Punk Retrospective

El Dorko – The Crucifixion of Pussy Riot

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

That's right...the folks at El Dorko are at it again...yeah, I'm old, so what? Jump on the bandwagon and grab your free download while it's still there...then go to Amnesty International to sign the petition for their release.


The ‘Pussy Riot’ Enlightenment Doctrine

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro


Iconic imagery, punk rock, feminist messaging and intelligent argument round out the many talents exhibited by heroic art collective, Pussy Riot.

Police presence and public protest marked the opening day, July 30, 2012, of the ‘Pussy Riot’ trial in Moscow. Victims of these ‘banal hooligans with a religious motive’ are hoping to put the group behind bars for 7 years. "When I talk about this event, my heart hurts. It hurts that this is possible in our country," one victim, Lyubov Sokologorskaya said. "Their punishment must be adequate so that never again is such a thing repeated."

The group claims to be a Russian feminist punk-rock art collective, a living counterpart to the 90’s American Riot Grrrl movement. In an interview with The St. Petersburg Times Pussy Riot said, “What we have in common is impudence, politically loaded lyrics, the importance of feminist discourse and a non-standard female image.”

Of the 25 or so people associated with the final YouTube output of Pussy Riot’s performance art, three are on trial. Of the three, two are young mothers. They have been held in custody for five months now following their alleged “hooliganism driven by religious hatred”.

What was their despicable act? Basically, the three hooligans have been charged with praying the wrong kind of prayer in church. Had their prayer been silent and within the confines of the normal congregation, it would only be between Pussy Riot and God. That is not how it happened, and in the end, Pussy Riot, dressed in short, colorful dresses, leggings and balaclavas, entered the soleus, or inner sancum, of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow and performed their ‘Punk Prayer’. Two weeks later they were arrested and have been in police custody ever since.

"So…what is Pussy Riot, really?", I hear you asking me. Well, when I’m going through the articles, the photographs, the videos…hearing the testimony of the “victims”…well, what I see is coordinated intelligence building an iconography and a visceral message larger than the sum of it’s parts. I see a group of people using ALL the tools at their disposal to improve their lives and the lives of those around them by pointing out the hypocrisy of their own society and becoming martyrs to awaken the citizenry by proving the tyrannical intent of their ‘leaders’.

They use mystery, fear, sex, brazen acts and abrasiveness to provoke anger and sympathy. This is using ‘shock value’ to awaken…this is thoughtful dissent disguised as mockery. I don’t know that I have witnessed this kind of artistic control…this kind of radical message branding and intent…since the rise of that McLaren brainstorm the Sex Pistols. Here we have another, somehow more fully formed, example of what was called, in 1977, the "last and greatest outbreak of pop-based moral pandemonium".

Petr Pavlensky

Russian artist Petr Pavlensky sews his mouth together in support of Pussy Riot.

The sheer, subtle genius of using the machinations of the State to expose the machinations of the State is as intriguing as it is terrifying! The success of this tactic, seen again all these years after the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, though fascinating and really inspiring, shows that force is the first thing power will resort to to protect itself. Placing their bodies at the mercy of the system, these women have half-awakened the world press. To see reputable news sources’ calling it a ‘show trial’, ‘worse than the Soviet era’ and this ‘Time’ magazine headline today, August 3, 2012, is something amazing, the irony completely missed;

Russia’s Pussy Riot Trial: A Kangaroo Court Goes on a Witch Hunt
Is the ongoing trial of three Russian feminist punk rockers in Moscow a sign of a new tyrannical streak defining the rule of President Vladimir Putin?

Why the Church? Why Putin? Well, these crazy kids grew up with notions left over from the heady days of the 1990’s when Russia appeared to be freeing itself from the kind of repression that’s flowing back under Putin’s reign. The cozy relationship between Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who called Putin’s time in office a “godly miracle”, and Putin, who promised $120 million to build more Orthodox churches, brought back sour memories and, in February of this year, this highly inventive protest.

