PUNK ROCK is defined as: (n) A loud, fast and deliberately offensive style of rock music popularized in the mid ’70s. For all the things we criticize teenagers for; one thing is very clear … they have a very unique claim to the genesis of a very cool music genre called punk rock. Back in the day, English bands such as The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Damned and Sex Pistols made a name for this fledgling rock scene. Then, the pendulum shifted back to this side of the pond and bands like Bad Brains, Black Flag, The Cramps, Dead Kennedys, New York Dolls, The Ramones, Social Distortion, X and many others sneered at the man; and they did it with contempt. As a result, a new DIY scene, lifestyle and mindset was created in the U.S. Now in 2019, the year of the Endless Summer, it’s time to celebrate the irreverence of our youth with the 3rd annual SoCal Hoedown!
So what is it about punk rock that intrigues us so damn much? Truthfully, it can’t be nostalgia alone; that in itself can’t wish any scene into surviving. After all, it’s been nearly 40 years since John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) hipped us to the fact that there’s no future in a punker’s dream. Sadly, for a little bit there, rather than punk being a movement, it was more like a place you could find kick-ass memorabilia pieces at a museum, or part of some great stories about what happened when bands spoke out and lyrics mattered. For some odd reason, since 2016, punk rock has revitalized itself, and its followers. Maybe because there’s a ton of things going on in the world that are worth yelling and screaming about again! That’s the thing about punk rock in the good ol’ days: Those bands actually gave a shit about life in general and the world they lived in. NOW, fast forward to 2019 and life is repeating itself, at least in a very punk rock way. That’s the one thing about show promoters like Sellout Events that we can all appreciate: They put together great festival lineups, and this one has the attitude attached to it to be a legendary event.
So again, why the fascination with this genre? For many of us, we grew up in a family, town or school that seemed to be in a perpetual state of struggle. Somehow, that became a way of life and how we saw things, you know … jaded. Back then, punk rock was a way for those impacted socially and economically to express themselves; and punk rock was loyal to you. Fallout Boy frontman Pete Wentz once said, “Music never leaves you alone, and punk rock will always be there when nothing else will.” That’s the thing about anything real: Not only is it loyal, in this case, punk is more based in attitude than anything else. It’s about revolting against those who don’t think you have or deserve a voice! Those early bands took it to the status quo, and we’ve always respected them for it. Even Talking Heads frontman David Byrne once said, “Punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style.” If Byrne said it, it must be true; or, it could’ve also been that it was just really cool music. Any way you sliced it or diced it, punk rock has always been there for us, and now, punk rock is taking a front seat again at concert halls throughout the country and worldwide.
This year Sellout Events brings us its punk-psychobilly-rockabilly extravaganza to San Pedro! This festival has it all: Three stages, vendors and food for everyone to enjoy, and the bands are legendary, hard-hitting and in-your-face. The lineup includes everyone from the electrifying and bone crushing sounds of Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, Agent Orange, The Dickies, DI and The Dwarves to the alt-punk sounds of the Living End, Nekromantix, Three Bad Jacks and Deadbolt. There are also the swinging sounds of bands like The Tim Polecat Trio and Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys. These are just some of the great bands set to play the all-day festival at the Port of Los Angeles’ Berth 46.
For some, anarchy is order, and punk rock brings order to their lives. About this year’s festival, Agent Orange frontman Mike Palm recently told us, “I look forward to this show. … The bands on the lineup bring a truth and authenticity that their fans appreciate.”
Dickies guitarist Stan Lee recently said, “The band just loves to play and see the smiles on their fans’ faces. They always give their best effort just to see those smiles.” He too looks forward to playing in front of a hometown crowd.
If you want to see living history, dust off your black leather jacket, ripped jeans, creepers and bust out the pomade so you can hang out with thousands of your closest friends. You can be a witness that punk rock is alive and well and taking center stage this Saturday at the SoCal Hoedown!
SoCal Hoedown at Port of Los Angeles, Berth 46, 3011 Miner St., San Pedro; socalhoedown.com. Sat., 11 a.m. $40 (general admission; all ages; $70 (VIP; 21+); $120 (VIP + viewing deck; 21+).