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Thread: Article on sxe - help and opinions needed

  1. #1
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    Article on sxe - help and opinions needed

    Hi - my name is Andy Higgins - I run a UK punk label (Just Say No To Government Music) and a fanzine Blackpool Rox II. All this is on my site www.jsntgm.com .

    I am writing a column 4 a new UK zine ‘Beat Motel’ regarding SxE. I post this thread in the hope of some feedback and discussion points which might help me writing the article. If anyone wants to contact me direct then that's fine - andy@jsntgm.com.

    I only started becoming familiar with SxE in the late 80’s, even though I bought early Minor Threat material and got introduced to that sound via the Flex Your Head album in the early 80’s (my copy has the three crosses on the cover). Whilst I enjoyed certain songs I found a lot of the music a bit uninspiring, predictable and one dimensional, as I did with a lot of early 80’s ‘hardcore’ and the stiflingly uninspiring UK ‘Oi’ scene. As such I tended to fish in different yet related waters for my musical sustenance. So when I think of SxE I am sort of picking through ‘old records’ (which I never at the time labelled as SxE ), and trying to re-articulate how this style of music fits with certain key lyrics (Minor Threat Out of Step – Youth of Today Can’t Close My Eyes) and how this all makes me feel and its relevance today.

    The fact that my view is by definition a retrospective one (I was never part of the phenomenon) might affect my judgement, but I also think my view of SxE is tainted somewhat as it always seemed a bit too intense and serious. The sound and the moody/angry record covers sort of screamed “we are serious about this … and so should you be”, which contrasted with the more subversive and interesting approach of bands like the Dead Kennedys and DOA. Hence a journey through my record collection now reveals more DK material than all SxE related stuff put together – which concerns me a little.

    Another factor was that I was never really ever aware of a UK SxE scene? I remember gigs in the early 90’s where younger punkers were turning up with skateboards to gigs and Minor Threat t-shirts were getting more prevalent, and sure loads of people had a cool moral stance towards the world and each other, but nevera scene as such.

    [Incidentally one thing I fuckin hate about the UK scene is that nowadays bands like Black Flag, M.T. have a new found sense of popularity as a result of the media co-option of ‘punk rock’. I remember being well into Black Flag in the bleak and uninspiring UK mid 80’s and people at shows asking ‘who are they’ ‘what are they like’ ‘where are they from’ etc In my life I have never seen more than say 3 people ever wearing Black Flag t-shirts in the town where I live (and I know all 3 individuals) until very recently when I spotted a lad about 20 years of age wearing one. I bounded up to him in friendly punk rock fashion and tried to engage in conversation about Black Flag – he had never heard any of their music, he just liked the t-shirt. I guess the same goes for media celebrities who swagger around in Ramones t-shirts purchased from over-priced boutiques.] – rant over !

    I don’t smoke (never have done really) because I don’t like it, however drinking and taking drugs has never been a problem in my book. I have tried many times to be a veggie (like now) but always with limited success – I do that though out of a moral dislike for the madness of the meat industry rather than health reasons. I have never really sung or written about these sXe related issues, as I have preferred to focus on what I perceive to be more pressing social/psychological/historical issues – that’s a personal preference rather than a moral judgement of course.

    Anyhow please feed-back your thoughts.

    ah

  2. #2
    Administrator xsecx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool_Rox
    Hi - my name is Andy Higgins - I run a UK punk label (Just Say No To Government Music) and a fanzine Blackpool Rox II. All this is on my site www.jsntgm.com .

    I am writing a column 4 a new UK zine ‘Beat Motel’ regarding SxE. I post this thread in the hope of some feedback and discussion points which might help me writing the article. If anyone wants to contact me direct then that's fine - andy@jsntgm.com.

