I have to re-blog Brad Efford’s comment here (I fully acknowledge I am a huge fan of Brad’s, he epitomizes the grit, quirky humor, and intelligence of UMW’s finest, and having him in this conversation is both fun and important–he has much to add as you’ll see below). His comment crystallizes, yet again, so many things that I find attractive about the idea of EDUPUNK for, as Brad himself notes, “the overt & purposeful manipulation of all these different consumer electronics just to make a quick, joyous noise track!” Wow, first the British Invasion and now EDUNOISE —I know I am pushing it, but fuck it, I am having fun!

So, here is Brad’s and Math Horne’s creative sojourn into EDUPUNK, which may need its own generic distinction —a point I think Brian’s post about the history of NYC Punk makes all too clear —to label the very movement of punk as something static and predictable is just as dangerous as our insistence on filling it with a creative energy, emotion, and community. Punk has a rich, complex history that I myself am learning about, and I encourage all those who want to dismiss the term so readily to one or two assumptions do their homework, cause school ain’t out –even though it is Summer!

On the topic of this EDUpunk craze that’s been festering:
I’m not sure if things that I’ve done in the past can be explained by this relatively new-fangled idea, but here’s a little story for you:
Back in the day (“the day” here being when I was a senior in high school), I was introduced to the art of circuit-bending electronics by Math Horne, my old bandmate. The concept was to take used toy instruments purchased from places like thrift stores & Goodwill & take them apart in order to tear open their insides & re-wire. Sometimes it worked better than others, & often it would take hours to get a nice harsh noise working. After one particular toy guitar had been re-invented so that it emitted completely manipulatable feedback-type noises (the manipulation came from dials that were soddered onto the wires themselves), Math spent an evening re-inventing its use. What he did was use the “Talk” feature on Instant Messenger to communicate with “Trippy” Tim Whelden, a friend of ours who at the time was living in Thailand. Instead of using a microphone, though, Math plugged in the circuit-bent toy & let loose white noise over thousands of miles of internet wireless-ness. Here’s a recording that they spat out; it is completely live transmissions between Thailand & Fredericksburg, VA recorded over the internet. Tim is shouting & hooting, while Math plays squeals & other noises on the guitar. The echo-effect & reverberation comes from the fact that…well…the fact that the connection spans thousands of miles.
Download Title

if all of that isn’t EDUpunk, then I may be confused about the term!
Either way, it’s a very interesting concept, I think, the overt & purposeful manipulation of all these different consumer electronics just to make a quick, joyous noise track!

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8 Responses to EDUNOISE

  1. Gardner says:

    If “punk” stretches from “I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground” and Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Strange Things Are Happening Every Day” to psychedelic rock (which the late 70’s punks rejected), but it won’t stretch to include Steppenwolf, Tears for Fears, REM, or Steely Dan, then I guess I’m not at all sure what the word means. I fear it means simply “I like your politics” or (much, much worse) “I like your attitude.”

    I always admired the idea of a guitar with a sign on it saying “This machine kills fascists.” I always worried about it, too. Milton’s guitar says “This machine considers fascists, takes a stand, but never forgets that good and evil are made of the same ingredients.”

    At least, that’s what I think I saw on his guitar the last time he rode through town.

    And is Dylan punk? If not, how can anyone be? If so, how could he be co-opted by a single label? He’s pretty clear about all of that stuff in “Chronicles.”

    As always, however, Brian clearly contains multitudes and invites us to do the same.

    Just wanna keep making daily records.

  2. Gardner says:

    And I recall with great weariness the endless debates about whether The Police were punk. Or The Pretenders. Or REM, for that matter.

    Enough! or too much!

    Though it may be true that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Us Appalachian Scots-Irish diggers aren’t sure.

  3. very cool! Might I add my own to the fray?

    My band, “Mercury Project” could be classified as educyberpunk in that the music is cyberpunk in style as well as having an educational aspect to it.

    We were approached by concert goers after a live performance in January who were surprised to have learned something about the space program as well as astronomy during the show.

    Obviously, we’re a CC act and a few tracks are available via The Internet Archive. Our next show is during Ingenuity Fest in Cleveland… edupunk event right down to the slogan: “create, celebrate, innovate”.

    We also have the obligatory myspace if you would like more info.

    DIY or DIE: edupunk


  4. Brad says:

    Dr. Campbell your points are all entirely valid, & I for one would not be one to stand up for the term “punk” at any time; I think it’s both dated & obsolete right now in terms of language. I say let the ideas (or the music, in this instance) speak for itself, & if you must coin something, at the very least be able to explain the motives behind it. Words are words, I say, & if your actions aren’t going to fall in line behind them, then what good are they?
    Here is something Ted, a friend of mine from back home, once wrote on the issue of “punk”:

    punk is about looking people in the eye. it’s about having lifelong friends, and going to friends shows, supporting those whom you care about most. it’s about challenging every convention, even challenging the challenges. it’s about creating new things, pushing boundaries, giving homages, and shocking people with things they’ve never seen before, and never thought of. my favorite all time thing about punk is something guy picciotto once said. ill paraphrase it:
    ‘i feel like what happened with hardcore or whatever is things just got so ritualized that people just slipped on some clothes, or a mask, or an attitude, and that was it. it was like ‘we’ll just go to shows, dance like this, and that’s punk rock’. but for me, it’s a life thing, and if it’s going to be that, it has to be constantly moving forward, and constantly changing. if people get unsettled by what we do, i’m ready to really unsettle people’
    punk is NOT about tradition, or rituals. mosh is not punk. three chords are not punk. punk is doing what people expect you NOT to do.
    punk is cellos. punk is inviting the audience to play with you. punk is everything you think it’s not.

  5. @Brad: I think you hit it on the head….don’t get caught up in the name, get caught up in the action.

    It’s a strange loop because it’s edupunk to not want to be called edupunk.

  6. elisabeth says:

    I can see that I found an interesting time to dip my toe into edublogging- looking forward to seeing where things go!

  7. Pingback: Damn kids these days… | bavatuesdays

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