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Jenna Alden

Related: post-punk - music

The Rapture, and the Return of Post-Punk

by Jenna Alden

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Eighties nostalgia is all the rage, and we've heard plenty about it. Each week brings a new announcement of the most recent 80's relic to be reclaimed, from "Transformers" comic books to breakdancing. And the thing is, it's not just that that the icons of 80's culture are in abundant supply; it's also that the critique of retro culture itself has become inextricably linked to our generation's identity, or lack thereof. Cries of postmodern crisis, of a bankrupt pop culture, of an age of non-innovation have become all too familiar to those of us who maintain hope that maybe, just maybe, our generation could someday contribute something significant to the cultural landscape. With each report of nostalgic returns, it's hard not to fear that we're being locked further into our reputation as a generation of regurgitators.


In the end, Simon Reynolds points out, "The idea of post-punk being revived is a sort of contradiction in terms, because post-punk was a phase in a narrative-it was, like, literally POST punk, what came next when punk 'failed.' But aspects of the post-punk critique are perennial-all those neo-Marxist ideas about consumerism, commodity-fetishism, existentialism, the personal politics and sexual politics. These things are as relevant as ever." If today's bands can seize upon the "oppositional or culturally dissident energy" in the lyrical content of early post-punk of the early 80's, he suggests, we could have a powerful musical movement on our hands. -- http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/june_2002/post-punk.html, accessed April 2003

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