The Perfect Vice: Introduction to the Punk Subculture
7/24/20 Written By Shanya Olivares
As a punk fan, how would you describe punk? Even if you’re not a punk fan, what do you think punk music means? The dictionary definition of the term ‘punk’ is “a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.” Yet, as many of us know, the type of music under this genre is so broad, mainly due to its reliability on the slang word ‘punk’, making it almost impossible to define what it is to be punk. The use of the word punk, which from the Shakespearean era until the popularity of punk music in the 70s was used as a degrading term for misfits, outcasts and sex workers, eventually turned to evolve into the celebration of outcasts and the breaking of social norms, but why?
Why was Punk so Influential?
All that now falls under the punk genre umbrella was begun by garage bands in the 70s, often referred to as ‘punks’ for their unwillingness to conform to music normalcy. The birthplace of punk-rock is recorded to be New York City, the New York influence mainly being the birth of an evolved rock-and-roll genre. Yet, in England, punk rock became an outlet for teenage angst during an economic crisis, their rebellion fueled a sense of personal liberation and punk ideals which are still seen today. Punk’s one general definition began to look a lot more like improved ideologies, meaning that teens and younger adults began using more punk to show their support for social growth. Even today, around 60 years after the birth of punk music, it is influential to the breaking of outdated social values.
Defining Punk Moments
- The first band credited as a Punk band is ‘The Sonics’, formed in 1960, are currently celebrating 60 years together as a band.
- Bands such as Ramones and Sex Pistols began making a name for themselves in the punk genre around the mid-1970s. The Sex Pistols eventually influencing the growth of Punk music in England.
- The Punk movement began to decline in the 80s, eventually being overtaken by the popularity of pop music during the 80s.
- The popularity of punk music resurfaced in the 90s, and the Riot Grrrl genre was born as a movement that wished to dissipate the sexism under the punk genre.
- Punk is reinstated into society during the 90s with the new sub genre ‘pop punk.’
- Vans Warped Tour was introduced in 1995, advertised as a punk festival.
- In the early 2000s, the first punk bands were introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If you wanted to get a feel of the evolution of punk music, we created a starter playlist. This includes music from the 1970's all the way to the 2010's. Jam out and dive into your inner punk self!