Showing posts with label 1983. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1983. Show all posts

Monday, December 3, 2018

resonators 2018 - episode #011 - 'earth a.d./wolfs blood' by misfits (VIDEO)

Nearly forgot to post this - but yeah, bit of a frustrating review to put together for Resonators. Eh, it happens.

Next up, time to catch up on a slow weekend where I wasn't doing much - stay tuned!

Friday, November 30, 2018

resonators 2018 - episode #011 - 'earth a.d./wolfs blood' by misfits

So in my loosely sketched out plans for this show, I was planning on covering this last month. I figured it would fit: the band many people attribute to the breakout of horror punk with a video set for around Halloween, that's almost too easy. But my plans went awry when you all wanted me to cover Husker Du and fair enough, I totally get why, but I still hoped that I'd get a chance to discuss this band in particular, especially as we're dealing with two very unique facets: not only were they band that broke horror punk, but they're also an example of a band that started in more traditional punk rock before shifting into hardcore... which wasn't really common. Normally it was the other way around, with hardcore punk bands expanding or shifting their sound either towards crossover thrash, punk rock, post-punk, or just outright alternative.

But this band was different - in the late 70s in exchange for a trademark with Mercury Records they got enough studio time to hammer out an album that wouldn't see release until the 90s, and like most punk bands around the turn of the decade they saw most of their success off of singles. But they built notoriety in the scene for an increasingly exaggerated and macabre image, along with a reputation for criminal antics and a rotating cast list of members. By 1982 they had managed to push out a proper debut that won some acclaim for solid melodies and a distinctive, schlock-horror theme in their songwriting, but the band was in mid-collapse even then and the frontman Glenn Danzig had confided in his friend and frontman of Black Flag Henry Rollins that he was planning on quitting himself. By 1983, Danzig was even including songs he was intending for a future band on the sophomore project just to push the album through to completion... and it wouldn't be enough. The band would break up two months before this album's release after a disastrous Halloween show and would not reform in any capacity until the late 90s, leaving behind what some have deemed a hardcore punk classic. That's right folk, we're talking about Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood by the Misfits, and this is Resonators!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

resonators 2018 - episode #006 - 'kill from the heart' by dicks (VIDEO)

I've got a lot of thoughts that I wound up being the one doing this profile years later - the fact that I can't find any anniversary pieces on this album baffles me, or even something in Pride... but then again, hardcore punk being ahead of its time and then promptly forgotten is nothing new. /sigh

Okay, next up, let's talk about Natalie Prass and then I might handle Panic! At The Disco - stay tuned!

resonators 2018 - episode #006 - 'kill from the heart' by dicks

So there are some cultural narratives around certain genres of music like hardcore punk that I'd like to think this series at least has taken a small step in helping demystify, and today we're going to be talking about one of the more complicated ones: homosexuality in hardcore. Because just within the classic records I've covered so far we've heard gay slurs, and while the majority of the artists seem to regret them now, it's just as important to understand this was the early 1980s. It was Reagan's America, hypermasculinity was in, and hardcore punk was very much a boys club, and even though we're talking about a genre that trended left, I wasn't remotely surprised to see those slurs pop up among young guys looking to be as blunt and edgy as possible.

But that did not mean that there weren't gay artists in hardcore, and while I wasn't originally hoping for this record to top the poll for this month, given that it's Pride Month I'm kind of happy it did. That's right, folks, it's time we talk about one of the foundational albums in queercore, hardcore punk that tried to take a stridently progressive angle when it came to sexuality and gender and bringing it with as much fury as any of their more conventionally oriented counterparts. Hailing from Texas of all places and well-known for a drunken live show and their prominent socialist bent - and again, this was in 1983 - a band in Austin started as a joke by their openly gay frontman Gary Lloyd until singles and records proved otherwise, today we're going to be talking about The Dicks, and their full-length debut album Kill From The Heart, and this is Resonators!

Monday, May 28, 2018

resonators 2018 - episode #005 - 'out of step' by minor threat (VIDEO)

You know, I was kind of expecting this Resonators episode to feel longer... but when you have hardcore punk records this incredible and direct, you really don't need to say much at all!

But it's not the only video coming out tonight, so stay tuned!

resonators 2018 - episode #005 - 'out of step' by minor threat

Well, we're finally here: the topic that I've danced around a fair bit with hardcore punk but one that really is quintessential for understanding the scene - and like with most things hardcore punk it got chronically misunderstood and stigmatized by organizations and systems not willing to see nuance, and partially consumed from within by complications at its core. Yes folks, we're getting political here again, because it's time we talk about straight edge. 

And with this comes a huge disclaimer: I'm not straight edge, and I probably never will be. I don't smoke because lung cancer and heart disease killed my grandfather and I don't do drugs mostly because I'm not really interested or have the time or money to get into it, but I do like craft beer and good wine and entirely too much bourbon. I know folks who are both edge and ex-edge, and I've got no room for judgement for either group - not only is it emphatically not my place, the choice to go edge is an individual one, and one for the record I do respect. Also keep in mind that in the early 80s when straight edge began as a true grassroots movement, it was on some level reactionary but that does not diminish its power or relevance - coming out of the late 70s and very early 80s, a lot of punks died from drug and alcohol abuse, and when you factor in that most of the hardcore punk scene was in their very early twenties, it's completely understandable if broad action was taken without a lot of consideration for what straight edge would become throughout the rest of the decade and into the 90s. If we ever talk about Earth Crisis on Resonators I'll weigh in more significantly on the more complicated activist side of the movement, but the early 80s, it was a movement to help protect a lot of kids from substance abuse that most weren't prepared to handle and provide them a space where they weren't marginalized for not partaking, both in the bands and outside of them. And as such, when edge advocates say that straight edge probably saved a lot of punks' lives, I tend to agree with that.

So today we're going to talk about the artist that coined the phrase 'straight edge' in a 1981 song of that title: Washington D.C. native Ian MacKaye, and his band Minor Threat. Now I do not have enough time to go into a full history of Ian MacKaye - again, if we get to Fugazi I'll speak more on him - but in 1981 he was gaining traction with the second of his bands Minor Threat. Also worth keeping in mind he was nineteen at the time and was running his own DIY label Dischord Records, where Minor Threat released two EPs in 1981 and almost by accident started the straight edge movement. He also racked up some negative publicity for a song called 'Guilty Of Being White', and if you remember some of the conversation about race from the Bad Brains episode, you might understand why this might have been controversial. To MacKaye's credit, I do buy that it's not intended to be read as racist, but man it has not aged well, and when you factor in how straight edge was already starting to become more of an activist movement, it's no surprise Minor Threat went on hiatus while founding guitarist Lyle Preslar went to college. But the band reformed after one semester and started recording the record we'll be talking about today - the only full-length record released by Minor Threat, and nowadays widely touted as one of the most influential records in hardcore punk. That's right, we're talking about Out Of Step by Minor Threat, and this is Resonators!