Paul Adams Listening Theme: US PUNK


Listening Theme 57 – US Punk

by Paul Adams on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 3:50pm

Hi all,

Time for another Listening Theme and seeing as I’ve covered British punk a year or two back I thought it’s about time I took a look at the US punk scene. Let’s have some suggestions as to which albums I should check out.



PS – regarding my earlier teaser video of Camper Van Beethoven performing Wasted back in 1987, well here’s the original by Black Flag:

2 comments to Paul Adams Listening Theme: US PUNK

  • Michael D

    I’m very late chiming in on this (wish I could figure out how to get notifications for all the posts on Songbook Highway that I like to read) But here’s a short list of some I consider essential.

    The Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (Watt has consistently said this is his best), What Makes a Man Start Fires?, The Punch Line, really- everything you can find.
    Black Flag: Slip It In
    The Ramones: The Ramones
    Mike Watt: Hyphenated-Man (simply brilliant, inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch. Though released this year, it is truly punk in the best sense of the word)
    Firehose: Still Ragin’ Full On, Fromohio, and If’n
    Patti Smith: Horses
    Television: Television
    Richard Hell: I’d recommend the compilation RIP, which includes music from the Voidoids, Heartbreakers, and other projects)
    Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance
    The Slickee Boys: Here To Stay
    The Germs: GI
    The Cramps: Songs The Lord Taught Us, Smell Of Female
    Husker Du: Land Speed Record, Everything Falls Apart, Flip Your Wig, Zen Arcade
    The Replacements: Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, Pleased to Meet Me, Hootenanny, Tim
    I could go on and on and on. So I’m stopping. Some of these bands and recordings are considered “Post Punk” but then, really punk in the U.S. was more an ethic than a style, dedicated to the DIY approach to making and recording music. Unlike most of the Brit Punks, much U.S. punk is not to be found on major labels, though X, The Ramones, and others prove that it was never really UN-Punk to sign a contract with WB, Slash, or other larger labels.
    I suppose I would be remiss if I did not mention G.G.Allin as well. An excellent sampling of the variety that later punk had to offer can be found on the two compilations from Homestead Records: Human Music, and The Wailing Ultimate. You might also want to check out State Of The Union, a DC Records fundraiser compilation, and, of course Minor Threat and Fugazi, both of whom recorded on DC. Minor Threat is now better known than they were then because Dave Grohl, currently of Foo Fighters was originally in that band.
    Last, in the Pacific Northwest, The Wipers were an excellent punk band, and later, I recommend Beat Happenings records as among the finest minimalist punk around.

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