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Punk Rock: Nonconformists, Idealists, and Shameless Sellouts

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  1. Introduction
  2. The specific waves of punk rock
    1. The movement of the 70's
    2. British punk in the 70's
  3. The 80's as a pivotal decade for punk rock.
    1. The band Black Flag
    2. Fast paced, frenzy punk/hardcore music
    3. The Dead Kennedys
    4. Musical and social aspects of the music
  4. The emergance of new styles of punk
    1. Bands like NOFX and Bad Religion
    2. Punk rock in the 90's: A response to the grunge era
  5. Conclusion

Perhaps one of the most controversial genres or sub-genres of music, punk rock has been flowing fresh, hot blood through the veins of teenagers and young adults since its inception in the late 60's and early 70's. Punk rock's ?anybody can do this? attitude strikes a resounding chord with a youth culture that is constantly being told what to do by its elders and constantly being berated for being too loud, too uncultured, and too vulgar.

[...] Since for the first time commercially successful popular music was gritty and raw, punk rock found itself in new territory. Bad Religion, while maintaining the speed and ferocity of standard punk rock, used catchy chord progressions, addicting guitar hooks, and soaring, harmonious choruses that have since become iconic, landing the band a major label deal with Atlantic Records. NOFX, on the other hand, shunned any notions of major labels and music videos, making songs with distinctly catchy riffs and hooks, then purposely ruining any commercial appeal the song might have with a nasty sounding out of key chord at the end of a progression. [...]


[...] With internet downloading and digital recording making music more and more personal and accessible, the modern musical environment is one that is ripe for punk rock to thrive in. Socially, war always brings out the idealism of punk rock, and with negative press coverage and a growing disapproval of the war in Iraq, the social landscape is also one in which punk rock seems ready to thrive. Punk rock has proven over the decades that it is a genre which will not go away, and its DIY attitude attracts disenfranchised youths who are constantly being told what they can't do. [...]


[...] While this new movement championed sobriety, it still maintained the anti- social and violent nature punk rock was quickly becoming famous for. However, many punks within the early 80's hardcore scene reacted negatively to this new found, somewhat healthy movement. As Ian Mackaye says, didn't realize it was gonna upset the applecart so much- the reaction we got made us up the ante? (Blush, 26). Today, thousands of kids across the country claim straight-edge heritage, all claiming a drug-free lifestyle. [...]

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