Punk Rock Culture In Different Countries
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Arts Entertainment

You Probably Know About Punk Rock In The U.S. And In The U.K., But It Reached As Far As Indonesia And Sweden As Well

The punk scene in Indonesia was very much like that of New York and London. It was and still is a large part of its cosmopolitan culture. This is because, without a welfare system, Indonesian citizens are left to live on the street.

People throwing their hands into the air at a rock concert

The Velvet Underground and The New York Dolls started in New York but it wasn't until 1973 that the home of punk rock opened its doors. CBGB was the venue to start it all. In the Bowery District of New York City, bands from all over would come together and perform what would soon be labeled as punk rock.

Television was the first band Hilly Kristal hired to perform at his bar, only allowing them to play if they built the stage that many iconic bands after them would perform on. Then came The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, and Patti Smith who are only a handful of bands to perform at CBGB and originated in New York. While other American bands like The Stooges and The Dead Boys from Michigan and Ohio respectively would take the journey to CBGB.

The punk scene in the U.K. started in London at Malcolm McLaren's clothing store named SEX. This is where stereotypical punk fashion originated. First McLaren tried to reinvent the style of The New York Dolls in order to sell his clothing, according to the article "The History and Evolution of Punk Rock Music." But that did not go over well, leading him to find a new band, The Sex Pistols and from there the punk scene in the U.K. was born. Then came The Bromley Contingent, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, Generation X, Police, and Siouxsie and The Banshees.

In Los Angeles, California punks met up at Al's Bar, which was their version of CBGB according to the article "Raise A Glass For Al's Bar—It's Last Call." With bands such as The Dead Kennedys, The Descendents, The Go-Go's, and Bad Religion all originating from California during its punk scene. Later bands like Green Day and Blink 182 would emerge to bring pop punk music to the masses.

The punk scene in Indonesia was very much like that of New York and London. It was and still is a large part of its cosmopolitan culture. This is because, without a welfare system, Indonesian citizens are left to live on the street, as said in the article "Indonesia's Radical Underground Punk Scene." This left many young people angry, making punk the perfect outlet. It allowed them to fight back, to challenge their government through their lyrics. Some noteworthy bands are Superman Is Dead, Total Idiot, Netral, and Superiors.

The Horseshoe Tavern was Canada's version of CBGB, according to the article "Revisiting Toronto's Forgotten 70s Punk Scene." It was a home for misfits to find other misfits with Canadian punk bands like Teenage Head and The Government performing there. The Horseshoe Tavern is still an up and running venue for rock bands. Canada is also home to the pop-punk band Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne.

Brazil had their own underground punk scene as well. With bands like Colera, Lobotomy, Rad Esquerda, Armageddon, Dead Fish, and Mercenarias finding inspiration in The Ramones and The Sex Pistols. The Feminist Riot Grrrl movement also made it here, through the magazine "Melody Maker" according to the article "Riot Grrrl Movement In Brazil: Differences And Continuities Of The Original Subculture." Because of this, more women became active participants of the punk scene in Brazil.

Sweden's punk rock scene laid more on the hardcore side of punk. With bands like Ebba Gron, Dia Psalma, Asta Kask, and Mob 47 not having the same ammunition to drive their lyrics like in Indonesia, but still being as vulgar as The Sex Pistols. This is because Sweden had a "rather well-off middle class" according to the article "Sweden Punk Finally Sells Out." But they didn't let the fact that their lives were going pretty well stop them from making music to protest social injustice.

Australia's punk rock scene was brought to life when they heard the new kind of music being created in New York and London. They found inspiration from Iggy Pop, The Cure, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols. Their home venue was The Seaview Ballroom (aka The Crystal Ballroom because of its large crystal chandler) but what was different in Melbourne was that the venues closed around 11 pm according to "The History Of The Melbourne Punk Scene." This left everyone to gather at nearby parks to keep the music flowing. The Saints, Radio Birdman, The Missing Links, The Creatures, and Little Murderers are just a handful of Australian punk rock bands.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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