The Punk: Write the Role of Protest Art in Developing the Movement?
Punk as a Reaction
The essay intends to shed light on a rock music genre Punk which developed during the middle of 1970s. The music genre became popular mainly in three countries namely Australia, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Hence, the essay carries on the discussion projecting Punk as the protest art and its role in developing of the movement ideology. The study begins by discussing how the Punk art emerged as a movement against traditional rock music. The discussion further elaborates on Punk as an influential movement and then threw light on the influence of punk culture on the fashion during the then society. The essay finally ends with a summarization of the whole discussion.
Punk as a reaction
The punk has been regarded as a reaction to the music culture during the mid 70s that was considered as stagnant and blown up. On a larger picture, more than a mere music genre, Punk emerged as a rebellious upheaval of the disillusioned young people of the three above mentioned countries, on both the cultural as well as social front. However, Punk movement began first in the United States, then in the United Kingdom and Australia, and then in other countries in western world. Often it is considered that modern music despite of its form is a form of protest in the initial stage. The genre was seen to be developed during mainly the second half of 20th century. Initially it was in the form of rock’n’roll along with wild rhythms and raw cords over guitars in order to produce more wild music, rather it is better to term as noise. The origin of rock music dates back in the 1950s and from then over the time. With every generation, the rock music has its own version. However, what is understood by Punk today dates back in the 1970s. The seed of Punk rock had been showed by popular genres like The Fugs, The stooges and The MC5. The major initiative was taken by the band namely New York Dolls and Television in order to make punk recognized in the world of music. Over the time, the rock’n’roll emerged as bigger in the `1970s. However, the young generation of the society decided to go for another revolution and the medium they chose was music again. And the revolution was a return to a basic, three chord, raw music namely Punk. The puck rock had reverberated from the avenues of London to the avenues of New York and other cities, Punk rock picked up huge popularity among the young generation of the society.
Punk as a Reaction Against Traditional Music
Punk was mainly the reaction of protest against the stereotypes which had overtaken the trends of music of 1970s. The punk culture also opposed the footfall of the hippie counterculture during the time of 1960s. The punk artists regarded the bands like Jefferson Airplane was becoming puerile and an insult to what they claimed as radicality previously. Most of the icons of the rock music in 1960s preferred being featured over television for the purpose of financial gain and popularity gain, the system which they earlier opposed to a greater extent. An example can be given with Eric Clapton; a popular artist of rock artist was seen to have been appeared in television shows.
In respect to the previous discussion it can be right to state that Punk movement was as the movement to go back to the roots. It was a return to the club music through which artists could get more opportunities to come closer with the audiences opposing the concept of more alienated groups which was emerged out of the small clubs to auditoriums by the music industry with an aim of gaining financial profit. On the other Punk was used as the medium of art through which young people expressed their anger, dissatisfaction and protests against the societal norms. They attempted to bring a change in the society through the medium of music. History has also experienced the feminist era of Punk rock during the early 1990s under the name of Riot Girrrl. The movement was considered to have combined the punk culture with feminist consciousness as well as politics. Along with men artists, the women musicians also had made progress in raising their voice against the societal norms and politics of the then society. However, not every band of punk rock had the proper musical knowledge. Many bands just carried themselves away in the flow of the trend of punk rock.
It has been observed that punk artists carried an anarchy symbolism in order to fuel their protest. In regard to this, it needs to be mentioned what is actually meant by anarchy. Anarchy refers to the freedom and equality without any external force like government or law or social. During the time period between 1970s and early 1980s, a genre merged out of the Punk with the name of Anarcho-punk in order to promote anarchism. The term Anarcho-punk is mostly conferred to the bands of punk music that were associated with the punk movement with anarchic ideology in the United Kingdom. However, some school of thought considers the more broad usage of term anarchy referring to the use of anarchic content in the lyrics of punk music. This lyrical anarchic content is evident in folk punk, crust punk and hardcore punk. Initially, some anarchic members existed in the proto-punk bands such as Ton Steine Scherben, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, The Deviants and the Edgar Broughton Band. These based with MC5 paved the way of rock music by making precedents for combining rock music and the radical political ideology while established the foundation of rock as the medium of brining change in the society in terms of politics. However, this was the scenario before the 1977. Post 1977 saw further development of Anarchic influence among the punk artists mainly in the United Kingdom with the birth of punk rock. To be more specific Sex Pistol artist Jamie Reid’ first song ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ reaped the seed of Anarcho-punk movement. Even if it is seen that the initial scenes of punk rock took the imitative of the movement of Anarcho-punk, the serious initiative to establish the movement was further taken by Crass along with Poison Girls. It is largely considered that these bands paved the way for serious anarchist ideas in the music genre of Punk. The concept of Anarcho-Punk soon became popular with the bands namely, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict and Subhumans.
An Influential Movement
Symbol of Anarcho-Punk
The fashion industry was grossly influenced by Punk rock. The anti materialistic fashion of the punk artists in the 1970s became massively popular and followed by the next generations of the musicians. The traditional rock artists’ short hairstyle replaced with the log hair hippie look and soon it became signature fashion statement to determine the Punk artists. The punk artists in the United State usually would wear simple dirty clothes ranging from T shirts, jeans, leather jackets. Moreover second hand old torn clothes were preferred by the punk artists over the expensive, bright colorful clothes. Sue Bane, the famous punk artist had been credited for creation of punk rock fashion due to her designs for The Rocky Horror Picture and The Rocky Horror Show. However, over the years the Punk fashion took different dimensions and changed with time.
James Newell Osterberg popularly known as Iggy Pop has been considered as the ‘Godfather of Punk’. The popular proto-punk band namely the Stooges was led by Iggy Pop and his role as a vocalist. Even though his music has encompassed a wide range of styles, he was mainly popular because of punk rock as his signing had features of outrageous and rebellious antics. The countdown appearance of the Pop is largely considered as one of the most famous milestones of punk show history. His single ‘punk cover’ deserves mention in regard to his contribution to the establishment of punk subculture.
The first self proclaimed anarchist and the originator of the slogan ‘Anarchy if Order’. The French politician Proudhon was also the founder of mutualism in terms of philosophy with his self proclamation as an anarchist he is regarded as the most influential figure of the ideology and his contribution is significant since anarchy and punk are closely related to each other.
Vivian Westwood the world famous fashion designer based is largely credited for bringing the punk culture in the fashion industry. Westwood along with Malcolm McLaren were the first to synthesize music and clothing which paved the way for punk fashion. The dress designed by Westwood became popular as SEX, after the name of the band Sex Pistol. The inspirational factor that encouraged Westwood to design clothing for punk fashion was the shock value of punk.
The essay intended to shed light on a rock music genre Punk which developed during the middle of 1970s. The music genre became popular mainly in three countries namely Australia, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Hence, the essay carries on the discussion projecting Punk as the protest art and its role in developing of the movement ideology. The study begins by discussing how the Punk art emerged as a movement against traditional rock music. The discussion further elaborates on Punk as an influential movement and then threw light on the influence of punk culture on the fashion during the then society. The essay finally ends with a summarization of the whole discussion.
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