Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  May 24, 2019  ★

Vintage Richard HellMy friend Jim recently made a comment that he didn't like punk music. Naturally, I responded that he just hadn't heard the "right kind" of punk music. So, I made him a playlist called "Introduction to Punk". Check it out.

While this list wouldn't get me a job on staff at Pitchfork or NME, I think it is a good primer for someone who isn't familiar with a lot of these bands. The aim is to follow the thread of Rock and Roll that starts with Elvis and Chuck Berry and winds its way to contemporary punks like Jay Reatard and Ty Segall. A lot of the songs that I've chosen to represent these artists are their "hits," but they were ultimately selected because I think they're good gateway songs for these bands.

As with any list, there are plenty of notable omissions, especially from the 80s hardcore scene. But the 80s are well-represented and hardcore is really an offshoot of the broader punk movement that this playlist is trying to illustrate. Some other notable omissions are due to Spotify not having a good recording available. I couldn't find anything decent for MC5, and I would have liked to have included The Beatles "Twist and Shout".

At times, like on Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach", the musical thread might be harder to hear, but you have to consider it in context. Patti, along with the other punks on the New York scene, was reacting to the bloated rock of the 70s, and her contributions directly influenced bands like Sonic Youth, which helped us reach Nirvana. As ever, with art, context counts.

The list is below along with a link and embed of the playlist from Spotify. I'd love to hear your thoughts and how you might agree/disgree. Get at me at lee@originalfuzz.com.

Here it is: