punk Archive

John Lydon Tells It As It Is (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… In what ways do you think that that realization comes through in your music? I try to be as transparent and honest as I possibly can, with the realization that if you give it all away there is nothing left for yourself. And that would be silly. Because I absolutely understand

John Lydon Tells It As It Is (Part One)

Crawling from the wreckage that was the Sex Pistols, vocalist Johnny Rotten reverted to his given name and put together a new group, Public Image Limited. PiL drew from dub reggae and disco, filtered through sheets of dissonance and Lydon’s trademark vocals. Through fits and starts, the band released a string of albums and unlikely

John Lydon is … Happy? (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… A defining characteristic of most all of PiL’s releases is that – like Black Sabbath, oddly enough – each was critically panned upon release, only to undergo reassessment within a few years, by which time the music would be hailed as relevant, innovative and important. One might expect Lydon to find

John Lydon is … Happy? (Part One)

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” With that question posed to an audience at San Francisco’s Winterland on January 14, 1978, visibly unhappy vocalist Johnny Rotten (neé Lydon) ended his tenure with the Sex Pistols. Not counting relatively brief reunions in 1996 and 2007, that gig marked the effective end of the band, though

Devo’s Debut Album at 40

The passage of time can do some odd things to our perspective. Things that were once radical and groundbreaking can seem commonplace. It’s sometimes difficult, then, to look back upon the release of an album and examine it with the same framework of understanding one had on first hearing it. A good example of this

Holly Golightly: The Country-punk-blues One-take wonder

British-born Holly Golightly was an important part of the UK garage-punk scene of the 1990s. Today her music effectively combines that foundation with a sound that draws equally from classic American country and western music. Her latest album, Clippety Clop, was created in her well-established way: working with life-and-music partner Lawyer Dave, Golightly recorded the

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Three

These quick reviews cover an assorted lot: two compilations, a reissue and a 45rpm single all in needle-hits-groove physical format. Warren Zevon – My Ride’s Here If you only know a few things about Zevon, it’s that he did “Werewolves of London,” that he had a celebrated sardonic sense of humor (imagine a rock-oriented Randy

Uncle Kurtis and Their “Killer” Album

It’s not at all unusual for four 14-year-old boys to start a rock group. It is, however, remarkable when that band gets high-profile gigs in local bars, and cuts an album of songs, all within a year of forming. But thanks in part to parents drawing on their contacts, that’s what has happened for Uncle

Multiple Discs, Multiple Artists (Part 2 of 2)

Picking up where I left off last time, here’s a look at more multi-disc archival/reissue sets. The Posies – Dear 23 The Posies made a lot of great music before and after their second album. But I’d argue they never made anything as scintillating as Dear 23. The duo of songwriter-singers Jon Auer and Ken

Karikatura: Creating musical character in the studio

On the group’s second album, Brooklyn-based Karikatura worked hard to capture the energy of the band’s high-energy live shows. But Ghost Light isn’t a document of the group’s stage performance. In fact, it’s the other way around. Karikatura’s dance-ready sound draws from punk, reggae, Afro-Cuban music and other styles.“We’re very active onstage,” says leader and