playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz

  • MY BOOKS FOR SALE:

  • Free 1% FREE excerpts

  • 1% FREE on sale now


    Copies of 1% FREE can be purchased from Barnes & Noble POD, and the ebook can be had at Barnes & Noble ebook. The physical book is $18.95 and the ebook is $4.99.

  • END TIME reprinted


    Downloads of END TIME can be purchased from SMASHWORDS.
  • Copyright

    The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2007 - 2016 by G. A. Matiasz.
  • My Pages

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Category Cloud

  • Categories

  • Tag Cloud

  • My Social

Posts Tagged ‘punk rock’

Oi!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 7, 2015

This is funny and painful at the same time, something the writer, Deborah Coughlin, gets in spades.

One of a new range of credit cards featuring the Sex Pistols, with the group’s name and record sleeve artwork appearing on the cards from Virgin Money. Photograph: Virgin Money/PA

One of a new range of credit cards featuring the Sex Pistols, with the group’s name and record sleeve artwork appearing on the cards from Virgin Money. Photograph: Virgin Money/PA


There is no such thing as a punk credit card
Deborah Coughlin
Tuesday 9 June 2015
The Guardian

Loads of big businesses like to think of themselves as being a little bit edgy. They’ll plunder and pillage pop culture to find inspiration then try to sell it back to us – whether it’s some kind of generic revolutionary spirit, feminism or, most often, punk.

Yet like a perfectly nice dad having a midlife crisis, most of the time this punk edge is as flimsy as a Marks & Spencer leather jacket. It ends up coming across a bit “Danger would be my middle name, if my real middle name wasn’t Derek”. Not cool capitalism, not cool.

Of course this wouldn’t be possible if punks stuck to their anti-establishment, nonconformist guns. But punk really has become a big business bitch, coz, ya know, we’ve all got mortgages to pay.
This can be the only explanation behind Virgin proclaiming on Twitter: “Introduce a little anarchy to your wallet with our new Sex Pistols credit card.”

First off, there is no such thing as a punk credit card. It’s impossible to be in the midst of an anarchic frenzy while committing to 18.9% APR. Second, for Virgin to suggest that their customers should treat this new product of theirs in anyway nihilistically seems to be a huge commercial risk. “It’s a big bit of our history”, pleaded Virgin, as Twitter went WTF? True, but that was before you became a bank. This is, as one of the card designs states, bollocks.

Here’s a rundown of four other ways in which punk has never been so unpunk.

Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon in adverts for Country Life butter. ‘This is often cited as the moment punk died.’ Photograph: Country Life/PA Wire

Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon in adverts for Country Life butter. ‘This is often cited as the moment punk died.’ Photograph: Country Life/PA Wire

1. John Lydon’s Country Life butter advert
“It is important to realise that in all the years I have been in the music industry the only people that treated me with any real respect was a butter manufacturer,” said Lydon in 2009. This is often cited as the moment punk died – and it was way before the artist formerly known as Johnny Rotten signed up to those credit cards. I’d actually suggest that it’s last spit dried up a few years earlier, when in 2004 Lydon joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity, the series best known for Katie Price and Peter Andre getting it on. Forget punk, the only music that inspired was Andre’s “classic” single Insania.

2. Iggy Pop sells Swift insurance
I’m not sure how Iggy got away with slightly less ridicule than Lydon. Maybe he’s more likeable. Maybe internet-based insurance is a less firebrand issue than butter. Or maybe it’s because this advert came two years after Lydon’s and by this point we’d all resigned ourselves to a future where middle-aged musicians will end up selling us crap. The advert was later banned for being misleading, as the insurance didn’t cover musicians.

3. Vivienne Westward going to the 1997 Cool Britannia party at No 10 and accepting her damehood
Westwood now says that not only would she never have darkened Blair’s doorstep if she’d known what he was going to do in government, but also claims she thought she was going to the party of Tony Banks. It is very punk not knowing whose house you’re going to and not really caring. However, when she turned up at Buckingham Palace I’m guessing she knew who she was going to curtsy to – albeit knickerless.

