Any punk with their wits about them is bound to react rather viscerally to the words “punk rock,” “rainbow” and “sparkle” being tossed together in the same salad of a sentence. So, naturally, when I walked into Jonathan LeVine gallery last month to catch the tail-end of Natalia Fabia’s East Coast debut, I shivered at the sight of its title. Punk Rock Rainbow Sparkle? I shook my head, wondering what I had walked into. Whatever it was, I stood convinced that at best it would be an uncomfortable experience I’d hopefully forget. However, I soon got a schooling in the life lesson, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” or rather, you can’t judge a show by its title.
To my pleasant surprise this weekend, while going about my business I was stopped by several New Yorkers, from various walks of life, all advertising information about the Occupy Wall Street protests. Occupy Wall Street seem to be on the top of everyone’s mind these days or at least the tips of their tongues. Indeed, the spreading protests all over the country seem to harness a certain discontent present but aimless in the public unconsciousness. Love them or hate them, there is definitely a public zeitgeist surrounding the whole thing. Visiting the goings on downtown I was reminded of the power and necessity of cheaply produced posters, pamphlets and broadsides and their relationship to organized resistance. With thoughts of protest and grass roots organization I happened onto the newest show at Boo Hooray Gallery on Canal Street in Chinatown.
Like all things punk, DIY cinema is a bit rough around the edges. But, isn’t that what makes it so much fun? Kicking off in midsummer with the release of Céline Danhier’s Blank City, punk films have been having a bit of a revival — and, while we’re at it — a reinvigoration.
Thirty-five years after the release of The Ramones’ debut album, a punk attitude has erupted on 23rd Street in the heart of Chelsea during the normally bleak and deserted summer gallery months with the Steven Kasher Gallery’s “Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-1982” and the I-20 Gallery’s “MAKE Skateboards.”
Screaming Females are one of those bands who are just that good; they have an unwavering idea about who they are and what they want to do, have worked relentlessly to get where they are and have retained their weirdo aesthetic throughout. In the past two years, the band has gained the attention of indie icons like Henry Rollins and Jay Mascis, and they have played to huge auditoriums and basements alike, sharing the stage with bands like Dinosaur Jr., Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Yo La Tengo as well as dozens of local musicians just starting out. The band doesn’t stop at concerts either — on March 30th, Screaming Females teamed up with frontwoman Marissa Paternoster and LNY’s new art collective, called Doodle Drag, for a multimedia show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey.