Archive for August 13th, 2012

August 13, 2012

Cassette Culture

Soundwave

Cassette culture refers to the practices surrounding amateur production and distribution of recorded music that emerged in the late 1970s via home-made audio cassettes. It is characterized by the adoption of home-recording by independent artists, and involvement in ad-hoc self-distribution and promotion networks – primarily conducted through mail (though there were a few retail outlets, such as Rough Trade and Falling A in the UK) and fanzines.

The culture was in part an offshoot of the mail art movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and participants engaged in tape trading in addition to traditional sales. The culture is related to the DIY ethic of punk, and encouraged musical eclecticism and diversity.

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August 13, 2012

Kinderwhore

Riot grrrl

Kinderwhore was an image used by a handful of mostly female punk rock bands in the US during the early to mid 1990s. The kinderwhore look consisted of torn, ripped tight or low-cut babydoll dresses or nighties, heavy makeup, and leather boots or Mary–Jane shoes of various colors.

The exact origin of the kinderwhore image is up for debate, though it is widely accepted that Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland was the first to define it and Courtney Love of Hole was the first to popularize it. Christina Amphlett of Divinyls can clearly be seen sporting the image on the cover of her band’s 1983 album, ‘Desperate.’ Love declared in an interview in the Los Angeles zine ‘Ben Is Dead’ that she took the style from Amphlett.

August 13, 2012

Riot Grrrl

Riot grrrl

Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk rock movement that originally started in Washington, D.C.  and the Pacific Northwest in the early to mid-1990s. It is often associated with third-wave feminism which is sometimes seen as its starting point. Riot grrrl bands often address issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and female empowerment.

Bands associated with the movement include Bikini Kill, Jack Off Jill (and later Scarling), Bratmobile, Fifth Column, Sleater-Kinney, L7, and also queercore like Team Dresch. In addition to a music scene and genre, riot grrrl is a subculture: zines, the DIY ethic, art, political action, and activism are part of the movement.

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August 13, 2012

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

Mick Jagger

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?‘ is a quotation – sometimes misquoted with ‘on’ in place of ‘upon’ – from Alexander Pope’s ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ of 1735. It can be taken as referring to putting massive effort into achieving something minor or unimportant, and alludes to ‘breaking on the wheel,’ a form of torture in which victims had their long bones broken by an iron bar while tied to a Catherine wheel.

William Rees-Mogg, as editor of ‘The Times’ newspaper, used the ‘on a wheel’ version of the quotation as the heading (set in capital letters) for an editorial in 1967 about the ‘Redlands’ court case, which had resulted in prison sentences for Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The philosopher Mary Midgley used a variation on the phrase in an article in the journal ‘Philosophy’ written to counter a review praising ‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins, where she cuttingly said that she had ‘not attended to Dawkins, thinking it unnecessary to break a butterfly upon a wheel.’

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August 13, 2012

Strength Through Joy

kdfwagen

Strength through Joy‘ (‘Kraft durch Freude,’ KdF) was a large state-controlled leisure organization in Nazi Germany. It was a part of the German Labor Front (‘Deutsche Arbeitsfront,’ DAF), the national German labor organization at that time. Set up as a tool to promote the advantages of National Socialism to the people, it soon became the world’s largest tourism operator of the 1930s.

KdF was supposed to bridge the class divide by making middle-class leisure activities available to the masses. This was underscored by having cruises with passengers of mixed classes and having them, regardless of social status, draw lots for allocation of cabins. Another less ideological goal was to boost the German economy by stimulating the tourist industry out of its slump from the 1920s.

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August 13, 2012

Oi!

Cockney Rejects

Oi! is a working class subgenre of punk rock that originated in the UK in the late 1970s. The music and its associated subculture had the goal of bringing together punks, skinheads and other working-class youths (sometimes called ‘herberts’).

The Oi! movement was partly a response to the perception that many participants in the early punk rock scene were, in the words of The Business guitarist Steve Kent, ‘trendy university people using long words, trying to be artistic…and losing touch.’ André Schlesinger, singer of The Press, said, ‘Oi shares many similarities with folk music, besides its often simple musical structure; quaint in some respects and crude in others, not to mention brutally honest, it usually tells a story based in truth.’

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August 13, 2012

Pussy Riot

Jamie Reid

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk-rock collective that stages politically provocative impromptu performances in Moscow on Russia’s current political life. In March 2012, during an improvised and unauthorized concert in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, three women from the band were arrested and charged with ‘hooliganism’ and their trial began in late July.

The band members have gained sympathy both within Russia and internationally due to allegations of harsh treatment while in custody and a risk of a possible seven-year jail sentence, and have also been criticized in Russia for offending the feelings of religious people. Alexei Nikiforov, a federal prosecutor, has demanded prison for the trio because they ‘abused God.’ Pussy Riot’s lawyers said that the circumstances of the case have revived the Soviet-era tradition of the ‘show trial.’

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August 13, 2012

Growler

Microbrewery

A growler [grou-ler] is a glass or ceramic jug with a capacity of 64 oz (1,900 ml) used to transport draught beer in Australia, the United States, and Canada. They are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-out beer. The exploding growth of craft breweries and the growing popularity of home brewing has also led to an emerging market for the sale of collectible growlers.

Growlers are generally made of glass and have either a screw-on cap or a hinged porcelain gasket cap, which can provide freshness for a week or more. A properly sealed growler will hold carbonation indefinitely and will store beer like any other sanitized bottle. Some growler caps are equipped with valves to allow replacement of CO2 lost while racking. The modern glass growler was first introduced by Charlie and Ernie Otto of Otto Brother’s Brewing Company in 1989.

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