fight and Fuck,” “Out For Blood,” and the holiday classic “Cock On The Loose.”

Take a break from the doldrums of the workaday world and let GG light up your life.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Battle of the Bang Bangs: Bowie vs. Iggy. Win, lose or draw?
08.30.2012
04:07 pm

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Music
Punk

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Written by Iggy Pop and Ivan Kral and produced by Tommy Boyce, “Bang Bang” was in heavy rotation in dance clubs when it was released in 1981 but failed to cross-over to mainstream success at a time when Pop was under a lot of record company pressure to create some hits.

David Bowie later covered the tune on his less-than-stellar 1987 release Never Let Me Down, an album Bowie claimed “had good songs that I mistreated.”

Did Bowie mistreat “Bang Bang”? Or did he blow Iggy out of the water? Or neither?

Welcome to the battle of the “Bang Bangs.”
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Rock it to Russia: Photos of punks in the Soviet Union
08.28.2012
05:52 pm

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Politics
Pop Culture
Punk

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These photos of Russian punks circa the 1980s and 90s are from a fascinating article on underground rock in the Soviet Union posted on the website From The Barrelhouse.

“Barrelhouse” is definitely worth a visit for articles on everything from Kenneth Anger to Mike the Headless Chicken.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Patti Smith’s rioting pussy in 1978
08.28.2012
04:54 pm

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Music
Politics
Punk

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Patti Smith’s pussy has been rioting for 4 decades now and this clip from 1978 is a reminder of just much of a rock warrior she was and has always been.

This all-too-brief clip is from a 1978 PBS television fundraiser, The Night Of The Empty Chairs, organized by Leonard Bernstein in support of Amnesty International and in protest of political oppression across the globe.

Patti began her performance by reading a poetic declaration from Czech band Plastic People Of The Universe, who had for many years experienced unrelenting oppression in their homeland.

In the sixties there was a piece called HUNDRED PER CENT that the Plastic People of the Universe writ.  After a decade of harassment, censorship, mace, lice - they were arrested in the Spring of 1977.  All their work - the technology of their work - everything built on blood and sweat, was confiscated, which brought another blow in the face, which mouths the tongue of love. Rock ‘n’ roll: the universal language of freedom.

In the harsh light of recent events involving Pussy Riot, these words have never seemed more timely or more true.

A HUNDRED PER CENT - REVISITED

They’re afraid of the old for their memory. 
They’re afraid of the young for their ideas - ideals.
They’re afraid of funerals - of flowers - of workers -
of churches - of party members - of good times.
They’re afraid of art - they’re afraid of art.
They’re afraid of language - communication.
They’re afraid of theater.
They’re afraid of film - of Pasolini - of God/dard.
of painters - of musicians - of stones and sculptors.

They’re afraid.
They’re afraid of radio stations.
They’re afraid of technology, free float form of
information. Paris Match - Telex - Guttenburg - Xerox
- IBM - wave lengths.
They’re afraid of telephones.
They’re afraid.
They’re afraid to let the people in. 
They’re afraid to let the people out.
They’re afraid of the left.
They’re afraid of the right.
They’re afraid of the sudden departure of Soviet
troops - of change in Moscow - of facing the strange -
of spies - of counterspies.
They’re afraid.
They’re afraid of their own police.
They’re afraid of guitar players.
They’re afraid of athletes - of Olympics - of the
Olympic spirit - of saints - of the innocence of
children. 
They’re afraid. 
They’re afraid of political prisoners. 
They’re afraid of prisoners families - of conscience -
of science.
They’re afraid of the future.
They’re afraid of tomorrow’s morning.
They’re afraid of tomorrow’s evening.
They’re afraid of tomorrow.
They’re afraid of the future.
They’re afraid of stratocasters - of telecasters.
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll.
What does he mean, even rock bands?  Even rock bands?
Rock bands more than anybody else suffer from
political repression. 
They’re afraid.
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll - of telecasters - of
stratocasters - of old age - in the streets - behind
the locked doors.
They’re afraid of what they’ve written - of what
they’ve said - of fire - of water - of wind - of slow
- of snow - of love - excretion.
They’re afraid of noise - of peace - of silence - of
grief - of joy - of language - of laughter - of
pornography - of honest and upright - they’re uptight.

They’re afraid of lone and learn and learned people.
They’re afraid of human rights and Karl Marx and raw
power.
They’re afraid of socialism. 
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll.
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll.
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll.
They’re afraid of rock ‘n’ roll.

AND WHY THE HELL ARE WE AFRAID OF THEM?

Patti Smith Group guitarist Ivan Kral, who is Czech, provides some vocal back-up.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Punk 1976-78: The Best of Tony Wilson’s ‘So It Goes’
08.28.2012
04:37 pm

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Heroes
Pop Culture
Punk
Television

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TONY_WILSON_SO_IT_GOES
 
I miss Tony Wilson. I miss the idea of Tony Wilson. Someone who had an enquiring mind and was full of intelligent enthusiasms, like Tony Wilson. And who also didn’t mind making a prat of himself when he got things wrong. Or, even right.