    I only started becoming familiar with SxE in the late 80’s, even though I bought early Minor Threat material and got introduced to that sound via the Flex Your Head album in the early 80’s (my copy has the three crosses on the cover). Whilst I enjoyed certain songs I found a lot of the music a bit uninspiring, predictable and one dimensional, as I did with a lot of early 80’s ‘hardcore’ and the stiflingly uninspiring UK ‘Oi’ scene. As such I tended to fish in different yet related waters for my musical sustenance. So when I think of SxE I am sort of picking through ‘old records’ (which I never at the time labelled as SxE ), and trying to re-articulate how this style of music fits with certain key lyrics (Minor Threat Out of Step – Youth of Today Can’t Close My Eyes) and how this all makes me feel and its relevance today.

    The fact that my view is by definition a retrospective one (I was never part of the phenomenon) might affect my judgement, but I also think my view of SxE is tainted somewhat as it always seemed a bit too intense and serious. The sound and the moody/angry record covers sort of screamed “we are serious about this … and so should you be”, which contrasted with the more subversive and interesting approach of bands like the Dead Kennedys and DOA. Hence a journey through my record collection now reveals more DK material than all SxE related stuff put together – which concerns me a little.

    Another factor was that I was never really ever aware of a UK SxE scene? I remember gigs in the early 90’s where younger punkers were turning up with skateboards to gigs and Minor Threat t-shirts were getting more prevalent, and sure loads of people had a cool moral stance towards the world and each other, but nevera scene as such.

    [Incidentally one thing I fuckin hate about the UK scene is that nowadays bands like Black Flag, M.T. have a new found sense of popularity as a result of the media co-option of ‘punk rock’. I remember being well into Black Flag in the bleak and uninspiring UK mid 80’s and people at shows asking ‘who are they’ ‘what are they like’ ‘where are they from’ etc In my life I have never seen more than say 3 people ever wearing Black Flag t-shirts in the town where I live (and I know all 3 individuals) until very recently when I spotted a lad about 20 years of age wearing one. I bounded up to him in friendly punk rock fashion and tried to engage in conversation about Black Flag – he had never heard any of their music, he just liked the t-shirt. I guess the same goes for media celebrities who swagger around in Ramones t-shirts purchased from over-priced boutiques.] – rant over !

    I don’t smoke (never have done really) because I don’t like it, however drinking and taking drugs has never been a problem in my book. I have tried many times to be a veggie (like now) but always with limited success – I do that though out of a moral dislike for the madness of the meat industry rather than health reasons. I have never really sung or written about these sXe related issues, as I have preferred to focus on what I perceive to be more pressing social/psychological/historical issues – that’s a personal preference rather than a moral judgement of course.

    Anyhow please feed-back your thoughts.

    ah

    do you feel at all hypocritcal for the following:

    "The fact that my view is by definition a retrospective one (I was never part of the phenomenon) might affect my judgement, but I also think my view of SxE is tainted somewhat as it always seemed a bit too intense and serious. "

    "I have never really sung or written about these sXe related issues, as I have preferred to focus on what I perceive to be more pressing social/psychological/historical issues – that’s a personal preference rather than a moral judgement of course."


    your bias is pretty obvious, so I'm curious as to why you'd want to write an article for something you've already made your mind up about?

  3. #3
    Duchess of Adventures xvunderx's Avatar
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    I think issues dealt with in sXe are of a
    more pressing social/psychological/historical
    nature.

    Some people think that the choice not to drink, smoke etc is just some health or moral choice. To me it's neither, and I think the subject of recreational drugs is indeed very much a social, psychological and historical issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xsecx
    do you feel at all hypocritcal for the following:

    "The fact that my view is by definition a retrospective one (I was never part of the phenomenon) might affect my judgement, but I also think my view of SxE is tainted somewhat as it always seemed a bit too intense and serious. "

    "I have never really sung or written about these sXe related issues, as I have preferred to focus on what I perceive to be more pressing social/psychological/historical issues – that’s a personal preference rather than a moral judgement of course."


    your bias is pretty obvious, so I'm curious as to why you'd want to write an article for something you've already made your mind up about?
    This is exactly what I am saying xsecx. The realization that my understanding is possibly somewhat naive is the reason for my post. However it's a case of rain-checking and dicussing these ideas that will develop my understanding.

