True, seventies rock and roll had roots in the sixties, but then so did disco, which editors and other cultural arbiters agreed was quintessential seventies music: the original disco audience—middle-class blacks who retained a black cultural identity rather than imitating whites—had been created by the civil rights movement and black nationalism. The difference was that rock and roll, as a musical language, was always on some level about rebellion, freedom, and the expression of emotion, while disco was about cooling out as you move up, about stylizing and containing emotion. I knew I was supposed to consider the first set of concerns as outdated as the miniskirt. Yet owing to the parlous state of New York’s economy, I was, for the first time ever, somewhat downwardly mobile; I aspired to have less control over my feelings, not more; liberation was still a potent idea for me, not because I was clinging to the utopian sixties but because I was still oppressed as a woman—and still angry about it—in the conservative seventies. In short, though I had nothing against disco, rock and roll had a lot more to do with my life.Ellen Willis, Beginning to See the Light (Village Voice, 1977)
Bob & Joan, 1964
my sister said it’s a dead end
and she is my best friend
sometimes i think she’s my only one
my heroes are my friends
my friends are my heroes
This website recently decided they wanted me to review some new, up and coming singles … [one of the bands], I can’t even explain how stupid it was. Not only are you not doing anything constructive with the space you’ve been given to advance any sort of positive agenda, but you’re fully embracing your white privilege, like it’s a blanket that’s gonna keep you warm at night, and you’ve made this batshit nuts video – like, really? This is how you wanna represent yourself and your friends? This is what you want to do with the five minutes you have to exist on the world’s radar? You are wasting this. You do nothing. That to me is like a singularly offensive act, to have space and you do nothing with it. That complacency is the reason that I’m never, ever, ever going to shut up.meredith graves from perfect pussy in conversation with laura snapes for nme. yes. this: "YOU ARE WASTING THIS / YOU DO NOTHING" … that thought that crosses my head pretty much every day watching indie rock drones waste away these huge fucking opportunities to do or say meaningful things in front of mass audiences… (via lizpelly)
I recently bought the Radiator Hospital album Mall of America after streaming it off Bandcamp for a few months. There’s a cover on here that I have not been able to turn off, a song called “Detroit Diamonds” by Sacred Strays, and I wanted to put it on a mix for someone. I was convinced this was a jukebox pop classic from the 60s that I had just never heard before. I found out last night that it’s actually by a young band in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has never been released and my mind was totally blown.
All throughout, Pussy Riot have grasped for a language that communicates their identity and values to a Western audience largely unfamiliar (as last night’s politically tepid bill reminded us) with the language of radicalism, feminism and dissent… Therein lies much of the confusion.