I met him in 2005 for a TV interview. He arrived on a summer’s day at a small studio in West London. He wore a linen suit, sandals, carried a briefcase, and his toenails were painted a rich plum color - his wife had painted them the night before, he said.

Wilson was clever, inspired and passionate about music. He talked about his latest signing, a rap band, and his plans for In the City music festival before we moved onto the Q&A in front of a camera. He could talk for England, but he was always interested in what other people were doing, what they thought, and was always always encouraging others to be their best. That’s what I miss.

You get more than an idea of that Tony Wilson in this compilation of the best of his regional tea-time TV series So It Goes. Wilson (along with Janet Street-Porter) championed Punk Rock on TV, and here he picks a Premier Division of talent:

Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Iggy Pop, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Penetration, Blondie, Fall, Jam, Jordan, Devo, Tom Robinson Band, Johnny Thunder, Elvis Costello, XTC, Jonathan Richman, Nick Lowe, Siouxie & the Banshees, Cherry Vanilla & Magazine….. The tape fails there!

The uploader ConcreteBarge has left in the adverts “for historical reference” that include - “TSB, Once, Cluster, Coke is it, Roger Daltery in American Express, Ulay, Swan, Our Price, Gastrils, Cluster & Prestige”.

So, let’s get in the time machine and travel back for an hour of TV fun.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Best of ‘So It Goes’: Clash, Sex Pistols, Iggy The Fall, Joy Division and more


 
With thanks to Daniel Ceci
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Two members of Pussy Riot flee Russia
08.26.2012
07:03 pm

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Art
Politics
Punk

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Two members of the Pussy Riot feminist art collective have fled from Russia to avoid prosecution for the same protest against Vladimir Putin that landed three of their fellow band mates two-year prison sentences. This according to the AP report and the Pussy Riot Twitter feed:

Five members of the feminist group took part in a provocative performance inside Moscow’s main cathedral in February to protest the Russian leader’s rule and his cozy relationship with the Orthodox Church. The women wore their trademark garishly colored balaclavas, which made it difficult for police to identify them, and only three were arrested.

After a controversial trial that highlighted Putin’s crackdown on dissent since he began a third presidential term in May, the three band members were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison on Aug. 17. Days later, Moscow police said they were searching for the other band members, an apparent warning to the group to stop its anti-Putin protests.

Even as the judge was reading the verdict in a Moscow courtroom, one of the band members who had escaped arrest played Pussy Riot’s latest song, “Putin sets the fires of revolutions,” from the balcony of an apartment building across the street.

Pussy Riot tweeted on Sunday that the two activists had fled Russia and are “recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions.” No mention was made of where they went.

Can’t say I blame them for wanting to keep mum on that count!

An essay appeared in The Moscow Times today arguing that the political art/punk pranksters have roots to earlier counterculture movements and strains of Russian political dissent going back to the 19th Century. Peter Rutland writes:

Much more interesting than the band’s antics in the cathedral, however, were the closing statements that the three defendants delivered to the court, which New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick described as “a kind of instant classic in the anthology of dissidence.” Each woman took a different theme. Yekaterina Samutsevich dissected the unhealthy fusion of church and state. Maria Alyokhina talked about the deficiencies of the country’s education system and the suppression of the individual. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova offered a critique of the “autocratic political system” in general and the conduct of their prosecution in particular.

The statements portray a society that is passive and disoriented in the face of an all-powerful ruling bureaucracy. Their critique is spiritual rather than material, and they are not particularly interested in leveling accusations of corruption, which have been the central theme of the mainstream opposition.

Many Russian observers have been dismissive of Pussy Riot, characterizing their provocative actions, including previous performances of a sexual nature, as infantile and offensive — and unpopular with the public at large. But it is not at all clear whether Pussy Riot expects or even desires a groundswell of public support. They do not aspire to be leaders of a revolutionary movement, either Orange or Leninist.

Rather, their appeal for truth and freedom puts them squarely in the tradition of the 19th-century Russian intelligentsia. Tolokonnikova directly referred to the group’s punk antics as equivalent to the truth-telling “holy fools” of centuries past and embraced the idea that their prison sentence proves the virtue of their cause.

Pussy Riot adopted the tactics of protest from the Situationists of 1960s France, the punk rockers of 1970s Britain and the feminist Riot Grrrls in the United States in the 1990s. The idea of donning masks comes from the movie “V for Vendetta,” which was popularized by the Occupy movement.

But the strategy of Pussy Riot has a deeper foundation. Their moral critique of authority and appeal to a higher truth is rooted in pre-revolutionary Russia, a tradition that fitfully resurfaced during the Soviet years. They cite 19th-century literary critic Vissarion Belinsky and Fyodor Dostoevsky, but not Voltaire, John Stuart Mill or other representatives of the Western liberal tradition.

The assertion of an individual’s right to exist — what Alyohkhina refers to as “inner freedom” — is not a problem for young people living in the West and has not been for a century or more. Whatever the shibboleths that are evoked by today’s Western radicals — such as capitalism, neoliberalism, Empire and racism — they are phenomena quite different from the challenge posed by the authoritarian Russian state.

There are at least twelve other members of the Pussy Riot collective who still remain in Russia.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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