FSEM 1111-14 Matt Hill email: mhill30@du.

edu Times & room: MW 10 – noon Office location; hours: Aspen South 725; MW noon – 2 Newman 214 p.m. Course websites: http://punkesthetics.blogspot.com/ & http://portfolio.du.edu/punkstyle

Punk Style and the Anarchy of Meaning "Starting a band is a good way to learn how to play guitar." -J Mascis

Course Description: Music has been an integral experience of youth culture

since at least the middle of the 20th century. More specifically, popular music has played an important role in the construction of youth identities, and the most popular form has often been some version of rock n’ roll. Among rock’s many offshoots, punk has endured as a popular genre for over thirty years. Since its beginnings, the definition of punk has been contentious. This course uses punk style (mostly through listening to music in class, but we will also attend a performance and/or discussion from local musicians, and we will watch some film clips in class as well) to study rigorously how communities construct meaning out of many conflicting views. Like many musical subcultures, punk has often concerned itself with authenticity (‚true‛ or ‚real‛ punk often must conform to a certain ethos that has been passed down through various structures in the punk community/communities), and this course examines some of punk’s history and development as a lens for critical investigative techniques appropriate for college level work.

Course Goals: The main goals of this course are to give you practice in the
rigorous writing, reading, and thinking that your university experience will entail. I want you to succeed in this course, so I will be guiding and helping you handle the high standards that I want you to accomplish.

Required Materials (please bring required items to each class)
Readings (online) Ramones, by Nicholas Rombes (bring during the week we read this book) Laptop with power c(h)ord (please always carry your power cord) USB storage device Any music that you need to use that day

Now for some formalities
Late Work Policy 1

Work is due when it is due. I do not penalize you for late work; however, I will not give late papers as much feedback as I do to papers turned in on time. You must turn in all work in order to pass this class. Writing and Research Center The Writing and Research Center, located in 201 Penrose, can be an invaluable tool as you work through ideas. Take advantage of this resource at any stage of the writing process. Check out the Writing Center at http://www.du.edu/writing/wrc.htm.


ADA Statement DU complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you have a documented disability, please contact the Disabilities Service Program (DSP) at http://www.du.edu/disability/.

Syllabus and Readings
(all readings available and arranged alphabetically on Portfolio site. Each reading is individual .pdf unless in one of the collections: WR=whiteriot.pdf, PRSW=punkrocksowhat.pdf, RRR=rockhistoryreader.pdf) Week 1: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s Your Syllabus M 9/12 Aristotle on Style W 9/14 Hebdige , excerpts from Subctulture Begin looking at ‘zines Week 2: ‚Mr. Narrator, this is Bob Dylan to me‛ M 9/19 ‚Reading Early Punk‛, Lane Van Ham ‚What’s Real About Country Music‛, Dave Heaton (linked under ‚Popmatters Readings‛ on blog) ‚Punk Goes Hardcore‛, Jack Rabid (9 – 14 in RRR) songs: Pretty Vacant / Sex Pistols; Nazi Punks Fuck Off / Dead Kennedys; Glory / Television: Matt H. W 9/21 ‚Concrete, So As to Self-Destruct‛, Mark Sinker (3 – 12 in PRSW) ‚Why Don’t We Call it Punk‛ Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain (3 – 8 in RRR) songs: (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais / The Clash; We're Having Much More Fun / X; The History Of The World Part 1 / The Damned: Shana Week 3: Tracking Babylon and Zion M 9/26 ‚The White Negro‛, Norman Mailer; ‚Guilty of Being White‛, Bondi, et al, and ‚Play Like a White Boy‛, Darryl Jennifer (3 – 5 , 6 – 9, and 16 – 19 in WR) songs: How Low Can A Punk Get? / Bad Brains; One Armed Scissor / At The Drive-In; Thirsty And Miserable / Black Flag: Matt p. W 9/28 ‚Performing Punk‛, Shayna Maskell 3