    I am doing the article because the zine (Beat Motel) is doing a themed issue for its column writers. FYI I do not get paid for this and I have been requested to do so. I write for lots of punk fanzines Fracture, Scanner, Trackmark etc on everything from philosophy, to band's names to who decides what music u listen to, the war on terror, bio-political tyranny etc - most of these are on my www.jsntgm.com site.

    ah

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    Quote Originally Posted by xvunderx
    I think issues dealt with in sXe are of a nature.

    Some people think that the choice not to drink, smoke etc is just some health or moral choice. To me it's neither, and I think the subject of recreational drugs is indeed very much a social, psychological and historical issue.
    XvunderX - I totally agree every modern issue has a social, psychological and historical dimension ..... possibly my choice of words was not that great here. The subject matter of my songs is different to the issues of drinking, smoking, drugs ... and I was sort of trying (not to justify why) but to explain why I thought that that was the case.

    Any chance u could help me pout with these more specific questions then .....

    Do u listen to many non-US sxe bands ? .. are there many any other sxe scenes in different countries ? and is the sxe scene in the US thriving at the moment ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool_Rox
    This is exactly what I am saying xsecx. The realization that my understanding is possibly somewhat naive is the reason for my post. However it's a case of rain-checking and dicussing these ideas that will develop my understanding.

    I am doing the article because the zine (Beat Motel) is doing a themed issue for its column writers. FYI I do not get paid for this and I have been requested to do so. I write for lots of punk fanzines Fracture, Scanner, Trackmark etc on everything from philosophy, to band's names to who decides what music u listen to, the war on terror, bio-political tyranny etc - most of these are on my www.jsntgm.com site.

    ah
    Say no to fracture.
    Others walk the bow, I walk the string

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool_Rox
    XvunderX - I totally agree every modern issue has a social, psychological and historical dimension ..... possibly my choice of words was not that great here. The subject matter of my songs is different to the issues of drinking, smoking, drugs ... and I was sort of trying (not to justify why) but to explain why I thought that that was the case.

    Any chance u could help me pout with these more specific questions then .....

    Do u listen to many non-US sxe bands ? .. are there many any other sxe scenes in different countries ? and is the sxe scene in the US thriving at the moment ?
    Are you (u) not concentrating on the UK scene then?
    Others walk the bow, I walk the string

  8. #8
    Duchess of Adventures xvunderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool_Rox
    Any chance u could help me pout with these more specific questions then .....

    Do u listen to many non-US sxe bands ?
    Yeah. I have a few CDs by In The Clear, Reaching Forward, Vitamin X, Sworn In, a few others too but these are the ones I was able to pull out of my head right now.

    .. are there many any other sxe scenes in different countries ?
    I've come accross a fair amount, There is a scene it would seem in Japan, through the magic of the internet i managed to speak to a girl involved with that side of things.

    In the past i picked up a sXe zine from the Phillpines, but this was like 4 years ago, it was a small photo copied job writen in English. I've also been emailed by a couple of sXe kids in indonesia.

    I had a sXe pen pall in Urguay, he sent me a mix tape of Latin American HC and sXe bands, it would seem Argentina has/had a pretty big scene.

    Dini on here could probably let you know a fair bit about the sXe scene in Hungery too.

    The guys at Reasons To Believe (if that is still running) would be a good lot to follow up with, I inow they had people writing from Spain and Russia ( I think there was a guy in Russia) who used to do regular scene reports, you could probably find out a good amount about the international sXe scene from them

    and is the sxe scene in the US thriving at the moment ?
    I'm probably not the best person to ask, it seems to be getting pretty big, but it's a pretty mixed bag from what I can tell. Any one else on here want to chip in?

  9. #9
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    yeah, blackpool rox, hit me on aim/msn sometime if you want to know about the hungarian scene, or write some questions in email.

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    Fracture is no more - why don't u approve of the fanzine ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by straightXed
    Are you (u) not concentrating on the UK scene then?
    Just wanted to get a feel for the scene generally - not 100% exactly sure what shape the article will take at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool_Rox
    Fracture is no more - why don't u approve of the fanzine ?
    Its an old joke.
    Others walk the bow, I walk the string

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