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American Hardcore – Documentary Free on YouTube

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Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Bad Brains are a Few of the Proud who Spread American Hardcore Across the Land

The anti-music industry, anti-rock star genre known for its aggressive sound called hardcore formed back in the late 1970s. The movement that started it all spread like a contagion infecting the minds of youth who spat at normalcy. Sleeping on couches, gluing paper together to form CD shells, and using payphones – the crazed madmen producing the hardcore sound by any means necessary had passion, heart, and, of course, anger.

For the most part, hardcore can be said to have started on the west coast. Bands like Black Flag who spread the message and sound across the Reagan-hating United States. Soon after the creation of Black Flag, Bad Brains emerges in DC. Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson would contribute Bad Brains as an influence to start Teen Idles and eventually Ian MacKaye would form Minor Threat, one of the most popular hardcore bands to this date, and popularized the Straight Edge movement. Boston and New York would soon have their own scene featuring bands like Gang Green (Boston), SS Decontrol (Boston), Agnostic Front (New York), and Cro-Mags (New York). Each band helped each other, reaching new cities, new stages, new people until the movement grew into a monster that hasn’t been replicated.

The previous paragraph might explain the early history of hardcore but not the whole thing. If you wanna know more, I’d consider the documentary American Hardcore (left the YouTube video below) or the book it’s based on called American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Both were written by Steven Blush. After seeing the documentary, the ending is a bit somber unlike what you see in “Punk’s Not Dead.” It appears this influential crazed movement ended abruptly either by lack of interest or too much violence. And most even go on to say, Punk is dead including hardcore. That what happened, happened. And maybe a new generation of people will start a new movement.

If the hardcore movement was indeed inspired by a Reagan America, a 50s-style all-white culture where everything is “perfect” what better time than now to inspire a new revolution of music through punk? Dumb politicians, housing prices, the economy, the rich getting richer – these same themes played out when the hardcore movement originally spread. Why not now?

I’m bored with Taylor Swift albums and another top record by Harry Styles. Record companies at the top selling sh*t and the public soaks it up like gospel. I’m eager to see another scourge in the underground, for the press to talk about the anger we all feel rather than another attendance-breaking record for an event people paid too much to see.

If you feel the same, I’d like to say “When in doubt, do as hardcore did.” Make records that won’t get on the radio and be proud, create songs your parents cringe to hear, and scream about the problems of the world so loud they can’t ignore you. And most importantly spread it to other like-minded individuals until it becomes a beast you can’t control.

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