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To cap off our month-long celebration of youth culture and talent, the Librarian with the Purple Spectacles looks at punk rock, one of the most distinctive youth music subcultures of the twentieth century that drew fascination, furore and fandom with its iconoclastic music and fashion style. Music fans and Cultural Studies scholars still debate over exactly when and how the punk rock movement started. This interpretation of the origins of punk, however, gives only one side of the story.

The Sex Pistols have become the definitive icon of the punk rock movement. It was the Sex Pistols, and not the Velvet Underground or the Ramones, who pioneered a distinctively political form rock music, which grew out of and responded to the dire conditions the British working class was facing in the late s. The UK in the late s was caught in between a deep economic recession and sky-high inflation, which led to disastrously high levels of unemployment and national debt.

Industrial workers were especially badly affected as the manufacturing industry collapsed and inflation made it even harder for them to buy basic commodities for everyday use.


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Punk rock was explicitly anti-establishment, and it articulated its opposition to socio-economic inequality not only through its songs but also through its fashion style. Punk championed a Do-It-Yourself aesthetic that involved appropriating banal objects from everyday life for outrageously bizarre purposes.

Anarchy in the UK: The Explosive Emergence of Punk Rock and its Aftermath

Punk was also opposed to racism, which was experiencing a revival in the s. In fact, punk openly identified with the black music subculture of reggae.

Lack of money. When the arse of your pants falls out you just use safety pins to stick it back on.

Darkness over England: Punk Rock and the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour 1976

Besides criticising class and race inequality, punk rock attacked the status quo on the more abstract level of language as well. In the world of punk fashion, the safety pin is no longer a functional instrument used to hold damaged clothing in place.

Oxford Univ Press, It Makes You Want to Spit! Dublin: Reekus, Punk rock, so what? Roger Sabin, London: Routledge, , Hooleygan: Music, Mayhem and Good Vibrations. Belfast: Blackstaff, , and personal interviews. Colours: Ireland — from Bombs to Boom.

Punk Rock: So What? : the Cultural Legacy of Punk - كتب Google

Edinburgh: Mainstream Pub, , This was also the case for most of the bands from the more militant second wave of s punk, which were inspired by English anarcho-punk acts such as Crass and Poison Girls. London: Routledge, and Frith, Simon. New York: Pantheon, Timothy A.

His wider interests lie with Irish studies, gender issues, and popular and alternative cultures. His first article has been published in issue 19 of the journal Imaginaires Presses universitaires de Reims, You can find him on Twitter and academia. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Parochial, not provincial? Punk outside the metropolis: the case of Northern Ireland

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