Punk & Emo part 1

Today's look at Spin's top 100 stage dives into punk rock. The last 20 years in punk and emo was a bumpy ride with swells in unwanted popularity and scorn. Oh yeah, anarchy too.

Husker Du starts of the list at #13 with New Day Rising from 1985. I'm not a fan of Husker, but their music has been hugely influential on bands that I do listen to and enjoy. Husker Du, and frontman Bob Mould, brought an indie DIY attitude to the alt music world, quickly becoming cult favorites and changing the way punk and alternative music gets promoted.

Being a part of the grunge generation in the Seattle suburbs, I had a hard time getting into riot grrrl music. However in 1997, Sleater-Kinney caught my ear. They were from Olympia, so I felt a geographical connection to them, and who cared that they were all girls, they knew what they were doing with Dig Me Out, #24 on Spin's list. They started the whole riot grrrl thing and made every other grrrl act to follow seem talentless and unimportant.

#29 goes to Fugazi's 1989 effort 13 Songs. Probably not their best album, but picking a favorite from such a great band is difficult. Eventhough their formula sounds like guaranteed failure, they had a successful career. But what they did was the opposite of what their peers were doing. They sold their albums for cheap, usually less than 10 bucks, and their lyrics were respectful and nonviolent. They refused to play shows at clubs that were not all ages, most of their concerts were only $5 when most other shows cost at least four times as much, and they discouraged mosh pits - often stopping in the middle of a song if the crowd got out of hand. Fugazi is probably one of the most important punk bands recently, and the music industry needs more bands like them.

Green Day hits #44 with 1994's irreverent, rambunctious, and occasionally naughty Dookie. The album found a young audience (I was a freshman) and introduced a new mix of pop and punk. The style has been copied by almost every new punk band since, and I've come to affectionately refer to it as "pretty boy punk."

Well, I'll continue punk within the next couple days, until then... enjoy.

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