Artist: Various Artists Title: “Punks Not Dead” Label: MVD Visual Release Date: 8/17/2009 Genre: Punk Rock Documentary Rating: 3.75/5
“Punks Not Dead” is an interesting documentary film that presents to the viewer what I felt was a great inside and historical look into the Punk Rock and Hardcore movement when it first started to pick up steam back in the mid 70’s. It succeeds in its quest to inform the home audience of today by blending interview footage from notable acts such as The Damned, The Ramones, Circle Jerks, The Subhumans along with many, many more and explains to you in their own words just how reviled and accepted the Punk Rock genre was in its infancy. The film wisely starts at the apparent beginnings of the whole movement and explains how the whole DIY principle worked out. If you don’t know what DIY is, you should know that it stands for “Do It Yourself” and how it is still a larger practice today when it comes to the underground scene of any music genre in addition to what now calls itself today’s Punk. When the term was new it referred to how the bands booked shows by using phony credit card numbers and shared public phones that they were able to use for free and how most bands sent out their music to the fans from their houses and often sought a place to crash from these same fans when they would be in their town. One of the key quotes gives kudos to how all of this networking, touring and building of a music scene was all being done without the support or even interest from major record companies. The experts in the Punk music realm discuss how like many things with an original small fan response or underground only following can get big and eventually reach the mainstream. Of course this happening sometimes generates the feeling in its original fans that it had sold out from the aesthetic that it once held and was no longer relevant. We see this all the time with the fans who stake claim on bands “first” and no longer liking them when the rest of the world jumps on board. Some bands that are cited as helping to push Punk into the mainstream are The Offspring, Green Day, Rancid and Pennywise. They even mention Nirvana and while the Grunge Rock band definitely sold millions of albums, I didn’t see them as a Punk act and wondered how they came to feel they applied to this situation. Quotes from founders of many of the original Punk Rock record companies are spoken to and they explain how almost every dollar earned was put right back into getting the next record out for the band that had earned the money or another worthy act. That’s a lot different from a label earning money on the Joe Blow New band and putting the money into Aerosmith that’s for sure. Continue reading “Punks Not Dead” [DVD] by Various Artists→
The Damned are one of the music world’s most interesting Punk acts. At times their material borderlined on Metal and this was an aspect that I found very appealing as a young fan of music. Tonight they would be performing at The Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza and our own El Buncho was on point to see how it was going to turn out. To learn his thoughts about the gig and to enjoy a couple of photos just scroll past the bands logo below
BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO-THE DAMNED, LIVE AT THE FILLMORE, 5/14/2009
The Damned: one of the seminal bands in the original UK punk rock movement, the first to release a single, and one of the longest-lived of their breed. I’ve greatly enjoyed them since first encountering their music in 1985 — I admit being late to the party — and have seen them perform live six times between 1988 and the present, but one thing that needs to be said about the Damned is that when they’re firing on all cylinders there are few bands, live or in the studio, who can touch them for kickass tunes, clever and fun lyrics, exceptional vocals — frontman Dave Vanian has one of the finest sets of pipes in rock history, let alone punk — and the raucous sense of energy that make old school punk such a blast in the first place. However, when they’re mediocre or just plain bad, there are few bands less worth listening to, and in many ways they can be held responsible for taking the whole Goth thing into the mainstream with the frilly-shirt theatrics of their “new romantic” PHANTASMAGORIA album back in 1985. Even as a sworn fan of the group it’s possible to be polarized by their output, and following the results of their most recent album and the live show I saw on Thursday night at Manhattan’s Fillmore, my twenty-four-year love affair with the Damned is finally over. Continue reading The Damned @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (5/14/2009)→
Artist: The Damned Title: “So Who’s Paranoid” Label: 02. Records Release Date: 12/9/2008 Genre: Punk Rock Rating: 2.5/5
The Damned are back with their tenth studio album, the previous being 2001’s GRAVE DISORDER, and to a greater degree than that record they’ve turned in yet another mixed bag.
As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I love the Damned, rating them at number three on my list of all-time favorite bands (coming in behind the Cramps, with Devo in the number one slot), and the reason they keep their place at number three is due to their incredibly inconsistent output. I’m talking in terms of musical flavor, not their sporadic album release rate, and while I salute them for their willingness to experiment and not necessarily pigeonhole themselves within the confines of their status as elder statesmen or original British punk — for those who don’t know, the Damned claim a place in punk rock history for being the first British band of the movement to release a single and an album, waaaaaay back in the stone age of 1976 — but yet again we’re handed a sampler of well-crafted musicianship that struggles to find its own unique voice or flavor that says “This is the Damned.” Continue reading “So, Who’s Paranoid” by The Damned→