MUAR 392 Lecture Notes May 23
Circle Sky from film Head (1968) featuring the didn‟t toll the bell: „Oh, no! Johnny
Monkees Rotten likes me! I‟m done for! I can‟t
take it anymore!” Lydon said, laughing.
“Disco Sucks” (1979) by D.O.A “You know, what I loved about her was
that crossover thing. She broke out of
Punk all the genres and the labels and the
Discours for simplicity, authenticity, anti- categories and she opened up the world
there for many kinds. Some of those
mainstream/anti-commercialism (See songs gave women a sense of
Lester Bangs article Chapter 50 of individuality. They learned to stand up
for themselves. Gays loved her, the
A musical alternative to 1960s musical dance crowds loved her, singer-
alternative: rebellion against the ealier songwriters loved her. Very early dance
rebellion seen to have “sold-out,” – precursor, really, to rave and all of
become overly commercialized and
that. I Feel Love – wonderful things.
complex. Instead: “Three chords and That was the stuff I was enjoying.” From
the Truth” – but how does musical Montreal Gazette, May 17, 2012
simplicity connect to epistemology?
o Perhaps not so different as
Looked to simplicity of earlier rock & roll partisans than claimed?
as locus of more authentic musical spirit o A dialectic of punk and disco?
– how is this ironic? What would this mean?
Contraditctions: purportedly against
commercial fashion yet a fashion system Velvet Underground “Heroin” (1966/67)
itself; seen by some as espousing
progressive politics yet some punks Recorded in 1966: Released in 1967
used fascist/Nazi imagery and Produced by Pop visual artist Andy
associated with racist “skinhead” Warhol
movement; “I don‟t give a fuck!” attitude Key influence on punk: how does this
yet claiming standpoint of bearers of song exemplify Bangs‟ ideals?
authenticity and realism Only two chords: I-IV
Explicity opposed to commercialism of First line: “I don‟t know/Just where I‟m
disco, but how different are they? going”
Chapter 62 Punk o How might this relate to music?
Viola Drone: artful simplicity, anti-
virtuosic; minimalism influence of La
What according to Wolcott is the Monte Young and Terry Riley
“conversative impulse” of punk?
How is “conservative” here understood? Dynamic and timbral crescendo
Ironic given seeming sonic, sartorial New York Dolls “Personality Crisis” (1973)
radicalism of punks?
“[A]meliorating the post 60s hangover by
Power chord based – three chords: I-IV-
giving us a sense of detachment”? How V
is such detachment conveyed? Expression of energy more important
than technical ability
Virulent antagonism towards disco yet...
o Shows links between glam rock
During an interview to promote the new and punk
PiL album, This Is PiL, John Lydon
(Johnny Rotten) reacted to Donna
The Ramones: First punk band?
Summer‟s death on Thursday, with
typically irreverent humour but generous Formed in 1974 in New York City
spirit. “I was asked just recently about
records I love, and there‟s more than a
few by Donna Summer in there. I hope I Began playing regularly at Bowery bar Hardcore melded progressive politics of
CBGB (Country, Bluegrass, and Bluess) some English punk rockers (notably the
in 1975 Clash) with noice, confrontational
Loud distorted guitar using power performance art aspects of the avant-
chords, fast tempos (songs always less garde
than 3 min. Long), catchy pop melodies, Importance of D.I.Y (Do It Yourself)
lack of syncopation (denial of R&B aesthetic: Strong antipathy towards
influences)? major labels
Toured Europe with Talking Heads in Less glamorous than English punk, not
1975, extremely influential on British as “pop” as older punk
punk rock What is song‟s message?
“I Wanna Be Sedated” (1978 Is there contradiction between political
o How could we describe this radicalism and musical conservatism?
music? Their image? How might this relate to Adorno-
Chapter 63 Sex Pistols
Judt “The New Realism”
Creation of businessman Malcolm
McLaren who had previously worked Growing problems with post-WWII
with New York Dolls, saw group as welfare state consensus
promotion for his London Boutique Aging baby boomers, less workers,
increase in women‟s participation in
Sex that specialized in punk and
S&M clothin, ironic given punk claim work force causes decline in birth rate,
to anti-commercialist authenticity longer life spans leading to greater
pension and health care costs
„Rock is fundamentally a young Rise in government debt as
people‟s music, right? And a lot of
kids feel cheated. They feel that the governments continue to expand welfare
state but reach practical limit of raising