Archive for the ‘Punx is ded’ Category

To start things off, in this series of posts, id like to say… I’d like to see things end.

Id like to see a purer music industry, I’d like to see a purer means of music appreciation, a purer means of experience. I feel there are  a series of major issues in the punk rock world… an innate and so far unavoidable set of issues that have doomed the autonomy of the movement, as well as many other musical movements. One of these major issues is the commodity music has become. A commodity that removes music as an art and develops it as a business venture, this as a means to allow the powerful elite to engrain their influence into the very trains of thought that desire to defy them.

I want to key in on certain philosophies and critical theories that focus on this phenomenon of commoditization. To do that I would like to start with a conversation I’ve had before with a freind:

Him: “People that enjoy that kind of music [bubble gum pop] don’t really like “music”. They like songs. And shitty songs at that, but the point is that they don’t enjoy music as music, just the 3 minutes of catchy crap. ”

Me: “I recently read an article by the writer and critic Theodore Adorno…

“specifically look at the 2nd chapter of this article, Musical theory, and even more specifically the first paragraph of that chapter and the exerpt on Marxist theory. It pretty much expresses entirely what you are saying, only it was conceived and foreseen at the advent of recorded music.
Marxists are always attempt to be so prophetic, at least some times they hit their mark.”

“(The music industry) seems every year to make more and more cultural artifacts of less and less quality that are consumed with some disgust by their “fans”. – (an alteration of a quote from the wikipedia article previously linked)

“Music specifically is more and more commoditized every year. Music is no longer an art but an industry. it is no longer artistry but business.

“Adorno said this stating (as a Marxist would) that the consumer is quietly aware of the dying credibility of the commodity of arts. But they continue to purchase because it is what is available. He believed eventually however that the consumer would become frustrated with this (among other innate oppressions)  to the point of revolution.

“But the Situationist International member Guy Debord (also a Marxist in a sense) sees the consumer’s accept of the commoditized recordings with oblivious glorification. and theorizes that the Music industry exists as a commodity provider to create an illusion of art and satisfaction in the consumer, when really it provides very little intellectual stimulation or value as an art. This commodity is thus keeping the consumer from thinking too deeply about their station within the capitalist system, and within the spectacle of the system’s commodities and media.

“Just trying to affirm your feelings towards pop music with solidly respected theorists. Though the two of them would probably still distain even the most obscure and challenging bands you listen to as still contributing to this commoditization. ”

Him: “Thank you for clarifying that.
This is all too true.
But you will always find artists who play not just for money and fame.
So it’s all good.”

Me: “Its not so much who plays music for money and who plays for the sake of the art. Its who says what with their music. Because a lot of “indie bands” are still just pop bands. And a lot of no name bands are just artless believers in failed revolutionary ideals.(ie punk, metal, grunge, rave, rock and roll, definitely the modern indie scene) thus only diverting the consumer from a true revolutionary consciousness. Again they are firm believers in serious Marxism so everything comes down to setting the stage for the global proletarian revolution.

“Not to mention it’s not even so much what the music is saying or how sincere or timely it is to modern culture and the revolutionary spirit. It’s that commodity of music itself has (although made music as an art only experienced by the elite now available to the masses) become less an art and more a system due to the process of recording. Something that can’t be experienced without paying a great deal of money, which is a shame, since music is probably the most approachable and emotionally investing for the experience of all fine art. and now we have to pay to experience it.

“You see though, the reality is desperate and impossible. guy Debord killed himself when he came to the realization of this. the realization that the depth of commodity in not only music culture but all culture, global culture. the reality that the situation is completely irreversible. it is essential to our modern world entirely. that is how well commodity has been burned into human consciousness. that we all, all, have been mind controlled to an inconceivable depth.”

Our self concept of autonomy is a sham because of it… and any movement that finds itself expressed in music, in art, in literature suddenly becomes sucked into a catastrophic self-evolving deception. A deception that makes all too clear that we creatures have very little real autonomy if any at all.

