Torch Bearer

The new generation will carry the axe to the finish line.

Staring into the eyes of those she challenged
She gently put her axe down
The vibrations rattled off its body
And seemed to make a different sound;

Their protective armour was studded
And hid in it legacy
But the history was now in the books
And their shell wore only hypocrisy

She came from a different land
With different way of tread
They looked upon her, questioning,
So she opened her mouth and said,

Those are your gods you talk of, not mine
To me, they’re but influence
They taught me how to stand up
But have sat down since

They taught me how to sing
And you, how to talk;
Their spirit flows within my veins
But I choose my own cause

I’m not out to topple the stars
I merely build on the earth beneath
But bearing the torch lit in last flames
There’s mountains to go before the peak.

 

Women In Punk Music

Just an ordinary Wednesday for celebrating all the brave women in punk rock music. The playlist is one I created for our ongoing themed radio show on CFRC 101.9 FM (Or maybe not. I never get the station frequency right… give it time!)

Essentially, this is also me learning how to use technology and marvelling at how a playlist embeds… which was something I was pretty 50-50 on whether would happen or would fail and vanish midway, and will continue to be unsure of until I’ve hit publish… ah, technology, how I marvel at thee in spite of being a computer science major funnily enough.

Enjoy the music, appreciate the circumstances it was made under, and continue to cheer on the courageous women who continue to inspire the genre!

Bikini Kill onstage. Credits: Pitchfork; by Debi del Grande

(Yes, I should’ve talked more about each song and the wonderful stories behind them. I did on the show. And I will here too. I’m just a little busy gaping with a dropped jaw at the embed. Technology. All hail programmers.)

(In short, yes, this whole post was just me testing out whether I can embed Spotify content on a blog without using the new editor, or not.
The answer is a frustrating no.)

In The Punk Neighbourhood

That girl thinks she’s the queen of the neighbourhood

Well, I got news for ya— she is!

This is currently my favourite lyric and it just hit off with me immediately.

I’ve heard waay too many “that girl thinks she’s a queen/ when she’s just a nothing cog in the machine/ Trying hard to live a dream/ Don’t you know no one can hear you scream”, this was oddly uplifting!

(Is that an actual song? I just made those lyrics up. It’s a close approximation for some stuff I’ve heard. Female bands aren’t always very kind when it comes to their own kind, I suppose!

Well, what mattered was that it rhymed, didn’t it? Didn’t it? Weren’t you  in the least bit sure that was an actual song?

Okay, then I’m on track to become a songwriter. Now to quit my metaphorical job.)

The lyrics above are from the Bikini Kill song Rebel Girl, and I love it already. I’m glad the band’s reuniting. The world can do with some good punk music right now, and with some female rock bands too!

Speaking of good punk music, I’m really getting into SWMRS. They’re a bunch of young Californian punks,  and they sound good to the ear. They’re nearly my age, and it almost feels like I have reason to be proud seeing them come up. I read an interview with Rolling Stone that they’d done, and I felt, wow, they’re growing. It’s partly unsurprising, given Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong happens to be drummer Joey Armstrong’s dad, but they’re a band growing in their own right.

Sample some of the stuff off their latest album:

What’s more, I’ve just got to know they’re likely playing a gig in my city just next month! It happens to be in between two big important finals that I have, but they’re also a week apart. Hopefully, I can spare a few hours an evening?

I wouldn’t mind.

I’m itching to get back to my own music real soon, the real soon in question being anywhere between two weeks and a month. It’s a hard life!

But anyway, coming back to the main point of this post, if you think you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Just remember what Kathleen Hanna said! (If you forgot, look above. I’d have linked back to the top of this post, but that would be recursive. And I hereby declare, I’ve had enough recursion for one night. I’m off to bed, goodnight.)

Relevance.

I just realised I’ve been blogging for more than a year.
It’s also true that this is probably the fifth time I’ve realised this.

What it also means is I’m not a baby blogger anymore!
I’m more like a toddler blogger now.
But I’m still crawling.
And I’m still breathing.
(And drooling and puking?)

I stole one of those lines off a moderately new Green Day song, and it’s not the drooling bit!

What do you think of Revolution Radio? Are Green Day back with a bang? I personally felt like Dos and Tré, their last two records (part of the Trilogy) went on a bit endlessly and were not the best Green Day can do. They’ve done better. For a band to make two major comebacks, two back to back concept albums, and still remain relevant is no mean feat, and it’s true, as Billie Joe Armstrong said in an interview last year that the band had nothing to prove to the world.

On the ‘relevance’ bit, you’ve got to acknowledge the fact that unlike many bands of the age, Green Day haven’t lost their sound to synths and computer-related experimentation. They’ve always stuck to their guns, the classic holy trinity, the guitar-bass-drums, although that could be used to argue against them. You can’t say they haven’t experimented with sound and genre though, that’s something you’d admire about Green Day ventures like American Idiot and Uno, which took Green Day into a delightfully funky upbeat, rhythmic-centric territory, sporadically sprinkled with a guitar solo. (I could mention Kill the DJ here.)

I almost needn’t mention the well-documented, almost famous (in related circles, of course) transition the band took from the (so-called) jaded Warning (’00)  to American Idiot (’04), ditching their would’ve-been seventh studio album, more generic and titled Cigarettes and Valentines after its mastertape was stolen, a retrospective blessing in disguise, to find a new sound, new look, and new direction with American Idiot. (Along with embracing the make-up and rockstar life, a marked departure from their punk Gilman street roots, Green Day also went political on this album, something they hadn’t done ostensibly uptil Warning.)

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Pre- American Idiot Green Day.

 

Such a band has nothing to prove, yet they keep proving, time and again, that they are relevant, a force to reckon with, and are here to stay.

(Just a tiny detour: it’s sad to see that artists who were once powerhouses of influence are struggling to remain relevant today. Take Beck on his new album Colors, which is a sort of resurgence on the maverick’s part, a cry of happiness at being, and a return to, relevance. (From an interview I read, an incident a few years ago where Beck, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins and Paul McCartney weren’t considered “stars” enough to be let into a backstage event at some awards may have contributed to this fear.)
I’ve talked to people who have never heard of George Michael or of AC/DC. And now with Brian Johnson having stepped down due to hearing problems and original rhythm guitarist and cofounder Malcolm Young’s demise this week, I don’t know what dystopian future we’re headed for. RIP, Malcolm, in a decade it may be better up there!

…so, back to today if we will?)

A band like Green Day has nothing to prove. But looking at their latest stuff, whether it’s just the music, or the music videos, Green Day are more relevant than the morning daily even, which is honestly depressing at times. A lot of times.
Billie’s songwriting is spot on as always, Mike’s keeping a neat rhythm and Tré’s tight rhythm mirroring the guitar is only showing again why the band and fans love him so much.

But then again, that’s my opinion. What do you think? Is Bang Bang as good as I feel it is? Are Green Day back? Or were they never gone in the first place?