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Week In Review

Punk Rawk—Like A Fart In The Wind?

The 168 Turnaround: Jan. 8 – 14, 2012

Music matters, and it affects people all over the world in various and sometimes conflicting ways.  As one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so too is one man’s musical guilty pleasure another man’s defining rhythm and melody.  I know—I’m that guy who listens and loves a kind of music most of you probably wouldn’t enjoy.

As a teenager, I was a Punk … or I tried to be, anyway.  I bleached and spiked my hair, pierced my ears, wore dog chains around my neck, so on and so forth.  I pursued the world of Punk Rawk (or, really, pop punk) with good intentions.  I was earnest and dedicated—I wore my scowl with pride.

But, truly, I was a poseur.  I listened to bands like Green Day, Blink 182, and Gob, and yet still considered myself to be pretty damn hard core.  My friends were the same.  But I was a little different.  My favourite “punk” band was a three-piece act from Bremerton, Washington.  While originally performing under the name Magnified Plaid in 1992, the band is better known today as MxPx.

MxPx (left to right): Tom Wisniewski, Mike Herrera, Yuri Ruley

While the members of MxPx self-identified as Christians, they were far too secular to please the Christian music industry.  Religious references were rare and often vague, and the band’s lyrics frequently explored themes of rebellion, uncertainty, and aggression.  All in all, not too church appropriate.  Still, the band members’ personal spiritual beliefs became something of a sticking point for many secular listeners in the pop punk community.

In the beginning, my punk friends were okay with MxPx … hell, they even went to shows with me.  Some of them might have even considered themselves fans.  But as time wore on, those friends started listening more and more to bands like Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols—old school punk rawk, in other words.  Very soon thereafter, MxPx became a band they loved to hate.  And why not?  Hating bands like MxPx was a very punk rawk thing to do.

Eventually, I ditched those friends, and found something better to do with my time … like not hang around with assholes.

And so with news this week that MxPx will be releasing their ninth studio album, Plans Within Plans, on April 3rd of this year, I can’t help but feel … well, if not vindicated, then at least reassured.  After all, it’s good to know that something that was so important to me as a teenager continues to thrive in my adult years.

Growing up sucks, and life can be hard and sometimes miserable, which is why it’s important to hold on tightly to the things that matter to you.

And as for those assholes?  Well, with MxPx still in the game, all their talk has amounted to nothing more than farts in the wind.

The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items.  If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here.  If you have a comment or question, please leave a response below.  Thank you for reading.

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