Heidegger tells us that in fact that we as humans have no real autonomy… that we are historical and social creatures with personalities based on experience nurture, and environment. This environment being manipulate-able, makes us manipulate-able. –(A quick summary of Martin Heidegger’s philosophies on the subject from “Letter on Humanism.”)
However I disagree there, its not completely irreversible. i think that the only means of reversing this however would require the complete destruction of modern culture. Or at least the complete destruction of modern culture within the individual. If real autonomy does not exsit… if the idea of humanity does not exist thusly, that these things in their never truely present state, in there entirely metaphysical state do not have any real physical foundation, then this alone allows the evils we experience against us. Truth is not a physical pressence, thus it can be twisted, justice can be subverted, rights can be ignored, and humanity thus can be deceived and damaged.

However we are not left at the whims of powerful men, but with the same metaphyiscs, the same concepts, the same empty promises that allow for evil, may also be salvations. But the question then becomes how does one fight that which has made them what they are?

[to be continued]


PBR is a Hipster Beer

Posted: November 10, 2010 by enshogirl in Punx is ded

Pabst Blue HipsterSince when has PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) been a Hipster beer?


Well, maybe it’s just from going to an art school with a bunch of Hipsters, but the thought of those red, white and blue cans reminds me of the American Apparel hoodie, skinny jeans, scarf wearing douche that took pride in riding their bicycle everywhere. Post college and my escape from the city and therefore, most Hipsters, I keep hearing now that PBR is a “Punk Rock Beer”. “Since when?” I say. These are lies! Can the Hipster and the Punk Rocker be the same thing on the lines of PBR? This is a scary world. So, maybe me calling PBR a Hipster beer SINCE FOREVER, while making a statement being bold in this post, is a little harsh. Maybe it wasn’t forever.

I remember reading an article from The New York Times in the past that the Hipster appeal to PBR was a marketing plan. The article goes on to explain that even in 2001 when “Kid Rock (was) wearing a P.B.R. belt buckle, a bunch of top snowboarders in Utah running a ”Pabst Bowl” on Super Bowl Sundays”, they were still focused on the 45-60 demographic.

PBR HIPSTER BEERSo when can we blame the Hipsters?

Shortly after, the article refers to “a sales rep in Portland had noticed that ”these alternative people” were ”starting to get into the brand.” So thanks Oregon.


Not understanding the culture, the PBR Marketing Manager, Neal Stewart, at the time decided to head out to Portland, Oregon.

…visiting bars like the Lutz Tavern near Reed College and the Ash Street Saloon, a bike-messenger hangout downtown, He learned that the kind of people who had ”embraced the brand” were also the kind of people who detest marketing. But this was not necessarily bad news. He would walk in — wearing street clothes, never a Pabst logo — tell the bartender who he was and ”really just sit there,” he said. ”The word would leak out — ‘Hey, the Pabst guy is here.”’

Well, it seemed to work. To appeal to “these alternative people” the brand had to stay neutral.

“Always look and act the underdog” and not worry about those who look down on the beer, presumably because they’re snobs whose negative opinion only boosts its street cred. The Plan B analysis even says that P.B.R.’s embrace by punks, skaters and bike messengers make it a political, ”social protest” brand. These ”lifestyle as dissent” or ”consumption as protest” constituencies are about freedom and rejecting middle-class mores, and ”P.B.R. is seen as a symbol and fellow dissenter.”

Tricksters! They know your ideals and are using it against you. YES! I love marketing! I figure it’s the key to sell a shitty product to the masses, make money and eventually take over the world… but one thing at a time. PBR wasn’t done yet! They were tricky sponsoring events while constantly using the words “organic,” “genuine” and “let the consumer lead the brand.”

My favorite quote from the article is about this guy, Phil. Oh, Phil.

