lives the volatile!
Three Days And Four Nights
Discussion + Live Acts + Films + Lectures + Exhibition
Long before globalization and MTV forcing
music to step into line, punk ignored boundaries of nations and systems
it was the cause for an (almost) world wide irritation and feeling
of new departures. Somewhere in the range of destruction and new beginning,
"Pretty Vacant" and "Hey Ho, Let's Go", between
art avant-garde, youth subculture and mainstream punk was like a shock
wave in almost every field of cultural production, it was inspiring
and totally influential.
But what actually is punk: youth culture, musical genre, or a rigid
attitude to life? Who is a real punk: Richard Hell? Nigel Kennedy?
Crass? Vivien Westwood? What is punk today? A museums piece? Or vivid
and vital history from the underground? And what actually is the nature
of punk? The self empowering of a Do-It-Yourself principle? The authentic
culture of protest against commercialization and constraint in the
music industry, as expressed by some enthusiasts? The radical promise
of freedom in a bureaucratic world? Or is punk just another commodity
in the supermarket of pop culture and styles.
Hardly any other sub cultural movement is revolved by so many myths
and legends. Everyone interested in punk knows the story about Malcom
McLaren, how he formed the band Sex Pistols and turned the popworld
upside down. But there are different opinions on the story: For some
it was a musical big bang, for some a cynical marketing trick, a commercial
sell out before things really got started, just like "The
Great Rock & Roll Swindle", that famed album by the Sex
Where was punk coming from and what earlier musical style made it
possible? It where primarily US-bands who cultivated a raw
and ruff version of rock and roll: the Stooges, who reformed
and are enthusiastically welcomed by the audience at their comeback
tour these days and not to forget the legendary MC 5 from Detroit.
Scarcely noticed are the
New York Dolls today. Proto-punks like Rocket From The
Tombs are only known to specialists. It is one goal of the Punk
Kongress! to recall those almost forgotten American roots of punk
Pioneers, theoreticians, experts and activists will come together
to talk about their point of view and exchange opinions and experiences.
Punk had no spokesmen and no dogmatic leaders, everyone could phrase
'which way to go'. Sometimes too many got involved: anybody could
be his own chief ideologist, publish records and pamphlets, each in
his own way proclaiming a different idea and conception of punk. Punk
has no undisputed, certified history. It consist of many legends and
anecdotes: the phenomenon appears completely different depending on
whose viewpoint you are looking at it: the USA, Great Britain,
the German or Swiss hinterlands. On the other side
of the Iron curtain again punk had another face: being a punk
meant fighting a running battle with narrow-minded government officials.
This is what the participants of the Punk! Kongress will talk about:
their "oral history" will give us an idea of the
many aspects that punk actually incorporates. Invited are authoritative
international protagonist like New York Dolls manager Marty
Thau; the guitar player of the swiss punk legend KLEENEX/LiLiPUT
the founder of "Sniffin' Glue" magazine Mark
Perry; the editor of the "Teenage Wasteland Gazette"
and songwriter of the Dictators, Andy Shernoff; the author
Stewart Home; the
manager of the Sex Pistols Malcom McLaren; the Slovenian punk
activist Igor Basin;
the front man of the GDR punk band Planlos, Michael "Pankow"
Boehlke and cultural scientists and authors like
Dick Hebdige, Sezgin
Boynik and Thomas Groetz.
In an open symposium, panel discussions and lectures
the participants will outline and discuss the genesis of punk, track
down the roots of today's mainstream culture and examine the relevance
of its basic ideas to the present situation. In order that this doesn't
led to a lusterless academic, pop historical discourse the current
punk movement will also be discussed.
Top class and legendary live acts will appear on stage: Buzzcocks
Rocket From the Tombs (Avant Garage) and Jayne
County (rock and roll), who brought back the radical spirit of
punk and rock music. Contemporary bands like Viva
L'American Death Ray Music (experimental Velvet Underground descendants);
Boy From Brazil
(One-Man-Electro-Rockabilly) or Boonaraaas!
(She Sound 2000) will demonstrate the whole range of the development
of punk rock beyond the three chord cliché. Traditionalists
like Dean Dirg (just
punk) will present punk in its purest form.
A selection of films with rarities of the international Do-It-Yourself-Super-8-Production,
an exhibition about the ambivalent relationship between punk
and media. A trade fair for international independent labels
and fanzines will complete the program.
Be there or get lost.