On Tony Rettman and Killed By Hardcore (Part One)

On Tony Rettman and Killed By Hardcore (Part One)

First things first. Thanks to Rettman for writing on a much dismissed topic in a reasonably intelligent manner. And thanks to Blastitude for posting it a ways back. Lastly, head over to Punk Not Profit and peruse those posts. It’s kind of like an encyclopedia for shut-ins.

What all of this has to do with, though, is the backwards glance, the re-evolution of something (anything) through the guise of a few years on. That’s not bad or good, but an interesting way to assess a movement or an endgame that was once, most likely, just short of tangible.

Did punk change the world. Did hippies for that matter? Nope. Well, hardcore and DIY ethics have only served to inform the way college kids produce low rent tapes and tour their God-awful indie bands, hock wares made in their kitchen all while masquerading as artists.

Well, its better to have a mass of intolerably, self centered, self important, pseudo artists running around than bankers, but not by too much. Hopefully, out of all this mess comes a few careers that aren’t restricted to the salad days of being an academic and the few years afterwards spent realizing getting a nine to five is the only way out.

Whatever. Art movements don’t affect change. It’s a slow animal. And as many hardcore bands wanted to expose the inequities in society – or ay least yell really loudly about them – all that’s left at this point, apart from reunion tours, are a spate of singles, a few full length albums and reminiscing. Of course, ‘Remember when’ counting as the lowest form of conversation doesn’t bode well, but here we go.

Rettman begins in self effacing tones, admittedly abandoning punk stuff for out jazz and other obsessions. But he has maintained an eye to the culture, which has increasingly been centered on a culture outside of the States figuring an angle on the genre with folks back here, re-interpreting that and having a go. This writer is well aware of that – which accounts for the few offhand Discharge references.

But even in mentioning that band is to be aware of the deadening of punk and hardcore culture. Discharge didn’t land upon its approach to music in a vacuum, but still wound up being a hallmark because of it’s visual aesthetic as much as its sound. Again, it’s all a business. And the most enduring bands realized codification (comodification) wasn’t always bad. Just Reagan and Thatcher’s understanding of it.