FREE PUSSY RIOT!

(Image via Reuters) Three members of Russian punk rock collective Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years imprisonment for “hooliganism.” They have been on trial since March when they were arrested for protesting Vladimir Putin’s then all but secured return to the Russian presidency in a minute long prayer/song at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They implored the Virgin Mary to keep him from coming back. The Orthodox Church claimed their actions were motivated by hatred. The harshness with which Pussy Riot has been treated is particularly concerning given that they chose a religious venue to express their … Continue reading FREE PUSSY RIOT!

ReR Recommends: A different kind of Fourth of July playlist

Life in America is as sweet as apple pie. But then you get a traffic ticket in the mail. Or a government policy steps on your toes. The bellowy “Proud to Be An American” anthem is fine and dandy, but that’s not always reality. When you want to express discontent, this is the playlist for you. Discontent transcends sub-genres of punk. These 11 tracks span 25 minutes: ‘Merican – Descendents American – T.S.O.L (True Sounds Of Liberty) 4th of July – U.S. Bombs Baby, I’m An Anarchist! – Against Me! Stars And Stripes – Circle Jerks America – Sick Of It … Continue reading ReR Recommends: A different kind of Fourth of July playlist

Rhyme et Reason Recommends: Punk Covers en español

“Punk is dead” is just noise where it thrives in Latin America, Germany, Russia and many other places and cultures. Open the Spotify playlist to listen to some Spanish and Spanglish covers of well-known punk songs in English. First up is a cover of Police Truck by The Broken Toys, a punk band from Argentina. I think this version is even better than the original by the Dead Kennedys. (DK isn’t exactly known for traditional music excellence, but that’s part of the reason why we love ’em.) It’s sung in English, and there is only a slightly detectable accent. Next, 2 … Continue reading Rhyme et Reason Recommends: Punk Covers en español

Tom Gabel of Against Me! has Gender Dysphoria

I sat here for a while and wrote, erased, and rewrote the bones to several different articles on the recent announcement from Tom Gabel, the frontman of anarcho-punk band Against Me!. If you haven’t heard, Gabel publicly announced that he is beginning his transition into Laura Jane Grace, revealing that he suffers from Gender Dysphoria, also known as Gender Identity Disorder. Gender Dysphoria can roughly be defined as “the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.” With that said, I think it’s appropriate to begin referring to Tom … Continue reading Tom Gabel of Against Me! has Gender Dysphoria

Punk monk compares music culture with Zen Buddhism

Who knew Buddhism was so punk? Ex-bassist of the ’80s hardcore punk band Zero Defex Brad Warner writes of his journey from clueless college student to ordained Buddhist priest in Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality. Warner explains the basics of Zen Buddhism along the way by drawing parallels to punk music and culture and his fascination with bad Japanese monster films. Some fundamentals of Buddhism and punk are not so different: The last thing Buddha told his followers before he died was this: “Question authority.” Actually, if you look it up, you might see … Continue reading Punk monk compares music culture with Zen Buddhism