Sunday, October 24, 2010

johnny thunders died for your sins!

I'm tempted to write something like "it's a month of deaths," but it's always a month of deaths, isn't it? some months are just longer or shorter than others. ari up died last thursday, and while her name won't be known well to modern punks, her group ought to be. of the slits and their initial offering, "a boring life," greil marcus famously wrote

"Nothing could keep up with it. Shouting and shrieking, out of guitar flailings the group finds a beat, makes a rhythm, begins to shape it; the rhythm gets away and they chase it down, overtake it, and keep going. Squeaks, squeals, snarls, and whines--unmediated female noises never before heard as pop music--course through the air as the Slits march hand in hand through a storm they themselves have created. It's a performance of joy and revenge, an armed playground chant; every musical chance is taken, and for these women playing the simplest chord was taking a chance: their amateurism was not enlightened."

we tend to overbow much to the god of professionalism and I'm as guilty of doing that as anyone, and in my professional (irony intended) life as a teacher I may even be guiltier than most--but as I've tried to argue here there is much to be said for enthusiasm and the sheer gutsiness of doing something you've never tried and don't know how to do and making a message with it. that's the essence of both punk and of spirituality: few of us are professional singers but we sing hymns every sunday or when the spirit moves us. arianna forster at 14 was a prime and cogent example of the drive of that, even before johnny rotten became her stepdad. “You cannot be a female artist on the wild side, very passionate and self-expressive, without being formed at least in part by Ari,” [Vivien] Goldman said. “In her feral 14-year-old way, she did represent a new archetype of womanhood.”

requiescat in pace, ari up. now let's get happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment