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Archive for the tag “punk rock”

Patti Smith on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”

Who knew the Godmother of Punk was Detective Bobby Goren’s pal? Here’s Patti Smith a few weeks ago on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She plays a Columbia University classics professor trying to help Bobby solve a mythological murder.

Not bad, huh? In the New York Times recently Patti explained how her L&O guest spot happened.

Happy birthday to the late Joey Ramone

Today would have been our beloved Joey Ramone‘s 58th birthday. Joey, we salute you.

joey-and-spaceman

How weird is it that three of the four original Ramones — Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee — are gone to punk rock heaven?

Nancy Spungen: victim of sexism?

On the 30th anniversary of Nancy Spungen‘s murder by boyfriend Sid Vicious, New York magazine is publishing a piece contesting Nancy’s reputation as a nutball.

The piece, written by Karen Schoemer, asserts that Nancy, like Courtney Love, was despised by Vicious’s band mates in the Sex Pistols and the group’s fans not because she was loud and obnoxious, but because she was a female with opinions, who dared to acts as brazen and as outrageous as the men in the scene.

Punk rock scribe Legs McNeil talked about Nancy for the article, insisting Nancy “could be very, very nice,” and tells the author that Nancy was no more disturbed than anyone else involved in the punk scene.

Photographer Eileen Polk, a friend of Nancy’s, remembers her the same way and challenges her mother Deborah Spungen‘s unflattering portrayal of her as disruptive and mentally ill in the biography And I Don’t Want To Live This Life: A Mother’s Story of Her Daughter’s Murder:

“Like most kids who are 17, basically her statement was, ‘I hate my family’…All the things that she loved and thought were important in the world, they told her were stupid. I think she had a really stifling middle-class upbringing.”

Polk recalls that before Nancy even met Sid, she was rejected by the catty groupie scene for running her mouth and being outrageous:

“Maybe Pamela Des Barres tells the story of female solidarity, but there was a lot of backstabbing. The other girls shunned her and were mean to her. And that made Nancy worse. She became vengeful. She kind of reacted to them putting her down by doing even worse things. The only people who didn’t shun her were the guys that were getting drugs from her.”

Nancy was so reviled that even after Sid Vicious admitted killing her, many people didn’t believe him, but no one did much to figure out who the real murderer was. It didn’t matter who killed Nancy.

I can’t say bravo enough to Schoemer for writing this piece. It shames me to think I have bought into the myth, on some level, of Nancy Spungen, the crazy girl who wanted to die. I’m so pleased that someone took the time to re-examine Nancy’s life and death through a feminist lens.

Top 10 Songs About Politicians

It’s time for another song list. In honor of this crazy American presidential campaign and the election in a few weeks that will make it mercifully end, this one is “Top 10 Songs About Politicians.” I’ll start it with my ten choices and then you add. Ready?

1. Violent Femmes, Old Mother Reagan (Ronald Reagan)
2. The Ramones, Bonzo Goes To Bitburg (Ronald Reagan)
3. Prince, Ronnie Talk To Russia (Ronald Reagan)
4. Christmas, Richard Nixon Sees You (Richard Nixon)
5. Billy Bragg, Thatcherites (Margaret Thatcher)
6. The English Beat, Stand Down, Margaret (Margaret Thatcher)
7. Richard Thompson, Mother Knows Best (Margaret Thatcher)
8. Sinead O’ Connnor, Black Boys On Mopeds (Margaret Thatcher)
9. Dick Holler, Abraham, Martin and John (Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy)
10.The B-52s, Bushfire (George Bush, Sr.)

Okay there are tons more, so start naming them. I hope I hear from some of my 1980s punk rock pals. Wasn’t every song back then political? The 1990s was filed with Brit Pop about Tony Blair and more recently, well, I can think of one gigantic hit about George W. Bush.

Something weird about the Germs

Don’t you think this is kind of bizarre? Three-fourths of the original Germs, the Los Angeles punk band that broke up in 1980 when lead singer Darby Crash committed suicide – are playing gigs in L.A. with Shane West as their vocalist.

Yes, Shane West, the former ER actor who portrays Crash in the new biopic about the band What We Do Is Secret. I understand it’s a publicity stunt to market the film, but gee whiz.

A writer for the L.A.-based web site Defamer reports:

“(T)hey didn’t suck. In fact, they are probably better now than during their heyday in the sense that they can actually play their instruments and they are able to finish an hour-and-a-half set without destroying the entire venue, falling down from abusing too many substances or bleeding profusely on stage.”

When then you, sir, were not at a Germs show!

What’s next? Joy Division plays gigs with the fake Ian Curtis from Closer? Val Kilmer tours with the remaining Doors? Sissy Spacek pushes Loretta Lynn off the stage to sing her songs at the state fair?

It’s just weird.

Here’s the real Darby Crash, courtesy of Jenny Lens’ invaluable Punk Archive.

Food blogs (for vegans)

I hope all my vegan friends (and my friends who love vegans) know about the essential Post Punk Kitchen. The awesome punk ladies behind the site (Isa Moskowitz and her cooking partner Terry Romero) host a fun lo-fi cooking show on public access TV in Brooklyn. The duo has given more to the tastebuds of the vegan community than anyone I know.

Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romeo in their kitchen. (Photo by Evan Sung for the New York Times)

Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romeo in their kitchen. (Photo by Evan Sung for the New York Times)

And, believe me, I can vouch for the deliciousness of the Post Punk Kitchen cookbooks (Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan with a Vengeance). My lady friend cooks us yummy recipes from the books nearly every night.

Hands down Moskowitz and her punky pals are my favorite vegan chefs. Their shows are hilarious, too. They should concoct an elaborate plan to take over the Food Network airwaves and teach the people about delicious cruelty-free food.

Here are some other blogs for vegans:
* Vegan Metal Bike Dad Punk Blog
* Vegans of Color
* heeb'n'vegan
* The Urban Vegan
* Vegan Freak
* My Sweet Vegan
* Alternative Vegan
* Could it be SEITAN?
* Rural Vegan

And I would be remiss if I did not include the new and fabulous Vegan Treats with Stumps and Jiggles by two of my dear friends.

Any vegans in the house?

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