History of PUNK in Playlist Form
On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending a really fun Brooklyn Brainery class: PUNK! A History: 1967-1982. The class itself (taught by punk enthusiast, Master’s degree candidate, and drummer Sean O’Brien) was about what you would expect from a 90-minute class that purported to cover the entire history of punk (to the extent that you believe that punk ended in 1982, which I emphatically don’t). From the class description: “This class will talk about the origins of Punk Rock, the bands that shaped the movement, the clubs where they played, the people who made an impact on the scene, and what it all means.” That’s a lot of ground to cover in 90 minutes. After all, the punk bible is over 600 pages long and would take even the fastest reader at least 10 Brooklyn-to-Manhattan subway rides to complete. Accordingly, this was a surface level class geared more or less to beginners, kind of like Punk 101. And I like to think that I’m at least ready for Punk 201, especially after this.
As far as Punk 101 goes though, O’Brien’s class was excellent. Because of the thoroughness, I was reminded of several bands that I’ve read about or heard once or twice but never pursued. Suicide, the Dead Boys, and the Slits all fall into that category, and the class put those bands into context for me (e.g., I didn’t know that the Slits were all-girl UK contemporaries of the Clash and the Sex Pistols). Also, O’Brien interspersed music throughout the class, which seems like an obvious thing to do but easily could have been regrettably omitted.
None of that helps you, dear reader. But here’s what does: O’Brien put together a spotify playlist consisting of all of the songs he played during the class (minus the songs he chose to play from Wire and Dead Kennedys, neither of which were on spotify). Consider this a soundtrack to the history of punk.
As a thank you to O’Brien for putting together and sharing this playlist, here’s a shout out to his band, Cuervo Jones. Like them on Facebook to find out when they are playing next. On their bandcamp you can download their new EP for free.