The church is now playing the victim card, going so far as to compare the Pussy Riot performance to the persecution the church faced from the Bolsheviks under communist rule. The State is clamping down, arresting those who protest in any meaningful way outside the courthouse, freezing the groups’ lawyer’s bank accounts and ‘disappearing’ Nadezhda’s philosophy professor, who was to testify on her behalf.

The citizenry are responding and their response has evolved since March, when the young women were arrested. The majority of Russians now support Pussy Riot and feel the government is going too far. The swing in opinion is forcing Putin to call for ‘leniency’. There is something of an artistic revolution happening around the group, with hundreds of photos and several videos being generated to venerate the women and what they stand for.
















What do they stand for? Is there a philosophy major in this bunch, or what? When I first began researching/following this story I stumbled upon an interview (manifesto) with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. She happens to be a student in visual arts and a fourth year philosophy student. Punk Retrospective was inspired, using a quote from that manifesto, to create this picture as part of a ‘thoughtful dissent’ meme we’ve been pushing on our Facebook page:


Part of the Punk Retrospective 'thoughtful dissent' meme on our page at http://www.facebook.com/PunkRetro

Here is the article the quote comes from:

Manifesto by N. Tolokonnikova from 05/04/2012

Many news sources are calling Nadezhda Tolokonnikova the face of Pussy Riot, falling so quickly into the traps of the ingrained thinking patterns of the civilized world. The point of the balaclavas is that ANYONE can be a member of Pussy Riot. Today saw the release of video with male protesters being arrested on the rooftop at the courthouse in Moscow. True, the visual artist/ philosophy major obviously plays a pivotal role in the thinking behind Pussy Riot actions, but the other two charged women, Maria Alekhina and Ekaterina Samucevich, are also highly educated and artistic.

So, what does it all mean? To me this means Pussy Riot must be studied and revered, even as we fight for their release in whatever ways we can. The force of change moving through the situation created by the minds of these artists and thinkers is more than impressive. This is what ‘punk rock’ is supposed to be at its most fundamental level. This is what I see as the beginning of the Pussy Riot Enlightenment Doctrine: Do not be fooled into thinking that you can accomplish anything by pure shock value. Your motives must be clear in your mind before you attempt to create on this level…but do not let that frighten you away. It would be a shame to allow the momentum and lessons of Pussy Riot go to waste. Choose your issue, educate yourself, question the dominant paradigm, create a meaningful stance and iconography to go with it, but this cannot be faked…do all of this with your full heart and mind and freedom and you may achieve something as glorious as the hooligan art collective known as Pussy Riot.

Go to Amnesty International to sign the petition for their release.


Art and Human Manifesto (different from the previous manifesto)

Free Pussy Riot Now! (Putin, fear no art.) on Facebook

Free Pussy Riot Two on Facebook

FreePussyRiot.org on Facebook


Love Your Chainsaw

Posted by saturnword

Before the all girl grunge acts and riot grrrl, there was one particularly memorable band from London that was known for their misanthropic female vocalist and raw music. Daisy Chainsaw was composed of Katie Jane Garside, guitarist Crispin Gray (real name John Orion), bassist Richard Adams and Canadian drummer Vince Johnson. Their live performances were the talk of journalists who cited Garside as quite the mental case due to her antics on stage which included, but was not limited to, drinking juice from baby bottles and drilling doll heads. Today I will be highlighting their debut album, “Eleventeen,” which was released in 1992.

As someone who was first a fan of Queen Adreena, Garside and Gray's reunion project after Daisy Chainsaw dissolved, the differences in sound and vocal style is quite jarring. First, there aren't any sweet vocals to contrast with the harsher style in this album; she still has great range using various intonations to accentuate the prevailing emotion in the songs. An example of this is the first song on the album titled, “I Feel Insane,” where it starts out with her laughing like a mentally disturbed person and in-between lyrics she makes indiscernible noises to stress that notion. Lyrics are screamed or sung softly with a violent undercurrent waiting to break free during the next verse. That's basically how every song is done with obvious differences based on each one's atmosphere.

