today's pop culture update

So we're in the car listening to the radio, which is, as always, true horror. Some pathetic Green Day song comes on. I make my traditional gag for such situations, "I'm glad they're finally playing some old school punk!" rzr_grl says, "these guys are about as punk as Violent Femmes." I ponder. "No. XTC." She says, "Daaamn, that's harsh." I say, "It's totally true! This crap could be Mayor of Simpleton!"

Also, why are The Donnas famous? Is it just because they're a chick band? Musically, they're KISS.

Also, the "new" Nirvana song sounds more like Creed than Nirvana.

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18 Responses:

  1. zapevaj says:

    Even more ridiculous: the Donnas are from Palo Alto. Really. I have their senior portraits.

    • icis_machine says:

      Even more ridiculous: they buy their stuff at guitar showcase in san jose. no really, bdu helped them or something once.

    • bdu says:

      [begin conversation with myself and coworkers, circa 98-99]

      "what the hell, group of decent-looking young women shopping here? is this the twilight zone?"

      "they're the donna's"


      "the donna's"

      "oh, ok"

      *rings up the donna's for something or other*

      "dude, like they're about to break it big or something"

      "you mean like those assholes Smashmouth that used to shop here too?"


      "ok, whatever"

      [end conversation]

  2. king_mob says:

    It seems odd to be quoting Steve Albini twice in two days, but I can't help bringing up something he said in Musician magazine ages ago, when the neopunk revival was just getting started. He pointed out that punk used to denote for a certain stance in opposition to the system, and now it was a musical genre. A frat musical genre, as well. But as he pointed out, the early CBGB bands didn't all sound like each other; the Ramones didn't sound like Television didn't sound like Blondie didn't sound like the Voidoids. But all those bands were considered to be punk, then.

    As far as the Femmes and XTC go, they're not punk as it's defined now, but they were lumped in with punk bands when they both got started in the late 70s. (I'm also assuming here that you've never heard XTC's much more abrasive earlier stuff?)

    And Green Day? Well, check it out. They were on Lookout! Records out of Berkeeley, and they played Gilmans, and they put out 7-inches, and they did the van tour thing. And they did that while getting no end of shit from the Maximumrockandroll dicks for being too poppy. The MRR guys having apparently never heard of the Buzzcocks. The MRR guys also being, at this time, huge backers of Chumbawamba. (I'm totally serious. "Finally, a band that'll never sell out!") I think Green Day's put out some shitty records, especially lately, but I'm not prepared to say they're not real punks.

    • ivorjawa says:

      Bah. Punk is not something that happened on KROQ in 1994.
      Punk was dead before the members of Green Day were out of grade school, and before most of their listeners were born.

      • king_mob says:

        Well, guess what, Green Day was around before 1994. Guy up the street from me had a 7-inch of theirs in 1989 or 1990. Why do I have a hunch that you think Dookie was their debut?

    • fksche says:

      He pointed out that punk used to denote for a certain stance in opposition to the system, and now it was a musical genre. A frat musical genre, as well.

      Didn't Albini produce the new Milemarker record? Milemarker is signed to Jade Tree.

    • jwz says:

      Hey, I used to really like XTC -- but then, I also used to really like Heaven 17. If XTC had "abrasive, earlier stuff" then it must have been before they ever released an album, because they were super poppy as early as 1979 ("Making Plans for Nigel", "Science Friction".)

      There's certainly no future in any argument about what "punk" means, but I certainly think it's something other than "living in a van and not bathing." I think the term for that is "being in a band."

      • king_mob says:

        There's certainly no future in any argument about what "punk" means, but I certainly think it's something other than "living in a van and not bathing." I think the term for that is "being in a band."

        Well, yeah, but my point was more that at the time Green Day formed -- "being punk" meant that you put out 7-inch singles and booked your tour yourself and acted as your own label, and Green Day did all that stuff. More than, say, Nirvana ever did. Nirvana's "indie" stuff was on Sub Plop, who were already huge and established by the time Nirvana was recording. Green Day was doing stuff that had been guaranteeing a lifetime of poverty ever since Black Flag invented it. So what if they got incredibly rich out of it? So did Henry Rollins and no one's talking about taking away his punk privileges.

  3. atakra says:

    That's what you get for listening to the radio.
    Green Day played in my friend's garage in 1992, my friend made Billie Joe cry. Later the police made us shut the party down. My sister used to work the door at Gilman and still loves Green Day, which I hassle her about whenever I see her.

    I sort of thought that new song that's getting airplay by the Donnas was kind of catchy. It's still not enough to pay for an album of theirs. The Donnas are only famous because they wear tight clothes on stage and all the indie rockers want to get in their patented leater pants.

    When I saw Nirvana during their 'Bleach' tour I videotaped about three of their songs before leaving the club. Outside it was generally agreed by all that they pretty much sucked. At one point Kurt Cobain came out into the lobby of the venue to see where all the people were since they had pretty much made the entire audience leave because they sucked so bad.
    Creed? Ick!

    • jwz says:

      Dude, you like The Phantom Limbs. If I took you seriously before that, how could I now?

      Say what you like about the media circus surrounding Nirvana and the rest of the cookie-cutter grunge bandwagon, but Nevermind was a fucking brilliant album. Butch Vig probably gets a lot of the credit for that, but still.

      • atakra says:

        Nevermind was a brilliant album, but their Bleach tour sucked. Really, I have the video to prove this all happened... It's prtty comical actually.

        And let's not diss on the Phantom Limbs now!

        • el_olvidado says:

          I still don't understand how Nirvana got huge compared to Mudhoney who at that time rocked harder...
          Was the show you saw at the Kennel or B-Square?

          • atakra says:

            Actually the show I saw was at the Rockin' TeePee in Santa Fe. I *believe* that Dead Silence headlined the show. I've always liked Dead Silence!

          • king_mob says:

            It's not like their names were picked out of a hat. Nirvana wanted to get huge, no matter what they said later, and Mudhoney didn't. Nirvana released a really slick record(I always thought that it sounded like they had wandered into Motley Crue's rehearsal studio, picked up all their stuff, and recorded with it) and Mudhoney put out a record that started with one minute of farting noises and fake techno beats.

            • king_mob says:

              You know, just to clarify, looking at this whole thread it sounds like I'm a Green Day fanboy and hate Nirvana, when it's pretty much the other way around. I haven't liked anything I've heard by Green Day in years.

  4. 1. i can't believe people are seriously having a "what is punk" rantfest here.

    2. green day's drummer's girlfriend ran over my ex once.

    3. what the hell is wrong with heaven 17?

    4. xtc actually did have some really abrasive stuff early on, in addition to making plans for nigel and whatnot. it wasn't -good-, but it was abrasive. i have one album on tape whose name i forget but it sounds like they're trying to be generation x or something.