catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Is punk music valid?


Sep 07 2003
12:51 pm

Thought I’d start a new topic to respond to Lopez’ comment on punk music:

“also i don’t quite believe we should blame the lack of rhythm in punk music on white people. it’s just lazy. get a bunch of guys together who donn’t want to put a whole lot of effort into learning to play their instruments and all the drumbeats will probably sound something like the sex pistols’.”

Good Punk music may be sloppy but its not lazy.

Its interesting that you should bring the Sex Pistols up. There are a couple of rock critics in Chicago who have a well respected show called Sound Opinions (tuesday nights on XRT). They said that there is something about the vocal phrasing in the Sex Pistols that was revolutionary. I think this is more evidence that punk music changed the way we think about music performance.

Punk music seems to strip everything down to the energy. There is less intricacy to distract you from the emotions the musicians are trying to communicate.


Nov 02 2003
06:30 pm

I’m no expert on punk music. I’ll throw that disclaimer out there from the start.

But I dated a punk person (punkster? person of punk? punky person?) for a while, and must say that, aside from dodging all the safety pins that were randomly scattered on his clothing and around his neck, it was really quite an intriguing experience.

However, I did have issues. Although I’m not at all against fuck-you politics, my frustration was that the punk music he listened to (and hte attitude he adopted) never went beyond that. I like social protest, but I want it to promote transformation, not merely “hear me scream” or “let me count the ways I can antagonize society as a whole.”

I think that art that is infused with political issues is entirely valid art. I have questions about “art for art’s sake.” Ideally, though, I think good art transcends both of these things, and prods the receiver towards change of some kind.

As a sidenote, a good punk film is “SLC Punk.”

(in these comments, I am making no commentary on the Sex Pistols or the Pixies—only on the solitary and intimate time I spent with someone who avidly followed punk music)


Dec 08 2009
12:55 pm