Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Punk Rock and Fighting


Patrick Stickles, frontman of Titus Andronicus, did a great podcasted interview in January with the comedian Marc Maron (whose WTF podcast is well worth listening to in general, I'm currently catching up). They cover a lot about music over an hour or so, about rock and roll as a dying art form and how that might be good if it wants to remain any kind of music of protest. And there's a moment around 47 minutes in that just jumped out, where Stickles talks about becoming a punk, being 9 years old and his sister bringing home Green Day's album Dookie (the first record I ever bought too) and within 2 days she's got green hair and she's started this war with her parents that Stickles just wished he was fighting himself. And it wasn't a war she could win, she was fighting against the very state of the world, of all that was expected; "she might as well have been waging a war with God as far as I was concerned." And then this beautiful line: "your parents' authority is absolute, but my sister found this CD which somehow gave her the strength to take them on."

And I know that seems like a trivial fight by trivial means, but that first fight, that acknowledgement that things could be other than they are and that you could resist, and that art, not that it could bring about change, but that it could make you able to take on the fight, or a fight, that realisation I remember so profoundly, but I don't think I've ever quite heard it articulated. It's a cool moment.

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