My So-Called Punk: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Distillers, Bad Religion---How Neo-Punk Stage-Dived into the Mainstream

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9780312337810: My So-Called Punk: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Distillers, Bad Religion---How Neo-Punk Stage-Dived into the Mainstream

When it began, punk was an underground revolution that raged against the mainstream; now punk is the mainstream. Tracing the origins of Grammy-winning icons Green Day and the triumphant resurgence of neo-punk legends Bad Religion through MTV's embrace of pop-punk bands like Yellowcard, music journalist Matt Diehl explores the history of new punk, exposing how this once cult sound became a blockbuster commercial phenomenon. Diehl follows the history and controversy behind neo-punk―from the Offspring's move from a respected indie label to a major, to multi-platinum bands Good Charlotte and Simple Plan's unrepentant commercial success, through the survival of genre iconoclasts the Distillers and the rise of "emo" superstars like Fall Out Boy.
My So-Called Punk picks up where bestselling authors Legs McNeil and Jon Savage left off, conveying how punk went from the Sex Pistol's "Anarchy in the U.K." to anarchy in the O.C. via the Warped Tour. Defining the sound of today's punk, telling the stories behind the bands that have brought it to the masses and discussing the volatile tension between the culture's old and new factions, My So-Called Punk is the go-to book for a new generation of punk rock fans.

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About the Author:

Matt Diehl is a music journalist. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, VIBE, Spin, Blender and many other publications. He served as the music columnist for Elle for four years and now serves as a contributing music editor at Interview. He has appeared as a music expert on MTV and was co-producer of the acclaimed five-part television series on VH1, The ‘70's. His books include No-Fall Snowboarding and Notorious C.O.P..

