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The pig roast (with 14 pigs on spits) is pretty much the equivalent of the DIY punk show for many grown-ups these days. The music might not be as loud, but the mission of the flyer is the same. Convince a bunch of people to travel to a far-off place with a great poster that promises a unique experience. Organizers of Pig Mountain, a culinary festival billed as a Pig Roast & Veggie Fest, worked with the designers at Mother for a series of print posters loosely inspired by a photocopied punk flyer aesthetic. A zine highlights photos of previous roasts and features useful info, maps, and addresses, while the highlighter-colored tickets and three flyers complete the campaign. [via It's Nice That]

Pig Mountain takes place next week in Upstate New York.










Photo by: Lucian Perkins/Akashic Books | Hard Art DC 1979

All photos by Lucian Perkins from Hard Art DC 1979 (Akashic Books).

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post photographer Lucian Perkins has turned his lens on everything from the high fashion runway to the Persian Gulf War, but it so happens he also shot the heck out of D.C.'s young punk scene on one night in 1979. Akashic Books has just published Hard Art DC 1979 which features live shots of punks and punk bands (Bad Brains, Teen Idles, Slickee Boys, Untouchables, Trenchmouth) at a seminal concert at the Hard Art gallery. Young punk of the era Alec MacKaye contributes the narrative text and there's a piece by Henry Rollins, too. Call it a must for the D.C. punk historians out there. For a bit of context, the Washington Post has a great piece on the September, 1979 show documented in the book.

Hard Art is on sale at Akashic Books for $18.

Hard Art featuring Lucian Perkins, Alex MacKaye, and special guests hits Brooklyn's Word bookstore on June 19 and NYC's St. Marks Bookshop on June 20.

 

The MOCAtv web series "The Art of Punk" we told you about is underway and the first installment on Black Flag and Raymond Pettibon is up. Pettibon's album art and logo were key bits of iconography for his brother Greg Ginn's hardcore act in the '80s. Pettibon's often captioned, often disturbing hand-drawn black and white images undercut the return to a golden age that the Reagan years promised mainstream America. Pettibon's work also turned up on Minutemen albums, and later Sonic Youth's major label record Goo. As great and lasting as Pettibon's work (he also named the band, we learn) has been on American punks, his Black Flag logo remains a masterpiece of underground artwork, expressing an attitude in a visual code that's both rebellious, mysterious, and incredibly powerful. The video features Keith Morris, Henry Rollins, and Flea as well as Pettibon himself talking about the Black Flag band name, logo, flyers, and album art.

In recent years, we've seen many unsung or short-lived indie and punk acts of the '90s get new Internet-age respect, with online interest plus reissues and reunions feeding the fire. Universal Order of Armageddon, an East Coast post-hardcore act from the early '90s, for example, reunited in 2011 for a series of gigs and a Chaos in Tejas festival set. Yesterday, however, the band realized it was getting attention of a different kind when guitarist Tonie Joy was informed that a live performance photo of UOA had been used in a Jack Daniel's ad in the UK. Joy shared the image on his Facebook page where NoMa heard about it. Joy declined to comment on the situation. We're simply left wondering how it happened and if perhaps, this is one among many appropriations to come from the '90s—a cultural era that has a surprisingly high level of cachet at the moment.

Bryan Ray Turcotte, founder of Kill Your Idols which published the authoritative volume on punk flyers, Fucked Up + Photocopied, has collaborated with Los Angeles MOCA for a new web series called "The Art of Punk." The episodes feature interviews with Raymond Pettibon, who created the bars logo and album cover art for his brother Greg Ginn's band Black Flag, as well as punk luminaries Flea, Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, Keith Morris, and more.

The three-part series begins with Black Flag on June 11, but in the meantime check out the trailer below to see Flea on the toilet talking about art and action coming together, as well as details about the L.A. premiere at MOCA this Thursday, June 6. 




In 2013, there's both a FLAG and a Black Flag touring and playing Black Flag songs—we won't get into who's putting on the better show. But it was FLAG, featuring former Black Flag members Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson, and Dez Cadena (as well as Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton), that returned to the scene of the band's first ever gig on January 27, 1979, the Moose Lodge #1873 in Redondo Beach, CA for a semi-secret show. FLAG blazed through a 40-minute set at the secret gig, and just this week, lucky for us, professionally shot and edited footage of the show has hit the Internet. In the fight for the legacy of the iconic punk act, FLAG certainly won this battle, if not the war.

Vivienne Westwood for Moda Operandi PUNK collection

The Costume Institute's PUNK show at the Met continues to be a source of quite interesting contrasts and, well, let's just call them contradictions. Today, show sponsor Moda Operandi, which sells high-end runway clothing before it hits retail, released its punk boutique collection. The exclusive collection includes over 100 items, including new pieces from designers Balmain, Eddie Borgo, Thom Browne, Givenchy, House of Waris, Moschino, Prabal Gurung, Rodarte, and Vivienne Westwood—plus rare vintage fashion and art objects, many of them exclusive. Shredded T-shirts, Germs LPs, Patti Smith photos, even a faux mohawk are on offer. Prices range from $100 to $13,000. Are you annoyed, excited? Not sure?

