Punk rock is bullshit

John Roderick thinks “punk rock is bullshit.” The feeling could be more aptly described as “”punk rock” is bullshit,” but it’s something that punkers of note often come around to as they age.

I’m not talking about punk-rock music, because I don’t believe there is such a thing. Punk music is just rock music, and the best punk is halfway decent rock. Punk rock was nothing new in 1976, and it’s nothing new today. The Beatles’ cover of “Roll Over Beethoven” is more punk than 90 percent of all punk rock; the Ramones were way more conservative—musically and socially—than Sha Na Na; the Sex Pistols were just dumb David Bowie; The Clash was a world-music band and the direct antecedent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If anything, the mantle of “punk rock” was an umbrella to describe a reactionary retro-ness, a feeling that music was best played with old-fashioned dumb energy, simple to the point of being simplistic—which not coincidentally corresponded to the period of the widest proliferation of recreational drug use in world history. It was music to validate being too wasted to think.

What I’m talking about is “punk rock” as a political stance, punk rock as a social movement, punk rock as a fashion trend, punk rock as a personal lifestyle brand, and punk rock as a lens of critical appraisal. The shadow of punk rock has eclipsed countless new dawns under its fundamental negativity and its lazy equation of rejection with action.

Both City Sounds and The Stranger say John Roderick is bullshit.

Punk rock is bullshit

Afternoon reading

The price of ice cream might be going up as the global price of vanilla spikes.

In turn, that’s seen 40 per cent of the world’s current stock of vanilla—around 1,000 tonnes—shipped out of Madagascar recently, and as a result the markets have gone crazy. After six years hovering at around $25 per kilo, the price has jumped to $40 in single day.

A bunch of Redditors talk about how they became rich. (via Stellar)

What I’ve learned/realized:
Acquire an education, secure a stream of income, put it to work intelligently, and live with self-control.
Don’t get divorced.
Never trust your business partners; never treat them like you don’t trust them.

A demographic historian has determined the death toll in the Civil War is 20% higher, 130K people, than the currently agreed upon estimate. (via @davidg)

He counted the number of native-born white men of military age in 1860 and determined how many of that group were still alive in 1870. He compared that survival rate with the survival rates of the men of the same ages from 1850-1860, and from 1870-1880 – the 10-year census periods before and after the Civil War…He controlled for other demographic assumptions, including mortality rates of foreign-born soldiers, added the relatively small number of black soldiers killed, and compared the numbers with the rates of female survival over the same periods.

Here’s an interview with H.R. of Bad Brains.

The New York Times has a writer live like a billionaire for a day because that IS IMPORTANT NEWS.

After breakfast, I rush back to the car for a high-speed trip to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, where I’m meeting a real-life billionaire for a trip on his private jet. The billionaire, a hedge fund manager, was scheduled to go down to Georgia and offered to let me interview him during the two-hour jaunt on the condition that I not reveal his identity.

Afternoon reading

Two excellent videos from this weekend

Lance Armstrong recently competed in a half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run), and was moments from finishing 6th when Jordan James sprinted by him to nab the spot. Armstrong’s daughter was waiting at the finish line to give him a medal, but… Well, just watch it.

Here’s the Ramones visiting the Regis and Kathy Lee show in 1988. Kathy Lee asked some pretty good questions, actually. (via Stellar Interesting)

Two excellent videos from this weekend

Lookout Records shutting down

Gosh, this is sad news. The label that was home at one point or another to Screeching Weasel, Green Day, Avail, Rancid, and Operation Ivy, among others, stopped putting out new music in 2005, and since then has struggled to right the ship. Unfortunately, losing their distributor, CD printer, and mail order provider in the span of a year was too much to overcome. This is a microcosm of something, but really the label kind of died in 2005 when they gambled on new bands with money owed to the higher earning older bands. They lost and thus lost the rights to Green Day and Op Ivy’s back catalog. The specifics aren’t clear in their blog post, but it looks like their sending everything left over back to the bands. Here’s an interview with Lookout Records co-founder, Larry Livermore.

Lookout Records will be closing its doors over the next few months. Most people that are reading this know that the label stopped releasing material towards the end of 2005. It was then that Lookout ended its long relationships with Green Day, Operation Ivy and a few other artists. That development meant significantly scaling down the business, which included letting the staff go and moving from the label’s Berkeley headquarters and warehouse into a small office.

It wasn’t easy to keep catalog items in print and that became especially challenging when our primary compact disc manufacturer and our distribution partner Lumberjack-Mordam went out of business unexpectedly. Having our physical distributor and a manufacturer go belly up disrupted our sales, meant a significant loss of income, and caused inventory and accounting problems. The next year when our mail order partner, Little Type, went out of business, Lookout was also dealt another significant blow. We did our best to resolve the issued caused by these developments but both ultimately amounted to a lot more work and severely impacted income.

Lookout Records shutting down

Punk rock dads

This is now the movie I most want to see. Opens in Boston at Kendall Theater on 11/11.

This revealing and touching film asks what happens when a generation’s ultimate anti-authoritarians — punk rockers — become society’s ultimate authorities — dads. With a large chorus of punk rock’s leading men – Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath – THE OTHER F WORD follows Jim Lindberg, a 20-year veteran of the skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem “F–k Authority,” to embracing his ultimately authoritarian role in mid-life: fatherhood.

Here’s the trailer:

Via Laughing Squid / Brand Flakes for Breakfast

Punk rock dads