Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Punk: A Primer

Alanna Yaraskavitch is a former co-op student. She has also been a part of both the Wednesday and Thursday versions of Special Blend. The Special Blend is a public affairs/music show put on by a variety of hosts every morning from 7 - 9:30 AM.

Whenever I went into a music store as a young child, I would take a look at "London Calling" by The Clash. "WOWZAS!" I would think to my seven year old self. "This must be incredible!". A couple years later, I finally clued in to the fact that maybe I should actually get the record. I got the CD from the library, and I turned the volume on really low. I had no idea what it was going to sound like. I feared for the worst. However, all it took was one listen-through to get me hooked. Whether you are hate punk or love it, here are some of its great records.

The Ramones - Ramones (1976)

The record that started it all. Four boys from Forest Hills playing songs about sniffing glue, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and wanting to be your boyfriend. 1-2-3-4!

The Replacements - Tim (1985)

More sincere and sensitive than most punk records, this was the last Replacements record with the full original line-up. Full of catchy tracks and lyrics that make your heart explode, from the cuteness of "Kiss Me On The Bus" to the down and dirty punk anthem "Bastards Of Young". This is a killer album.

The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (1977)

I had no idea what to expect the first time I put this record on. It's actually pretty harmless, in all honesty. If, by of course, you classify harmless as denouncing religion, the monarchy and life as we know it. Fun fact: Malcom McLaren told Johnny Rotten to write a song like Television's "Blank Generation" after a trip to New York. He came up with "Pretty Vacant".

The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic (2003)

WHAAAT? A modern classic punk album?! It's true. This is the one and only album put out by Portland garage poppers The Exploding Hearts. After its release, three of the members died in a car crash. I can barely listen to this album without crying. Great, catchy stuff.

The Clash - The Clash (1977)

Be still my heart. The Clash are my Beatles. And they should be yours too! This record is insane. I could listen to it about a billion times and it would never, ever get old. From the opening chords of "Clash City Rockers" to the drums in "Janie Jones" to the lyrical brilliance of "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais", if you can only listen to one punk record for the rest of your life this should be it.

The Slits - Cut (1979)

Scarier than the Sex Pistols, doing reggae before The Clash, The Slits were true innovators. Ari-Up goes crazy when she sings. Something about the way she screams "Typical girls, typical girls" on this record continues to resonate with women - and men - of all ages.

The New York Dolls - New York Dolls (1973)

Glammy goodness! The New York Dolls are like a cooler, more dangerous version of The Rolling Stones. David Johansen's opening howl in "Personality Crisis" sets the tone for this great rock 'n' roll record filled with a delightful don't-give-a-crap punk attitude.

Bikini Kill - The CD Version Of The First Two Records (1994)

Their first two EP's on one convienent record! Riot Grrrl legends (though they'd probably hate that I wrote that). This is a noisy, frantic and urgent record. One time I heard Alan Cross play "Suck My Left On" on The On-Going History Of New Music and he warned the audience beforehand. HARDCORE!

Television - Marquee Moon (1977)

How does this record continue to sound so modern?! "Marquee Moon" is timeless. Definitely not conventional 3 chord, 2-minute punk. Filled with tons of guitar wails and lyrics that are more like poems than songs. Essential!

Teenage Head - Frantic City (1980)

Hamiltion PUNX. That cover! Those songs! How is this punky-power-poppy riot of a record not being played 24 hours a day on every commercial station in the world? The breakdown in "Take It" makes me want to die and puke and scream at the same time it's so good.

No comments:

Post a Comment