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“Notes on Punk”

I’ve always noted Amanda Petrusich as one of my heroes, and her phrase “beautifully rendered” in the Califone – Roots and Crowns review for pitchfork, a review which singlehandedly got me into Califone, pitchfork, and Amanda Petrusich was no small feat for me.

The punk spirit, by way of this, is “beautifully rendered” by The Folk Implosion in “Opening Day.” Remember when it was noteworthy to say a song was “overtly sexual”? It wasn’t that long ago, it was on The White Stripes – Elephant for “Ball and Biscuit,” though I found that song more COVERTLY sexual, and tasteful. Anyway, this song might be described as “overtly about baseball,” something much more rebellious by today’s standards, a day in which men actually take pride in shopping for tampons.
Punk, if not about self-deprecation, is at least about recognizing one’s flaws, or at least about self-awareness, admitting to having done something dumb, or just being overly white, as Joe Strummer of The Clash was well aware. It’s incredibly hard to pinpoint just what it does, when it’s great, the greats being Less than Jake, Goldfinger, The Clash and Bad Brains, in no particular order, I guess that’s just it, the order doesn’t matter, because in each new moment, just like The Offspring said, The Offspring who had the audacity to not only put out an album in 2012 in Days Go By, but put out an album that if you listen to it, your critique if you don’t like it, shouldn’t be that you don’t like the music, give or take an overly clean drum sound hear and there, should be that you don’t like Dexter Holland himself. Because that’s really HIM in that studio, in that body that as Celine said was a “soft (body) around so many hard objects,” in war, in the war that is everyday life, in LA, in Gainesville Flordia, In Washington D.C.
Punk is no different from a shining sun, it’s no different from the dance music of Roy Ayers, a black man, it’s a vibe, something metaphysical that everyone can feel, walking across their own dance floor, and making right with everything past, so that one can make everything right in this present, and what is “soul” but the future, the future you see in someone’s eyes as they call your name, if you’re lucky enough.

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