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DamagedMusicality and Race in Early American Punk$
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Evan Rapport

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831217

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831217.001.0001

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“Ignorance of Your Culture Is Not Considered Cool”: Reconsidering the Avant-Garde Impulse in American Punk

“Ignorance of Your Culture Is Not Considered Cool”: Reconsidering the Avant-Garde Impulse in American Punk

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 “Ignorance of Your Culture Is Not Considered Cool”: Reconsidering the Avant-Garde Impulse in American Punk
Source:
Damaged
Author(s):

Evan Rapport

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496831217.003.0003

This chapter reconsiders the role of American rock experimentalists such as Captain Beefheart, DEVO, and the Residents in the formation of punk’s musical style. Although these musicians are often referenced in punk histories, their contributions are typically misunderstood because of an anachronistic focus on the British punk scene of 1977 as punk’s starting point. These musicians used avant-garde approaches to American popular music and vernacular culture in order to tackle American music’s unacknowledged and whitewashed history, including such controversial practices as blackface minstrelsy, as well as the problems of white suburbia, the war in Vietnam, the failures of hippie idealism, and a frustration with both mainstream American culture and the counterculture.

Keywords:   Captain Beefheart, DEVO, experimentalism, avant-garde, American popular music

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