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter OneA Brief History of Punk... But First, Green Day Wins a Grammy!It makes me extremely proud to make punk rock the biggest music in the world right now.--Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt, quoted in a September 21, 2005, article in the East Bay ExpressIn 2005, Green Day won the Grammy award for “Best Rock Album” for their 2004 release American Idiot. In fact, American Idiot wasn’t the band’s first Grammy--Green Day received the 1994 Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance, too. But Green Day’s triumph at the 2005 ceremony felt... different. For one, the 2005 Grammy Awards proved something of an upset: Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company, the sentimental favorite, took the honors for “Album of the Year,“ but many felt that American Idiot was the better, more relevant effort.As “Album of the Year,“ American Idiot certainly carried all the elements the award should commemorate. For one, American Idiot was both the most critically acclaimed album of the year and (most important to the Grammy voters) a massive commercial success. It also felt thrillingly relevant, as the title track and other songs pointedly commented on the declining state of our world. American Idiot sounded more than anything like an expression of life midway through the first millennium: as exuberant and passionate as it is cynical and jaded, it struck a universal (barre) chord with many.Also, American Idiot represented a comeback on two fronts. Green Day had been on a stylistic wane for some time, and had never been a critical favorite; the same could’ve been said for their chosen genre, “pop punk.” American Idiot’s transcendent success changed all that. Green Day’s Grammy was the most significant embrace from the music-business mainstream of music descended from punk rock yet: in years previous, the music biz was always happy to make money off punk rock, but always reluctant to give it any respect. “Ten years ago, a lot of people [wrote us off],“ Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt exclaimed to Entertainment Weekly. “’That’s just a snotty little band from the Bay Area.’” But Green Day’s Grammy moment showed that punk, after years of growth, just might be ready for prime time. Punk was now “classic.” The outsiders had won. Right?In fact, the peers and followers of Green Day in the punk world they had exploded out of had varying reactions to American Idiot’s Grammy win. “I think it’s amazing,“ exclaims Chuck Comeau, drummer for the popular pop punk band Simple Plan. “I’m absolutely stoked and happy for them. It’s amazing that this kind of music is so anti-establishment but goes on to win a Grammy from the most stuck-up organization in the music world. It’s amazing how far it’s traveled, how far we came from being totally underground to being recognized as important, viable, and serious. Lots of people don’t take it seriously, but a lot of the pop-punk songs are really important--they’re fucking great, amazing pop songs. It’s amazing they’re being recognized. It gives us a lot of hope that our music will get to that level. Winning a Grammy is nothing to be embarrassed about; it’s definitely a goal of ours.”At the same time, Comeau sees Green Day’s Grammy win as a beacon pointing the way out of the pop-punk ghetto. “We don’t want to stop at being a punk band, but here’s the thing, though: we don’t see ourselves as a ‘punk’ band, and at this point I’m not sure Green Day wants to be limited to being a punk band, either,“ Comeau says. “We just want to be a band--not a pop-punk band, not a punk band, just Simple Plan. Take No Doubt: No Doubt came from the Southern California ska scene, and they’re so beyond that now. Every record they pushed the boundaries, and they became just... No Doubt. Same with U2 and Weezer--they came from scenes but are now just considered on their own merits. Weezer is just... Weezer, U2 is just U2. Those are the models for us now.”That punk has moved from a cult obsession for insiders to mainstream phenomenon still rankles some purists, however. “As soon as Green Day hit the Grammy awards this year,“ Greg Attonitoi, front man for long-running, stalwart indie pop-punkers Bouncing Souls, grumbles with vitriol, “I had to be hospitalized.”Attonitoi’s anticonformist brio has always been a punk rock mainstay, regardless of its commercial virility. When punk first pogoed its way onto the radar of the 1970s mainstream music scene, Grammy Awards seemed like the last thing on its amphetamine-addled collective consciousness. Still, punk’s Molotov-cocktail immediacy made it seem like it just might be the next big thing. Punk was so assaultive, so trenchant and colorful, so circa now even then, that its success somehow seemed inevitable. And it was, give or take seventeen or so years... Punk’s notorious beginnings have become such a part of mainstream pop music legend, in fact, that going over them seems redundant. Punk is now part of the fabric of the greater culture, a “type” that’s wordless lingua franca shorthand across numerous cultures for a specific kind of person and music.Punk rock as it’s thought of today began in New York City during the mid to late 1970s, spawning itself in Manhattan dive bars like the now-infamous CBGB--its name an acronym for “Country, bluegrass, and blues,“ chosen well before anyone knew it would become punk’s Mecca.In such appropriately ramshackle, almost improvised environments, bands like the Ramones, Blondie, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids cannibalized everything rebellious, trashy, and authentic (and often trashily authentic) from pop music history. These young rebels were hellbent on creating a new formal language of rock music out of their stylistic clusterfuck collage. They succeeded all too brilliantly, resulting in one of the twentieth century’s most important art movements--although one whose legacy just may have been to self-destruct. That it might destroy itself under the weight of so many platinum plaques, well... no one saw that one coming.If anything, early punk influences read like a history of defiance in pop music up to that point. Many of the first wave of New York punk bands looked to the stripped-down strum and leather-jacketed switchblade style of 1950s rock and roll, perceiving a minimalist immediacy in the raw rave-ups of Chuck Berry and Elvis. They soaked up the amphetamined, black-nail-polished androgynous sexuality of glam-rock à la the New York Dolls and Bowie along with the brassy, torn-fishnet cattiness of 1960s girl-group pop. Most of all, the punks emulated the feedback-drenched debauchery of the Velvet Underground, which was the art-school educated big-city cousin to another punk trope, the stomping, simpleton sneer of 1960s garage rock like the Stooges, who featured a key proto-punk icon in its frontman, a young Iggy Pop. “I didn’t know much about what was happening at CBGB’s, and all of that,“ Pop explains in Please Kill Me. “I mean, I thought there must be two or three bands in the universe that weren’t complete dicks, but I never thought, Oh, punk is happening, it’s taking over and gonna be big and huge.”New York’s proto-punk fringe contained enough artsy types to keep a balance of improvisational experimentation and a social critique of moderne society going. Some, of course, just wanted to be obnoxious and loud, but punk was the twain where all forms of irreverence could meet and hang out. Punk was indeed one of the first moments in pop music where a youth culture movement self-consciously critiqued not just society, but the style of music and art movements within that society. And despite punk’s media image of hooliganism--thanks to the Ramones’ street-gang persona and ironic, taboo-threatening humor that evoked underground comics of the time--the early New York scene was surprisingly diverse.The Ramones’ self-titled 1976 debut album was primal three-chord monte, reducing rock and roll to its barest, fastest essentials. Its monochrome guitars, village-idiot yelling, and sheer velocity set the tone--song titles like “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Chain Saw” served as truth in advertising manifestos, perfectly capturing the band’s sound in words. In reality, The Ramones were just one facet of the early New York punk scene, of the CBGB’s era. Coexisting alongside them were bands that vitally reflected different influences.There was the arch retro pop of Blondie, given a heavy dose of Y-chromosome postfeminist kick courtesy of sex symbol front woman Debbie Harry, who made a career out of blonde ice-queen charisma. Then there were “New Wave” synth-pop forerunners Suicide, who juxtaposed violent, reverbed-out scenarios over raw soundscapes of primitive, thumping electronics; without Suicide, the template for bands like Depeche Mode would never have existed.Then there were the bohemian punks, leather-bound poetic artistes like Patti Smith, Richard Hell, and Tom Verlaine, the iconic, reedlike frontman/co-guitarist for Television. Fronting her self-named band, Patti Smith outrageously reinvented the androgynous cock-rock sex symbol epitomized by Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison in her own tragic-romantic persona that reeked of Rimbaud. Likewise, Television’s Verlaine was like a downtown, Soho art-scene makeover of a “beat” poet. As such, Television were arguably the most virtuoso musicians of the scene, their angular, twisty songs built on lyrical, epic guitar solos that evoked jammy, San Francisco-style counterculture rock of the ‘60s more than more stereotypical punk influences. Between these already young archetypes lay the intentionally awkward art-schoolers the Talking Heads. The Heads’ paranoid-android honky funk would find itself ubiquitous by the ...

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Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 272 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 1.0in. When it began, punk was an underground revolution that raged against the mainstream; now punk is the mainstream. Tracing the origins of Grammy-winning icons Green Day and the triumphant resurgence of neo-punk legends Bad Religion through MTVs embrace of pop-punk bands like Yellowcard, music journalist Matt Diehl explores the history of new punk, exposing how this once cult sound became a blockbuster commercial phenomenon. Diehl follows the history and controversy behind neo-punk--from the Offsprings move from a respected indie label to a major, to multi-platinum bands Good Charlotte and Simple Plans unrepentant commercial success, through the survival of genre iconoclasts the Distillers and the rise of emo superstars like Fall Out Boy. My So-Called Punk picks up where bestselling authors Legs McNeil and Jon Savage left off, conveying how punk went from the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the U. K. to anarchy in the O. C. via the Warped Tour. Defining the sound of todays punk, telling the stories behind the bands that have brought it to the masses and discussing the volatile tension between the cultures old and new factions, My So-Called Punk is the go-tobook for a new generation of punk rock fans. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312337810

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