I met a 28-year-old named Phil Barnes, who recently went through four tattoo sessions to get a Pabst logo about a foot square burned into his back, which he showed me. ”Pabst is part of my subculture,” he said, somewhat emphatically. ”It’s the only beer I think about.” He’s a skateboarder, works as a cook and describes his peer group as ”punk rockers.”

Punk Rockers = Hipsters? PBR, say it ain’t so! My Hipster theory is all out the window. It can be a Punk Rock beer the same time as a Hipster beer? I don’t know how I feel about this. Since I’m going to hate on PBR anyway, I might as well just hate on the Hipster part. That makes me cool still, right? RIGHT? Well, perhaps not as cool as the Hipster.

Anyways, the next time PBR touches your little Punk Rocker lips or when your cousin who wears the “girl’s pants” does the same, remember PBR wants you to drink it. They’ve put in a lot of work trying their damnedest not to make it look like work to get you to drink the crap.

I’m still kind of partial to Urban Dictionary’s definition of PBR:
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a lot like the band Bright Eyes, Hipsters love it, but everyone else thinks it’s liquid shit.

Related Links:
The New York Times: The Marketing of No Marketing
PBR Sells for $250 Mil due to Hipster Mass Consumption
Hipster Beer PBR Cruises in Recession
Let’s hear it for hipster beer

 I figure before any of us go on to introduce ourselves, or go on to start our normally planned postings it would be a good idea to define, in a sense, what we all share in common as the collective; Dirty Punx. And that would be Punk itself, not just the music, not just the philosophy, not just the attitude, not just the culture… but the one idea that links all three together. So what is punk? what does it mean?

We know what a punk looks like right? we know what punk sounds like right? we know what being a punk means right? do we?… the answers ive gotten over the years seem so off base, so subjective, so different it becomes really hard to place a finger on what punk really means. All in all if you ask most self-proclaimed punks they wouldn’t be able to give you a universal definition for the term punk… but I’m going to give it a try.

We all recall the stories and history of the creation of punk rock, punk culture, punk style, punk life style. We all know the political intrigues that punk grew up in; the anti-nixon youth, the growth out of hippie/beatnik revolutions, the evolution of recreational drugs in those revolutions, and the cold war itself. The details arent important, the reasons are… the objective… the idea… the goal… that’s whats important. The goal… being punk fucking rock right? the more points you gotz… the more punx you is… the closer to God you seem to be. But let’s be serious…. Punk was a goal… an achievement… like a perfection of theory, a practice of idea, a need was evident and punk was the solution.

The RAMONES claim punk rock to be a purification of rock and roll. A recantation of bubblegum rock bands, and a recantation of what we now call dad rock; After the death of Hendrix we hear endless blues riffs and jack offs nawwing away at their guitars like  themselves were Hendrix. But none of them were…

David Lee Roth is a good example of BULLLLLLL SHIIIIITTTTTTTTTT

“Who started punk? who made it this punk? who made it that punk? who invented this that and the other thing?” is pointless to the reality of what it was. I pick the RAMONES not because they invented punk rock, not because I neglect Patti smith, or MC5, or Iggy, or the pistols… but because The RAMONES told it as simply and truthfully as i can seem to find.

Fuck'n Ramones yo... fucking Ramones

Punk was a purity of spirit and energy, it was an elimination of bull shit. In music; a rebellion against egoism and hyper-technical under-expressive nonsense. It was a simplification of the rock and roll structure down to is core foundations; three chords… and three rules… loud, fast, and furious.

 -1:40 is about where this video becomes relevant to the conversation-

In spirit punk became a philosophy of take no bull shit; No bull shit politics, no bull shit bureaucracy, no bull shit institutions. Just pure human living, pure brother hood, nothing in between.

It grew out from there into an enormous musical and cultural practice. It broke into little cool kids clicks of its own. And depending on perceptions it became even more smothered in bull shit than anything the hippies ever managed, to a point of suffocation, to a point of death. But that’s beside the point…

the point is