Pop Manifestos and Nosebleed Art Rock: What Was The Point Of Post-Punk?

Mankowski, Guy (2014) Pop Manifestos and Nosebleed Art Rock: What Was The Point Of Post-Punk? Punk & Post Punk, 2 (2). pp. 159-170. ISSN 2044-1983

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Abstract

‘Post-punk’ has been defined in a variety of ways. Some commentators view it primarily as a reaction to punk, with distinct musical features. Others debate whether its organizing principle can even be found in a stylistic unity. Ryan Moore has described how punk responded to a ‘condition of postmodernity’. In his view, postmodernism represented an ‘exhaustion of totalizing metanarratives’. Within this context punk used bricolage to ‘turn signs and spectacles against themselves, as a means of waging war on society’. For the purposes of this piece post-punk is broadly considered a response to punk’s response to postmodernism. This article addresses how manifestos came to be used in various examples of post-punk music. It uses, as a starting point, Julia Downes’ description of musical manifestos in riot grrrl as a ‘key way to define … ideological, aesthetic and political goals’. A series of chronological case studies investigate the key components and aesthetics of the post-punk manifesto, which include the use of lists, itemization and direct second-person address. Given Simon Reynolds’ view that post-punk ‘tried to make politics and pop work together, but failed’, this article examines whether the goals of post-punk manifestos were at all achieved. Were manifestos in the main, promotional or self-motivating exercises? Do recent ‘post-punk’ manifestos, such as those by the band Savages, both acknowledge and move beyond the limitations of earlier models, to increasingly alter how people consume music?

Keywords:bricolage, identity, post-punk, self-fashioning, subculture
Subjects:L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:37821
Deposited On:10 Oct 2019 13:39

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