“The enduring appeal of punk’s avant-garde ideology is that it inspires designers across the spectrum of design sensibility,” said Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder of Moda Operandi. “Each designer has created pieces for this capsule collection that expresses their unique vision of punk’s rebellious spirit.”  

On the critical side, some might say this is punk drained of any rebellious content or context, and presented purely as consumable, expensive, designer-associated fashion. They'd say high price tags and punk-by-elites goes against the very foundations of the subculture.

What right has high-end fashion and online retailing to stake its claim on punk, anyway? Perhaps no right at all, but in an age where continued  relevance is everything, there will always be savvy, if faintly ridiculous, attempts to plant high-end designer flags in unclaimed territory.

On the plus side, we tend to give highly artistic fashion designers—many of whom slogged it out on the fringes before making it big—the benefit of the doubt. One can't deny that the looks from Westwood, Gurung, and Givenchy wouldn't exist without punk inspiration.

And it is somewhat reassuring to know that the elites don't quite get the PUNK show theme, and Monday's gala looks might actually be a trainwreck of badly managed style. The ultimate punk revenge?

At the end of the day, the "Chaos to Couture" collection highlights an issue that's been ever-present since '77. Putting "punk" in the same sentence as "high price tag" always has a hollow ring to it, and yet punk still looks (and sounds) great after all these years.

Visit modaoperandi.com to browse the PUNK collection.

Lee Hunter Black Stadium 733 P-Bass Electric Guitar Signed by the Ramones


NEW YORK VINTAGE Blue Mohawk

Patti Smith Kneeling photo by Lloyd Ziff


Search & Destroy fanzine


Limited Edition Blue Logan Punk Playing Cards

 

Photo by: Dennis Morris, 1977. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, | Sid Vicious

Photos courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/BFAnyc.com

A new Costume Institute exhibition at New York's Met (lasting 100 days—like the first burst of UK punk—from May 9–August 14, 2013) examines early punk's impact on high fashion. And the irony of highbrow taking note of the influence from below has already made the show fertile ground for derision of the fashion biz and bigtime art museums.

It's also been stirring up a passionate conversation online and in the press on what punk was/is all about. Despite attempts to co-opt it and tame it, to own it or define it, here's evidence that punk still provokes, which was originally a big part of the point, anyway.

For critics of the show, it's easy to make the observation that punk music and culture wasn't about taking over the runway and selling brand-name perfume. But a largely homegrown culture having a significant impact on a commercial one isn't really strange.

There are many aspects of punk, too, that make it a perfect fit for high-end fashion art museums, and the mainstream art consumer. Interest in punk as cultural history has grown from being a critical concern for music heads to a regular literary event with memoirs from people like Patti Smith and Richard Hell. And taking cultural explosions from below seriously is much easier after three-plus decades have passed. Punk music, difficult to find in chain retail shops of the '80s, is but a click away now, so curiosity about it for those that missed it during the vinyl era is bubbling over. Punk, from '77 on, had a design and fashion aspect to it, not to mention a "hype" aspect. Its UK look was formalized in a fetish shop by shady impresario Malcolm McLaren, while its DIY ethic produced powerful graphics in flyer design and an individualized fashion within its own ever-shifting code of outsiderness.

Unfortunately, this leaves us with punk icons in punk iconic clothes that we've all seen before juxtaposed against designer duds that only seem vaguely punk. Odd then, that this show promises more to fashion fanatics—who perhaps haven't seen the way designers deliberately borrow from the Blank Generation look every few years—than it does to music fans.  Somewhat logically, the show concentrates on New York and London where the fashion world and punk scenes were in close proximity, but neglects any other spots where punk made early inroads. The show is organized, rather literally, by fashion techniques: DIY Hardware, DIY Bricolage, DIY Graffiti and Agitprop, DIY Destroy. If one has seen those videos of the Clash spray-painting stencils on their clothes, you've seen fashion history in action, evidently. 

For a good read on punk in the context of the exhibit, see New York magazine's recent cover story which offhandly makes the case that, in terms of fashion, punk won and elitism lost.


Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel. Vogue, March 2011. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by David Sims

John Lydon, 1976/ Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Richard Young. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, 1982. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Peter Lindbergh.

Jordan, 1977. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph from Rex USA.


Rodarte, Vogue, July 2008. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by David Sims.

Richard Hell, late 1970s, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Kate Simon.


Hussein Chalayan 2003, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dazed and Confused, March 2003,Photograph by Eric Nehr.

Globe Poster, 1980s. Collection of Roger Gastman.

It's stunning how well the '80s underground has aged—and we're not just talking about the music. Take D.C. for instance. This weekend, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. hosts "Pump Me Up, DC Subculture of the 1980s" which explores the capitol's thriving underground of that decade via surviving visual ephemera of the era. Go-go posters by Globe, photos of "Cool Disco Dan" graffiti, and handmade punk and hardcore flyers as album and single sleeve designs from the era will surely figure in. There's also a "Throwback Jam" concert at the 9:30 Club this weekend featuring Trouble Funk, Scream, Henry Rollins, Youth Brigade, Black Markey Baby, and more. To say we're jealous we can't make it (and a bit nostalgic) would be an understatement.

"Pump Me Up" runs Feb 23–April 7, 2013 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Get more info at the Corcoran Gallery. The "Pump Me Up" exhibition catalog is $45.