The instrumentals are a mixture between noise and punk rock. Very chaotic and aggressive guitar work, solid rock drumming, and audible bass the holds them all together. Though most of the tracks sound more punk than noise, there are four songs that do break that mold. First being, “Natural Man,” which is sung by a male band member and it has only a very bluegrass acoustic guitar playing to accompany the vocals. Second is “Use Me Use You,” which is close to an eerily abstract, but beautiful, noise track. The last two, “Waiting For The Wolves” and “Everything is Weird,” are very relaxed, bordering on serene, and whimsical rock songs. There is an unidentifiable quirky sense of humor that shines through in every aspect of those two and I'm very much in-love with it.

Despite that, there is one song that is the star of the album for me. “Hope Your Dreams Come True” starts out as a very slow and sexy song. It builds up at a luxurious pace to a very anti-climatically peaceful segment that ends abruptly in short lived chaos and release at the song's end.

There is no set lyrical theme to this album, but if I were categorize it, I would say that it is very introspective with references to human interaction on a social level. Nothing political or especially gruesome, but the perspective they provide is definitely insightful. With that said, you're just going to have to give this a listen yourself to see what I mean!

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2001%20-%20I%20Feel%20Insane.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – I Feel Insane Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2004%20-%20Hope%20Your%20Dreams%20Come%20True.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Hope Your Dreams Come True Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2005%20-%20Natural%20Man.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Natural Man Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2008%20-%20Use%20Me%20Use%20You.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Use Me Use You Link source


Bikini Kill

Posted by saturnword

The cut against the grain and the rebellion that sparked in the US in the form of hardcore punk was revolutionary. It also changed the face of metal and gave birth to a plethora of new subcultures within urban and suburban America. It's presence and influence is still felt today in the music world even amongst all the chaos, often brilliance, that the mixing of sub-genres tends to create. But there was always one missing element. One thing that has alienated an entire demographic to a large extent.

There were no female bands. The feminine perspective in general was just missing. Angry young women needed an outlet too and so riot grrrl was born in the early 90's. Feeding off of the energy of the few all female grunge bands (Babes In Toyland, L7, and 7 Year Bitch) and bands like The Runaways, riot grrrl is to women what hardcore is to men. The music was often crude and simple in the beginning because, like their male predecessors, a lot of these girls just started picking up instruments during that time. They tackled cultural feminine issues along with political activism and, so, they have come to be viewed as an underground feminist movement.

The most notable band that helped create this sub-culture is Bikini Kill. They carried over the brutal honesty and D.I.Y. ethic of hardcore which helped unite most of the bands under a common mentality. Self-promotion took the form of local zines, meetings between bands and fans, and the formation of riot grrrl chapters around the US.

The band's debut album “Pussy Whipped” is still one of my favorite punk CDs out there. The vocals on this baby are as diverse and interesting as L7's. “Lil Red”, “Sugar”, “Star Bellied Boy” and “Hamster Baby” stand out for me in that regard. Instrumentally, it's just as diverse ranging from very aggressive to very tranquil. “For Tammy Rae” is the most harmonious and longest song of the bunch clocking in at 3:33 minutes. Although “Rebel Girl” is the song that this band is known for, I really do enjoy “Alien She” the best on this album. It just screams hardcore punk, i.e. the same chord playing over and over until the end where there is some progression and an almost abrupt finish.

So dear reader, I can only hope that you enjoy their music and passion as much as I do.

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/02-Alien%20She.mp3] Bikini Kill – Alien She Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/05-Lil%20Red.mp3] Bikini Kill – Lil Red Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/07-Sugar.mp3] Bikini Kill – Sugar Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/08-Star%20Bellied%20Boy.mp3] Bikini Kill – Star Bellied Boy Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/09-Hamster%20Baby.mp3] Bikini Kill – Hamster Baby Link source

You can find tons of Bikini Kill LP's, CD's and 7"'s @ GEMM