‚Black Invisibility and Racism in Punk Rock‛ Tasha Fierce (27 – 29 in


songs: I And I Survive / Bad Brains; Bruitist Pome #5 / Refused; Pan Opticon / This Moment in Black History: Dan Week 4: Lost in the Supermarket M 10/3 ‚The White Noise Supremacists‛, Lester Bangs ‚Rock ‘n’ Roll: White or Black‛, Anonymous (10 – 11 in WR) songs: Straight Outta Compton / N.W.A; Identity / X-Ray Spex; Ceremony / New Order: Henry W 10/5 ‚It’s (Not) a White World‛, Mimi Nguyen (20 – 26 in WR) songs: Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos / Public Enemy; Love Song / The Damned; Nadir's Big Chance / Peter Hammill: Angela Week 5: The perfect beat, found M 10/10 Ramones, Nicholas Rombes songs: Needles And Pins; Fanfare In The Garden / Essential Logic; People Who Died / Jim Carroll: Alec W 10/12 Ramones, Nicholas Rombes (*see ‚Dates‛ section below) songs: History Lesson - Part II / Minutemen; I’m so gone / Reatards (Portfolio); Tell Me So / Bikini Kill: Amanda Week 6: Nervous Breakdown M 10/17 ‚The Problem With Music‛ Steve Albini (15 – 22 in RRR) W 10/19 ‚Punk’s Earnest New Mission‛ Michael Azerrad‛ (23 – 27 in RRR) songs: Chorus Of One / strike anywhere; Damaged Goods / Gang of Four (Portfolio); Washington Bullets / The Clash: Kate Week 7: Oblique strategies M 10/24 Simon Reynolds, excerpts from Rip it Up and Start Again songs: Mica; Don't Believe The Hype / Public Enemy; House Of Juju Queen / Janie Jones: Tim W 10/26 Redux‛ Nicholas Rombes, ‚Pere Ubu‛, ‚Postscript‛, and ‚Postscript


songs: History Lesson / Minutemen; Skankin' To The Beat / Fishbone; Tear It All Down / Ravers; Rachael Week 8: ‚At least we weren’t hippies‛ M 10/31 ‚Race, Anarchy and Punk Rock‛ Otto Nomous (13 – 15 in WR) songs: Sobre As Pernas / Akira S & As Garotas Que Erraram; Turkish Song Of The Damned / The Pogues; Stand By Your Manatee / Future Of The Left: Kailey W 11/2 Nicholas Rombes, ‚Punk‛ and ‚Sixties, Punk as a Rejection of‛ ‚Crass‛, John Savage songs: Ghost Rider / Suicide; Love Meant To Die / Jazz Destroyers; Blue Monday / New Order: Hannah Week 9: Coda M 11/7 ‚The Woman Punk Made Me‛ Lucy O’Brien (13 – 19 in PRSW) 13) songs: Spend, Spend, Spend; The Model / Kraftwerk; Deceptacon (DFA remix) / Le Tigre: Emma W 11/9 ‚Is That All There Is?‛ Suzanne Moore (20 – 22 in PRSW) songs: Class War / Dils; Cops are Punks / The Nails; breakdown / The Buzzcocks (Portfolio): Adam Week 10: ‚Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?‛ M 11/14 Presentations/Performances/Course Evaluations songs: The Classical / The Fall; Don't Stop Till You Get Enough / James Chance & The Contortions; New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down / LCD Soundsystem: Andrew W 11/16 Presentations/Performances Course wrap-up

Dates: Saturday, October 8, X at Summit Music Hall
Wednesday, October 12, Dinner w/Chancellor Coombe, Gottesfeld Room (Required)

Saturday, October 29, CBGB Night, Hi-Dive (group outing, recommended but not required)
Saturday, November 26, Thee Oh Sees at Moe’s 5

Grading Policy
I will determine your course grade based on your written projects, your daily writing, your song analyses, and your ‘zine/performance. Remember that a grade of ‚C‛ is satisfactory/average. It is not a negative assessment of one’s work or abilities. DU’s description of grades is at http://www.du.edu/registrar/records/gradesystems.html
A AB+ B 100 94 93 - 90 89 - 87 86 - 84 BC+ C C83 80 79 77 76 74 73 70 D+ D DF 69 67 66 64 63 60 59 -

Grade Breakdown 3 Papers (20% each) Daily writing Song Analyses ‘zine/performance

60% 10% 5% 25%

Paper #1: Our readings and discussions so far have allowed us to interrogate

the notion of an ‚authentic‛ punk style. In a 6 – 7 page paper, define what is at stake in a definition of style. In other words, work forward from Aristotle and argue for why style is an important component in how a community defines itself. Due 9/28 by 10 p.m.
Paper #2: In our readings of, Shermer, Bangs, Rhomes, and others, we have

learned that the punk rock community may not have been as inclusive as many of its practitioners and adherents claimed. In a 6 – 7 page paper, synthesize the complex arguments surrounding the issue of inclusion in the punk rock community and develop some consensus about what it means to be punk. Due 10/19 by 10 p.m.
Paper #3: Almost as soon as the punk movement began, a counter movement

(sometimes called ‚new wave,‛ ‚post-punk‛, ‚new romantics‛, and others) emerged. In a 6 – 7 page paper, describe how post-punk challenges the orthodoxies and conditions for participating in the punk movement. In what ways was post-punk successful in challenging and critiquing the punk movement, and in what ways did post-punk affirm its predecessor? Due 11/9 by 10 p.m.


‘Zine/Presentation: The 3 papers, the in-class discussions, and the in-class

writings have asked you to demonstrate an understanding of how communities construct meaning. The ‘zine allows you to take this information and construct your own meaning out of the conflicts.
Song Analyses: I have given you two CDs, which contain 45 songs between

them. Each student will present on three of those songs (at least 1 from each CD). You will discuss each song and how that song either does or does not represents ‚punk‛ as you have come to know it.


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