Thursday, September 6, 2007


Thurston Moore's new book is a collection of visuals and philosophy surrounding communal living, but specifically the concept of a punk house. Now, as with many musical genres, punk offers a mythical fairyland full of youthful rebellion, dreamy mohawks and teenage angst--so of course it is very appealing to think about it as liberatory and progressive. Regardless of how you feel about punk rock and its politics, I think we can all agree on this point: punk houses suck. Seriously. Have you ever stayed in one? Have you ever wrapped yourself up in your patch-covered clothing, putting your hood up so no single inch of your skin touches anything inside the punk house? Have you ever been served dumpstered bagels for a week straight, every meal, from a trashbag sitting in the [dirty] kitchen sink in said punk house? Let's not even think about the fact that there is hardly ever a working toilet in the place. Well it sucks. Even in Ungdomshuset, the reliable and legendary Copenhagen punk house/commune (they had a bar with organic beer, expensive video projectors, industrial kitchens), the bathrooms were scary. I've lived in co-ops, group houses, managed an anarchist bookstore/show venue/punk home and it can be

I haven't read Thurston's book, but I did used to live next door to him. I went into his house once, because I booked a performance for a friend of his and she stayed with him....let me tell you his house is no punk house in the traditional sense of the word. It's actually gorgeous.

Anyway, I look foward to seeing the photos in this book (which I am sure will serve as evidence of my above assertions) because of pure nostalgia on my part for the punk life, but I am also curious to read what he has to say about communal living in this day and age. Is it due to resurge as we grow tired of suburbia, obssesive privacy and urban loneliness? I hope it does, but in a slightly cleaner way than the punk house.

p.s. Catch the man himself at Rock N Roll Hotel on Sept. 29

*I know there can be exceptions and there are many a well-run punk house around the world, but let me generalize for a bit ;)

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