4. PIL and Ramones merch in Primark
How was Primark going to get more rebellious, edgy teens through its doors? By flogging Ramones cushions and Public Image Ltd T-shirts, that’s how. Assuming a high level of punk ignorance in their target customer base, Primark make a handy factsheet including things like the “key looks” for being a Ramone: “Leather jackets and lots (and lots) of hair!” Plus historical background: “Fun fact: This lot are often noted as the first punk rock group. Ever.”

Capitalism bred punk; today it well and truly buried it.

Posted in life, music, music industry, punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blast from the past

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 23, 2015

From the San Diego band Amenity:

Posted in punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gabba Gabba Hey!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 19, 2014

Rest in peace Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy.

Though I’m not sure heaven is the right place for the Ramones.
the-ramones

Posted in life, music, punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Resisting loss

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 11, 2014

retrologoshirt__30092
Archie McPhee is a well known novelty/toy/curio company now located in Seattle, Washington. When I first became acquainted with AMcP, in the mid-1980s, they were more the traditional whoopie cushion/dribble glass/rubber chicken/x-ray specs kind of outlet, with a strong penchant for the idiosyncratic and exotic. They’ve continued to stock up with zany, wacky products from pugilistic nuns and bacon bandaids to Bigfoot action figures and two groom/bride cake toppers. But the passing years have taken a toll on what AMcP is allowed to sell.
super-awesome-surprise-box
During the 90s, I’d purchase their super awesome surprise boxes/bags chock full of goofy toys and trinkets, whereupon I would sort through my treasure, divide the loot into smaller piles for reshipment to friends in NYC, and further cull favorite items for my personal use. AMcP at one time offered a line of anatomically correct miniature skeletal parts–hip bone, clavicle, femur, or what have you–all made of hard white plastic in exquisite detail with a metal ring inset to make the toys into keychains. One of those items in question was a replica human skull, pictured below.

GAM_skullduggeryGAM_skulldime

As I was heavy into punk rock at the time, I collected the skulls from the treasure boxes/bags and slowly doled them out as favors to special friends. But then, AMcP stopped stocking the anatomically correct tiny plastic toys, and I couldn’t order them from their catalog anymore. When I called to ask about getting more, the AMcP rep informed me that they had been discontinued because the toys were hard, plastic, and little enough to be potential swallowing hazards for small kids. Such were the consequences of protecting the children from the harm of these trinkets. I kept one skull as a personal keychain (note the grit and grime from decades of handling) and reserved one in case I lost the original. Now I worry about losing my one-of-a-kind AMcP skull keychain, having already lost my source for replacement plastic keychain skulls. Everything changes, and eventually we lose everything, including our lives. But I still resist these inevitable losses.

That's one teensy step for a thumbnail-sized panda bear.

That’s one teensy step for a thumbnail-sized panda bear.


A NYC friend, Pickles of the North, talks about “The Rapture of the Tiny” on her website. I certainly enjoy the extraordinary detail to these no-longer-available plastic keychain skulls. But my anxiety over losing these ultimately inconsequential objects in my life is not yet capable of overcoming any rapture of the tiny inspired by them.

Posted in life, punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

DIY

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on January 3, 2014

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

Maximum Rocknroll, the magazine I write for, used to publish “Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life” as a kind of Whole Earth Punk Rock Booking Catalog. Then it went online, then it died, and now its back. I can’t vouch for its quality, but here it is.
BYOB
Also, a local Bay Area booking resource is now in play, called “Burn Down The Bay.” Again, I can’t vouch for its quality, but it is available online. Enjoy.
bdthebay

Posted in Book Your Own Fuckin' Life, Burn Down The Bay, DIY, Do It Yourself, life, Maximum Rocknroll, punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »