Monday, September 18, 2006

Menudo y El Punk

The New York Times Critic’s Notebook
‘Those Were the Days,’ the Punk Remix
Published: September 14, 2006

“Believe me, it was a lot cooler in the 80’s.” That was Steve Albini, the singer and guitarist and engineer (he hates to be called a producer), onstage in Chicago on Saturday night. The occasion was a reunion of his gloriously abrasive band Big Black. And the occasion for that was the 25th anniversary of Touch and Go Records, the beloved punk and indie label.

Nation of Ulysses spent four and a half years, from 1988 to 1992, making a brilliant racket and issuing fanciful but severe manifestos proclaiming the band to be a revolutionary youth group. The band’s first album was called “13-Point Program to Destroy America.” And the members claimed, for starters, that they abhorred sleep and were inspired by Menudo, specifically that Puerto Rican boy band’s “potential for infinitude through member replacement.”


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