Punk, Goth, and Alternative

I searched for videos of Siouxsie Sioux on YouTube yesterday, and was utterly shocked to read a comment on one of her music videos which read, "I don't know why people call her gothic! She's not!!! Goth is totally different!!!!!"

My heart fell to my knees. People today don't even realize that Siouxsie and the Banshees were one of the first to pioneer the gothic look and sound. The entire female goth look is based on Siouxsie's signature make-up. I realize that record labels and fashion moguls capitalized the gothic look and marketed metal and other types of music as goth (*cough* Marilyn Manson *cough*) but it's downright tragic that nobody seems to know who actually created it. Goth was born out of punk in the late 70s.

The same happened with punk rock. Punk was very different from what most people today envision. In its early days, bands which identified as punk were varied and diverse, but all had the common punk ideals of anti-authoritarianism and individuality. They drew influence from garage rock, 60s girl groups, and numerous other styles. When Southern California spit out hardcore punk, all that changed. You had to be extremely loud, fast, and violent to be considered punk. The style was marketed to suburban teens, and it caught on. Moshing and violence at shows became common. It also became increasingly unfriendly and alienating to women. Offshoots such as New Wave and Post-punk became increasingly mainstream, eventually evolving into modern alt rock. Pop punk became a phenomenon, using fast rhythms, accessible lyrics and toning down the abrasiveness of punk rock. (Think Green Day and The Offspring.)

And punk fashion used to be whatever the hell people wanted to wear. If you wanted to wear black leather pants with no shirt and electrical tape on your boobs, you did it. If you wanted to wear a formal vest and band patches on your jeans and a top hat with safety pins on it, you did so. If you wanted to wear combat boots, fine. If you wanted to wear sneakers, fine. If you wanted to make your own band tees, wear black eyeliner, and a spiked collar, fine. But you pretty much had to do it all yourself. Everything was more original because it hadn't become a mainstream fashion trend yet. Now it's all Tripp pants and band tees and Converse.

Sorry this is so long and probably boring but I feel very strongly that there needs to be a subcultural revolution. Everything is so divided and close-minded today, it seems. The 90s really killed all that remained of any true subcultures. Now it's just a wasteland of commercialized byproducts. There truly is no more underground, at least not in the sense of an actual subculture, real alternative communities. The subculture has become the culture, rendering it pointless. The normal thing to do is be superficially rebellious and reject whatever current establishment is in place. We have a generation of young people dressed in "alternative" clothing, going to concerts and bars, getting wasted, then going back to their houses, getting up the next day and going to work for all that they say they hate. It pisses me off because I've never fit the mold of "normal" American life, yet I'm considered to be part of the problem by all the so-called punks around me because I don't wear the right shit or know the right bands.

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5 replies since 9th November 2008 • Last reply 9th November 2008

I love how punk now is in this place where people go "I wear tartan jeans and therefore I am a punk". It's ridiculous.

The problem is that stereotypes invaribly shift, and that is the nature of them. I know it's annoying and people should know how things used to be (eg. Siouxsie Sioux) but yes, in all forms of stereotype, things shift, because they are based on one or two facts which are then backed by a singular opinion and circulated by popular media, but once opinions of the times shift they change. I think things must be different because in the 60s - 80s, youth was a wonderful thing and the young were appreciated, whereas now they are considered secondary creatures in many ways.

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I've just decided to not mess with all these labels and dress how I want. I might get labeled goth or punk or alternative but the truth is that I am who I am and that's it. I dress the way I want and I listen to whatever music I like and I watch the movies I like. I sometimes get labeled goth, and I take that as a compliment because I admire the gothic style but the truth is I wear Courtney Couture!!

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Your rant embodied everything I've been trying to tell people for years, just in a more articulate way! Its like, NOW the weird thing is to be normal. THAT is the real rebellion it seems.

I'm fine with people who really like what they wear, whether it be the tripp pants and converse, or if they make it themselves. What really pisses ME OFF are the people who wear it, not because they like it, but because they think its "cool". They are afraid of getting rejected by people so they hide behind "coolness".

ugh, you are amazing, i completely agree with you.

Although I do like marilyn manson, but just because he is so incredibly witty! Some of his original lyrics, though I may not like the songs as much, are so witty and interesting Happy

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Thanks, Dis! I'm fine with people who are fine with themselves, too. It's the (as much as I hate to use this word) posers who annoy me. A lot of it has to do with how you wear what you wear. I also wish that people would just be genuine and say, "I like this aesthetic, I feel that this reflects my ideals in some way, and I want to live life on my own terms, even if that means just dressing "differently." Instead they hide behind coolness, as you mentioned.

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^^ hehe..I love to wear my converse..but I have always done this..(the converse rubber shoe company exist since 1908 and is much older than every kind of subcultural music today)
I love fashion..and I like to buy me some kind of alternative fashion clothes.
like all the kids you were talking about..
I have always heard Punk,Rock,Metal,Rock n Roll and all kind of alternative music. I don´t like the fact that people always say that you have to be part of only one group..
I´m not a Punk,I´m not an Emo kid,and I´m nothing else.. Only myself..
I wear all this stuff for years and I hate the fact that it became a fashion style and that you can buy all of it in stores like H&M. (well ..in nearly every store now)
But I have to deal with the fact that I can´t change the world and because of this I buy some of my stuff at H&M,too..
There can´t be a subcultural revolution because a lot of people were not even born in the early punk days.. hehe..not even planned ^^
Nearly everybody only read about the "old days" And don´t know what they were exactly talking about.
Me too.. (Im an 80´s kid)
But you are right.. we can try to make it better as it is right now.
I am 26years now and I´m born in the 80´s,
I played with Atari and all the Pac man stuff,and all kinds of retro videogames.. I can´t stand it that all people now wearing shirts with Pac man on it only because it´s "in."
I mean all of that stuff is part of my childhood memories.
But come on...
we have to be understanding that everybody live in his own world and see things their own way.,
I can not blame people that they don´t know everything what was important in my teenager days..just because they where not old enough.
Every generation has its own experience and view on the world.

I mean.. It´s right what you were saying but there are some changes which were also good.. I don´t wanna miss some stuff we have now.
I think some groups are more open than before.. and you can see this at co+keep too.. here are all kinds of people.. ;)

Sorry I´m not a native english speaker and its sooooooo very difficult for me to say my View about everything.. like I can do in German ^^*g*

I think all I want to say is... "PEACE" ^^ *lol*

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