Kizzy’s Blog 2/8/2019 – Resting Punk Face
The Complexities of Punk
Punk. The genre that emerged as a reaction to what rock and roll had become; the complex, pretentious nature of Prog Rock bands such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, and Genesis; the never-ending guitar solos and overwhelming trappings of arena rock bands; the outrageous wardrobes and special effects that were in a way more important than the music itself.
Punk, pure, powerful . . . simple. Ramones took the 3-chords and 1-verse structure, repeated over and over as their trademark. And they excelled at it! It is often this simplicity of structure that critics use to decry the genre. One of my new favorites is a later one, written by CJ Ramone, Got a Lot to Say. Two lyric sentences throughout the entire song.
But . . . hidden within this codex is a great complexity, often going unseen by the masses. Ramones songs for example quite frequently changed up the time signatures, going from 4/4 to 6/4 and back again with breakneck speed. RAMONES: I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement, Loud Mouth. ROCKET TO RUSSIA: Happy Family, Lobotomy, Rockaway Beach. And all you have to do is figure out a Dead Kennedys song to know these guys were virtuosos in their field, playing music that is anything but simple. But it wasn’t a slap in the face with a pretentious pose and glitter. And the message of the lyrics was a Punk Rock punch-in-the-gut to the establishment.
And Punk itself is a complex genre, including such bands as Dead Boys, Rancid, Ramones, Misfits, pure, simple and raw, but also encompassing bands like Blondie, the Clash, and The Specials, all of whom utilized elements of disco, funk, reggae and ska. But still it was punk. Although a few of these bands commercialized and moved away from punk altogether as their careers drew on.
And then Grunge appeared on the scene, taking punk back to punk. Nirvana took the simple 2 or 3 chords and screaming vocals center stage once again. To me, Grunge and Punk are blood brothers.
But what’s my point here? All I’m saying is, don’t write punk music off as beneath the bar of serious music, as illegitimate in structure and merit, not worth the vinyl it was recorded on. This stuff has lasted 50 years, after all, and is still breathing fire against the fortresses of Corporate Radio. It’s message is vital and passionate. In today’s world, it is as necessary as it was the day it was born. Long live Punk. And never settle for the shit that is being peddled in the name of easy money. As simple as it is, punk is still eons more complex and important than the insipid bubblegum rubbish that is winning Grammys today.
Kizzy’s Blog 7/25/2018 – Resting Punk Face
The impetus for this band was to bring punk rock back. We love punk rock, and we want to share it. Although, you could argue that it never really went away. In the decades since Punk exploded onto the scene in the mid-70s, many awesome and capable bands have carried on the tradition without a break in lineage from then to the current day.
But yet, it has been missing, missing from the corporate-owned radio stations, missing from the majority of clubs and bars that hammer out again and again tired, overplayed classic rock and “vanilla” rock. (Thanks to my friend Steve for introducing this term to my vocabulary of music modifiers.) When I was a teenager in the late-70s, WZZO had a Sunday night program called Power Rock, where you could hear nothing but the newest punk music from around the globe.
The only bastion of punk on radio these days is the college stations, WMUH, and WLVR in particular. We love you guys!!!
But what blew us away at our debut gig at Southside 313 in June was all you out there, who are as intensely into punk as we are. There is a spectacular underground of punks, most disguised in their day-to-day personages, who are seething for a reemergence of the energy, the social and political importance of this music.
But punk is out there. It is thriving, sometimes under the pseudonym of Alternative Rock, cousin to the genres of Screamo and Thrash Metal. But it is there. And it has been creeping into the mainstream advertising world of late. I have recently heard the Ramones in commercials for Subway, Peloton, and Fidelity Investments.
So let’s continue this revolution! Let’s put Punk Rock front and center where it belongs. Let’s shout the messages that need to be heard. Because in our current world, these messages, this revolutionary energy, is needed like never before.
Hey all you RPF people!
Chris here with some stuff to say…I always have something goin’ in my head and ITS A HUGE STRUGGLE to maintain…ok, ok I digress.
Punk rock. Hmmm…as I was in high school from 82-86 I was “there” as a teen, sort-of. In addition to all the music (Killdozer and various high school bands) I was newly into guitar so of course smashing a few barre chords was THE BEST EVER! I also got a lot of Gary Numan and Men Without Hats from my step brothers. Unfortunately they both became fixated upon David Bowie and ELO, playing them non-stop. Needless to say, I love you guys, but you messed up my brain with those two bands forever. I’m sure we all have an overplayed story or two eh?
I’m still digressing!!!
One of my best friends ever Barbara Bjerring (www.bbjerring.com) at Deeply Flawed art studio introduced this to me and I’m sure there’s a huge cannon of meaning that i can explore, but I take this idea very seriously as I work.
Within any creative endeavor, be it; painting, ceramics, poetry, slam dancing, or whatever…there is a space to operate. This space is flexible, indeed it can be unlimited…YIKES!
How can I handle the unlimited and the infinite? It’s easy, I use enabling constraints to view the unlimited
The boundaries I am in with RPF is the idea of Punk…whoa…that’s pretty huge, I’m gonna pare that down with more constraints. I’m going to hold ideas in my head while simultaneously smashing barre chords!