New things

I usually don’t announce such things, mostly since no one, including myself, probably cares, but I’ve added two links, one of them to a new blog I recommend highly, the other to a history that’s been online for nearly a decade.

Unemployed Negativity is both a great double entendre and a great site, with posts so far about animal shelters, A Scanner Darkly, and Ranciere, among others. Check it out…. I’ve been thinking a lot about the 80s punk label SST recently, and so I reread Dave Lang’s three-part history of it, written in 1998. The article adequately covers all the appropriate ground and hints at what was important about the label and why the music it released is still relevant today. But it’s marred by a rather masculine tone–which in a way appropriately mirrors the subject: after all, Henry Rollins was associated with SST–that reminds me I must someday write up my thoughts on the label (or, as Mike Watt once told me he liked to call it, the forum). SST’s fuck-you to early 80s American hardcore orthodoxy–its rejection of the suburban reactionaries in Orange County or the Bay Area leftists; of exhortations to follow the harder-faster-louder ethic and stringent localism; of the moralizing of straight-edge–feels like the appropriate stance in these times when states-in-power and states-in-waiting are insisting on declarations of alliance–disguised as, variously, acts of patriotism or solidarity and anti-imperialism. The bands whose records SST released refused the axiomatics of hardcore, particularly the principles that defined what punk was supposed to sound like, just as the label itself refused to limit itself to releasing “punk” music. Instead of conformity and following commands to unity, the label and its bands opted for experimentation and an openness to failure.

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