Sept. Updates: The Politics of Punk is OUT!

GetAttachmentThumbnail.jpgThis is a not a hard sell, this is just a celebration! The Politics of Punk: Protest and Revolt From the Streets, my third full-length investigation and celebration of punk (following up Visual Vitriol and Left of the Dial), is now available, but also feel free to read it (and any of my other books!) for no cost on Google Books. But if you would like the library-style hardback in your hands, especially as the cold comes quick in the next few months and you have time to read over 200 pages featuring an array of punk interviews with people ranging from the Minutemen, Faith, Really Red, Minor Threat, Scream, and Frightwig to writers for Maximum RocknRoll and Razorcake, to more contemporary punks like Anti-Flag, Red Hare, and the Refused, then here it is. It features the photography of Ben Tecumseh DeSoto , Andy Abbott (a previously unpublished photo of the Clash!), and me, rare flyers, plus a glimpse at topics that have been far under-appreciated, like the links between deaf-punk cultures, the rituals of slamdancing in the no-time zone of sweaty clubs, the overlap between punks and unionism, MDC, Jennifer Blowdryer, and the Plasmatics, and tracing the money of punk volunteerism and outreach. If you are a writer and producer, let me know via a message (leftofthedialmag@hotmail.com), and I will relay your information to the book company! For more information, read the attached flyer, and use the code to purchase the book for $28.00! Visit the site here. If you hate books. Ignore this! If you are broke, go to: https://books.google.com/

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Also, many thanks to Todd and the crew at Razorcake for publishing my depthy, insightful, and totally current interview with Vic Bondi of Articles of Faith and many others. This is a tremendous follow-up to my piece with him contained in my book Left of the Dial, and given the current climate of volatile politics, rampant culture wars, and technological upheaval, it truly a ‘must read.’  You can dig deep here.

In the upcoming months, look for my interview with Jean Smith, painter and singer for Mecca Normal, in a print edition of Razorcake!

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Also, many thanks to Dolf and others at Trust for publishing my photo of MDC in hot-blooded, vitriolic action in Houston, in their newest issue, Aug/Sept 2016, which is at the newsstands now!

I also appreciate having my work referenced in the new African American Folklore: An Encyclopedia for Students (sometimes people forget I am a folkorist!), by Anand Prahlad, which recommends my book Visual Vitriol as a suggested further reading regarding the topic of aerosol/graffiti/street art, which I dedicated a whole chapter to in my book.

Lastly, I recently started posting 120 Days of Women in Punk on my Facebook page, which I have also begun to spin into a book manuscript. I hope to complete an organized draft by mid-winter, if matters converge smoothly. It will not simply be a compendium and reference book, aimed at the everyday market of fans and readers, but it will also feature key anecdotes/insights/memories/overviews by many of the women, in their own words. Friend me on Facebook, and you can see all the rough drafts in process, from today’s entry on Dianne Chai of the Alley Cats, to forty others, so far.

As an equal kind of celebration, I just co-curated (with artist Heather Johnson), an exhibit at the University of Houston Clear Lake that also explores similar territory. It is called Women in Punk: a Legacy of Empowerment, and contains hundreds of pieces of material culture.

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Here is a message I sent to faculty: “When we installed, several students and professors engaged us at length, discussing the materials and their own histories, narratives, and insight, thus carving out a brilliant student-faculty-visitor nexus/exchange/co-intentional space, which we often try to foster in classrooms. In this sense, the site became an unofficial learning space, filled with the folk history of women in punk, each marking a kind of empowerment. Plus, the display may be modest, but it is diverse and inclusive, including African American, Hispanic, Muslim, LGBTQ, Asian, and Native American participants over the decades. In doing so, we hoped to create discussions about the roles of women not simply within music communities, but within their own cultures too — each shaped by gender roles, codes, and expectations. The history of women in music is still too secret, and often based on national events, like Riot Grrrls, whereas we also focused on the local (even UH graduates!), who prove that punk is trans-local, grassroots, and Do-It-Yourself. Also, we mix eras/ages/genres, so that students see punk as a continuum, plus not simply an activity of youth — some of the photos I shot and provided include mothers, and a few depict women over 50. Punk is not the ‘past tense’ — it is ever-present, charged anew by each successive generation, but firmly yet pliably anchored by women who have spent decades re-defining themselves.”

Be well, David E!

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