Eighties Sixties Revival

Simon asks whether "revivalisms from the past no longer seem so culpable"?

It's a good question. I got invited out to see a band this weekend whose sole reason for being is supposedly to recreate pre-Rollins Black Flag. The person who invited me, someone who actually listened to and participated in the American hardcore scene back in the 80s, feels a little uneasy about going to see this band. I'm sure he can imagine his teenage self laughing at his capitulation to nostalgia, viewing seeing this band as not especially dissimilar to seeing the Stones in the 1980s.

All I could say to him was that it only made sense to look down on this sort of thing when there was a new, viable alternative. If there were some music movement right now that, in terms of aesthetics, did not sound like punk but did actually work towards the same ends, to dismiss that in favor of historical recreations, would be pretty crappy. As far as I can tell, that movement doesn't exist.

So I guess, at least to me, the revivals that happened in the 1980s, which did deny the viability of newer, better, music, are still pretty culpable. I don't know what it was like to be in Britain. But the idea of myself in the 1980s being some jerk listening to one of a long, forgotten list of bands that, post-punk, tried to reconnect with some specious vision of American roots while considering house, techno, hip hop, and synth-driven British post-punk as all aberrant, flashes in the pan, is pretty distasteful.

That revolutions don't usually achieve all they set out to do doesn't mean they shouldn't be fought. Nor are we, knowing this to be true, somehow absolved from sitting around and doing nothing instead.

Anyways, here's some excellent source material for the eighties sixties two thousands eighties sixties revival:

No comments: