Saturday, July 20, 2013

Punk Rock For Young Avengers Fandom

Hello, Young Avengers fandom.

Perhaps you are interested in punk rock. Maybe you read that excellent Freaky Trigger piece about punk rock and Young Avengers and thought, "huh." Maybe you've heard a little before but Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are getting you more interested. In that case, let me introduce you.


I'll dispense with the backstory: Nubile white men with guitars a good half century ago figured out you didn't need talent to play music, you just needed anger and momentum.

Punk rock's major contribution to music's history (aside from a reminder to get out before you start to suck) is the idea that an aspiring artist does not require someone else's imprimatur to make music. If someone isn't making the music you want to hear, you are now deputized to make it yourself.

Seriously. If you've got a song in your heart: Write it. Now. This very minute. Stop reading. Go. Do it. Now. Do it.

There's connective tissue between punk rock and comics, if you know where to look. Most obviously, Patrick Kindlon and Matthew Rosenberg, to name two, have released some of my favorite music ever. Mike Cavallaro, known to the Eastern Seaboard as Johnny X from Sticks And Stones, Becky Cloonan, Rick Remender, Jen Van Meter and ad infinitum. Gillen and McKelvie's history with music and a member of punk's extended family, Britpop, is suggested by the above image. It's called Phonogram, there's two volumes and Volume Two, The Singles Club, forced me to confront my fear of dancing. It presented better arguments for dancing than my reasons not to dance.

This is not a history, but a survey. Five songs, cast widely to get a taste in your mouth. If you like it, come back next week. If not, you're only out the time you took to listen to five songs. These aren't my five favorite punk rock songs in the world, but these are five songs which all suggest many of the cardinal directions punk rock moves in. You may hopefully find something you like.

The songs hopefully suggest the focus, the lens, the catalyst and the fuel. There's a Romanticism to punk that I find still useful as I age. There's other parts to punk, the branded nihilism, the clear-eyed hopelessness, but those are doors to go through later on. I still need to get you through this one first.

Like all surveys, it's necessarily incomplete. Emo is a longer story than I have time for and oh God I'm rambling. Five songs. Play loud.

Until I figure out how to embed playlists into Blogger, just go here.

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