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by Zane Austin Grant

7 Aug 2009

Popular cultural mediums are usually a few years behind youth sub-cultural movements.  When those who work in such mediums do get around to addressing such groups, it’s usually in a way that only makes sense to those bound by Hollywood stereotypes or the embarrassing misinterpretations of New York literary magazines.  For the most part, however, Marvel Comics addressed punk well. 

They played it tongue in cheek in The Mighty Thor panel from 1984 in which some young punks give Thor fashion advice.  As he walks into the Avengers Mansion, the kids tell him, “Listen, man, haven’t you heard? Long hair is definitely out. Why not come over to our place for a Mohawk?”  To which Thor responds, “I thank thee. But were I to cut my hair, my helmet would fall off.” 

To some extent, Marvel also addressed punk seriously.  Though many people think back on Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr.‘s Uncanny X-Men story of Storm becoming punk as a silly sub-plot that couldn’t see past the time, the transition to the Wendy-O-Williams aesthetic was a good way to signify Storm’s identity crisis.  After renouncing her faith in herself as a goddess and finding herself without a pre-set system of beliefs, Storm externalized her crisis in a new look.  In this panel from Uncanny X-Men #180, Storm is explaining the meaning of her new aesthetic to Professor Xavier, who also sports a strange ensemble.

by Tommy Marx

7 Aug 2009

In 1988, Sinead O’Connor released The Lion and the Cobra, her critically-acclaimed debut album. Rolling Stone called her one of the women “shattering the boundaries of pop music”, but the album peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200 and none of her singles charted in the United States.

Then she recorded “Nothing Compares 2 U”, a cover of a Prince song originally released on The Family’s self-titled album, and everything changed. The video was mesmerizing, combining gothic imagery with a tight close-up on her face that gave the song a transcendent power. “Nothing” eventually spent four weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and propelled the I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got album to become a double platinum, number one bestseller.

For a moment in time, Sinead was a superstar.

by PopMatters Staff

7 Aug 2009

Noah and the Whale
The First Days of Spring
(Cherrytree/Interscope)
Releasing: 31 August (UK) / 6 October (US)

SONG LIST
01 The First Days Of Spring
02 Our Window
03 I Have Nothing
04 My Broken Heart
05 Instrumental I
06 Love of an Orchestra
07 Instrumental II
08 Stranger
09 Blue Skies
10 Slow Glass
11 My Door Is Always Open

by PopMatters Staff

7 Aug 2009

Castanets
Texas Rose, the Thaw, and the Beasts
(Asthmatic Kitty)
Releasing: 22 September

SONG LIST
01 Rose
02 On Beginning
03 My Heart
04 Worn From the Fight (With Fireworks)
05 No Trouble
06 Thaw and the Beasts
07 We Kept Our Kitchen Clean and Our Dreaming Quiet
08 Down the Line, Love
09 Lucky Old Moon
10 Ignorance Is Blues
11 Dance, Dance

Castanets
“Worn From the Fight (With Fireworks)” [MP3]
     

by PopMatters Staff

7 Aug 2009

Paul Banks from Interpol just released a new project this week, Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper, and has teamed with Emily Haines (Metric) for the “Games for Days” video. Along the same leisure time theme title-wise, here’s also the MP3 for “Fun That We Have”.

Julian Plenti
“Fun That We Have” [MP3]
     

//Mixed media
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