September is all about music: Screenings & Events

As we swiftly approach the most beloved of seasons — the fall — people are coming out in droves to share their work with the world. This week is all about music!

FROM THE BACK OF THE ROOM: A Documentary about Women in Punk

Check out this new documentary playing at the Spectacle Theater (“a collective of film collectors, filmmakers, editors, performers and misfits”) tonight:

This documentary chronicles the past two decades of female involvement in the DIY punk community. We’ve interviewed tons of amazing women ages 17-40 from all over the United States!

You can RSVP on Facebook; showings at 7:00 and 9:30PM. $5.

A Panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Music is often the voice of a generation-a touchstone for issues both personal and political, and a way for its fans to understand themselves. Mark Yarm, (Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge), Marisa Meltzer (Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music) and Marcus Reeves (Somebody Scream: Rap Music’s Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power) – look at the impact of punk, hip hop, riot grrrl, and more on the lives of its fans. Moderated by Will Hermes (Love Goes To Buildings On Fire).

For more information on this panel, click here; for more information on the Brooklyn Book Festival, see their main site.



Verso Books has declared September “the month of White Riot and I am not one to disagree. Stephen Duncombe (Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture) and Maxwell Tremblay (The SLEEPiES) have edited this pioneering collection on punk and race. Verso and UnionDocs have teamed up to bring us this night of films and a discussion on the subject. You can listen to Stephen and Max on WFMU discussing the book, too.

From UnionDocs:

Sunday, September 18 at 7:30pm // at UnionDocs // 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY // $9 suggested donation.

Movie selections and critical discussion on punk rock and race, from the Clash to Los Crudos, skinheads to afropunks, with professor Stephen Duncombe and writer/musician Maxwell Tremblay. More after the jump.

Punk, in its first incarnations, was an attempt by young whites, dissatisfied with the world they were born into, to grab and forge a new ethnicity for themselves. What form it took was up for grabs. Punks of other races, meanwhile, navigated the space between the racism of the dominant culture and that of their “alternative” scene.

Born out of a time: the mid 1970s, and in places: the UK and US, when and where white supremacy was being contested politically, culturally and demographically, punk rock was forced – sometimes openly and sometimes obliquely, at times with hostility and at other times with empathy – to grapple with the issue of race. The result has been a multi-vocal argument about what it means to be white – or not – in a world where whiteness is no longer the assumed universal.

Join “White Riot” editors Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay for a look at the varied voices that have explored the issue of punk rock and race in film, and a discussion on how different punks have lived and negotiated racial identity.

“White Riot,” recently released from Verso and for sale at the event, is the definitive study of the subject, collecting first-person writing, lyrics, letters to zines, and analyses of punk history from across the globe.

Selections will be presented from the following movies:

Rude Boy–by Jack Hazan and David Mingay–UK, 1980, digital projection

Jack Hazan and David Mingay’s semi-documentary story of a punk fan in a late 70s UK in economic decline and riven by racial tension; the film includes footage of the Clash playing “White Riot” at a Rock against Racism concert as well as fascist National Front rallies.

Decline of Western Civilization–by Penelope Spheeris–USA, 1981, digital projection

The first of Penelope Spheeris’ Decline music scene documentaries, this one chronicles the LA punk scene in its heyday, circa 1980. Among other punk bands, the punk doc features the Latina fronted band, The Bags, and catches Black Flag performing “White Minority.”

Afro-punk: the Original ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger’ Experience–by James Spooner–USA, 2003, digital projection

A film that defined a movement. The documentary chronicles the experiences of Black punks who find themselves navigating between the Black, and often musically conservative, culture they grew up within and the predominantly White, and frequently racist, punk scene of which they are a part.

Mas alla de los gritos/Beyond the Screams: A US Latino Hardcore Documentary–by Martin Sorreondeguy–USA, 1999, digital projection

In this documentary, Martín Sorrondeguy excavates the history of Latino punk rock in the US, featuring performances from among other acts, his own seminal band: Los Crudos, as they travel outside of the confines of this country to play in Mexico City.

The Punks Are Alright: A Punk Rock Safari from the First World to the Third–by Douglas Crawford–Canada, 2006, digital projection

Douglas Crawford traces the global circuits of punk rock, from the songs of a 70s era Canadian punk band, The Forgotten Rebels, to their inspiration for a later Brazilian band, Blind Pigs, to that band’s influence on contemporary Indonesian punk rockers.