Lessons Gleaned form the Punks II

JoeyMatto
7 min readMar 4, 2021

A SoundTrack Follow Up

The general idea of the punk & DIY culture is the disdain for the authoritarian thought process; whether a left or right agenda .

This is Part II of a series of III . The first article link follows :

https://joeymatto.medium.com/an-intro-to-life-lessons-gleaned-from-hanging-with-the-punks-f339886ce23c

Great , now that you are up to speed , this article is really a summary of the provided soundtrack .

A heads up about the playlist : You will need an Music Subscription to access playback .

The playlist itself is commentary from the anti — establishment mentality of late 70s early 80s punk rock . Typically , punk is three chord chaos , but this list is a tailored curation for the those who didn’t grow up in ‘ the scene ‘ ( the worst kind of fun , hanging with the street punks working the ‘ club ’ , in reality , a 750 sq foot dungeon on Edgewood Ave SE , Atlanta ) .

Punk rock is a market economy in itself . The community was a family who hosted & organised shows , potlucks , produced records , distributed , run recording studios . Using what was available , but the kids were dedicated . It was homemade , organic , art in motion . What passes for punk today is … I am speechless . The way I see it , it is not the DIY spirit of making art , pushing musical boundaries on terrible equipment .

The pioneers of early punk , created a living experiment , it was electric , even dangerous at times & could get dark . But if you were smart , the darkness was never a focal point .

Granted , punk rock has devolved from its anti established order , DIY work ethic origins , the spirit of the music was the pushing of the musical boundaries ; this is expressed by the Fugazi tracks Full Disclosure & Cashout . Fugazi was Ian MacKaye’s band & foray into post hardcore after Minor Threat , the band that spearheaded the straightedge youth movement , a reformation , if you will of the punk lifestyle of free drug & alcohol use . The mantra was that straight edge kids had their heads on straight & were able to think clearer than their street punk counterparts . Ian MacKaye & crew broke the three chord domination of the genre by pushing boundaries of musicianship . MacKaye & mates were already rooted in the DC hardcore scene .

https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/these-are-the-days-of-our-lives/pl.u-MRjWTqqdNJ9

The opener is by The Explosion , a Boston band that is in the vein of the Clash ; Ducky Boys . Save Us is an anthem of awakening to the fact that the system , as we know it is a trap for the helpless , those who have not waken up to their own power of self realisation ; being left with the option of renewing & starting again .

Banned in DC is a cut from Bad Brains 1982 release of the self titled album . The guitar solo by Dr Know is the definitive moment of promise & potential that punk offers .

Thievery Corporation is not in the punk timeline stream , but is an awakening to the possibility that monetary policy , driven by private banking cartels running policy from closed door meetings by people not in the public spotlight spells trouble for global monetary health . While not in the punk tradition , they are a DC dj duo who own ESL in DC , centre that contributed heavily to American Hardcore .

Lost in the Supermarket , by The Clash extols the decadence of Western Society ( a result of bad monetary policy at the top of the central bank scheme ) as well as a break from the previous three track’s intensity .

Rollins band , Black Flag , an LA HC ( HardCore ) standard provides insight into relying on one source for news & entertainment , the TV talking heads , the media conglomerate which keeps the populace passive .

Six Pack , a waster classic , was intended for this list , but didn’t make the cut , because too much Black Flag , like most hardcore of the time , is too intense to consume in one sitting . Pure aggro .

The East Bay’s AFI blusters through the trappings of cult identity , whether political or other means of group identity .

From the San Fernando Valley comes Bad Religion’s anthem New America , here , it is proposed that America , as a concept , is on the verge of greatness , a magnitude that can only be reached by making better individual choices , rather than waiting for someone to take a lead role .

LA’s TSOL ( True Sounds of Liberty ) makes the case to abolish government , along with the abandonment of G — D . Unfortunately , the sentiment is secular humanist , which has tendencies to lead to violent revolution & leads to desperate cries for dictatorship , as in the French Revolution & its return to the absolute monarchy of Napoleon .

