Below is a copy of Patrick Crain's "Soundly Speaking" column from the July 23, 2003 issue of Loud. The original has a picture of The Ramones with this written below it: "The Ramones, above, have allowed thier music to be used by corparate America, much to the dismay of at least one music columnist."
I wanna be sedated ... and sell you a watch
About a month ago, I was at Buzz's Subs' Ghouls' Night Out, where I watched Mockingbird Lane almost get tossed for playing a video in which a woman was getting fisted. Another band, Day of the Sick, produced a lead singer that got punched in the nose by an audience member before she stormed out.
I thought all of this was odd, but I figured, eh, it's rock and roll. I didn't give it much thought after that.
About a week ago, I was getting ready for work and I had the bedroom television on when, during a commercial break, I heard something that made my ears stand up.
"Is that the Ramones I hear?"
By God it was the Ramones. They had lent one of thier songs to some car company (or something like that). My heart dropped to the bottom of my feet.
Punk music was, in its inception, a rebellion against conformity in all of its incarnations. How far have we come when one of the grandfathers of the punk movement sells one of its songs to a car company?
Then I wondered, "Would Day of the Sick try to sell me a watch?"
The answer, I think, is no. Day of the Sick, Mockingbird Lane, Procession in March, etc. are bands who try their best to carry on the punk banner, but they mix it with elements of death rock and horror punk - things that are truly nonconformist.
The old style of punk music was, in one sense, a rebellion against corporate rock stadium type bands and the creeping disco scene. Bands like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the New York Dolls weren't doing anything too terribly original. They just wanted music to sound like rock and roll again.
Nowadays, what does the punk scene aspire to? We think of bands like Green Day and Blink 182 when the "new" punk scene is brought up but, jeez, are they really punk?
If singing in a nasal, jaded delivery and penning irreverent lyrics are the only criteria, then I guess the answer is yes.
But, let's face it, these bands are out to make a million bucks and they are beholden to corporate record companies. And as soon as the punk pop movement falls by the wayside, so will their careers those who sound like them (All American Rejects, the Ataris, etc.).
Anyone who actually loves these bands isn't really punk, anyway. Just because you wear a dog collar and a tie with a t-shirt doesn't mean anything. It's probably just teen angst. You want a punk show? Go to the 66 Bowl and check out any of the bands that play there. Get a taste of the real stuff because the other stuff seems to be dead and gone.
And if the guy from Day of the Sick tries to sell you anything, run.
For shows and info, go to www.oklahomapunkscene.com.