Abolish Government / Silent Majority is here as a reference point in this playlist .

OxyMoron was exactly that . A contradiction . Analysing society’s inconsistencies , summarising that self rule is the only meaningful answer . To what extent depends on the solid morality of the individual . Anarchy is a slippery term , due to the radical socialist who have gravitated toward French Revolution duebachery as their reference point .

The idea of governance by democratic mob rule is floated on the track of the same name by the Adolescents , OxyMoron deduces further toward ultimate self rule . The Adolescents were honest enough to call out party affiliation , because , in the Athenian sense of democratic rule , the plebes exist at the pleasure of their rulers , who assigned value levels to individuals & status associations .

We are brought closer to out modern home timeline on Thrice’s Branch in the river . Thrice is one of the few bands to make it out of the HC revival of the late 90s . They were what they needed to be in their time , blunt & to the point breakdown heavy Orange County HC that actually took their musical talents beyond one particular style .

Branch in the River is an internal dialogue of one who is in peril . What to do , hang on & tire through exhaustion ( repetition of habits ) or let go ( empowerment ) the choice is there .

Wait til the breakdown .

The acoustic version of A Better Bridge is an honest , insightful introspection on the interactions between ourselves & others who we may be at philosophical odds with . The idea is co — operation through dialogue is a win — win for all parties involved .

The Long Defeat notes that the situation is bleak , relations have broken down , covering the world in darkness while this may be , the narrative in the song is that there is hope . The long defeat can be fought ; it will be resisted by a dedicated few , who did not get caught up in the prevailing winds of strife & division .

“ Still , I believe there is a thread through these thorns , I believe somewhere its warm , & I believe that its ever bright beyond this black , so keep holding on to hope without assurance “ … “ Still I believe there‘s a word in the wire , & I believe there’s a way through the fire , I believe there’s a joy that blooms beyond these walls , but keep holding on to hope without assurance ( a Tolkien nod ) . “

It is interesting to note that Thrice , although a HC band , frontman Dustin Kensrue litters Christian beliefs & allegory into his song writing . Ultimately , the only hope past this world , is the hope of a better world beyond & that while the temporal world may get dark , there is word in the wire that there is a way out , as we wait for to see the Son in His return to take His people home .

Kensrue’s lyrical development of essentially Protestant sentiments over the span of a twenty or so year discography , along with the band’s expanded HC sensibilities makes Thrice a great , great grandchild of the anti — establishment thought process of early punk pioneers , seasoned with Calvinist cerebration .

Perhaps I will throw out some early Thrice . Its great stuff , stylistically beyond the time-metrics of the style of the period that streams from the link posted here .

The Skatellites provide transition music as the admin changes & takes forever in typical Bureaucratic fashion . A reminder that the administrative state contained in the emerging Fortress DC will experience longer than normal response times as the fruit of disastrous economic policy ripens , readying for harvest .

The Smiths , a distant cousin to punk , fuzzes their guitars while Morrissey croons that the music that propels society is absolutely reprehensible & that its time to have a chat with the DJ .

The Sub Hum Ans , perhaps the best English anarcho - hardcore band , reminds that the electronic media manipulation numbs the minds of the people to accept any outcome that leaders deem necessary , blockage of opposing online speech on private platforms is also raised , but regardless , the thoughts of the individual is the strongest minority , one who self rules through contract with others , for this group , thought is free .

H2O reminds of purpose & to never forget the struggles that push us further in their interpretation of WarZone’s Don’t Forget the Struggle , Don’t Forget the Streets .

Joe Strummer ( of Clash frontman fame ) & The Mescalores welcomes us to the new world where the past was just a wild ride & that hopefully it was relished . Oh & by the way , there’s no smoking anymore .

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JoeyMatto

Mad Scientist , in the Lab . Food Obsessed Enthusiast . Ocassional commentary on culture , film , photography & art .