Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson Is Wrong About Punk

Todd Owyoung for the Riverfront Times. Full slideshow here.
Bruce Dickinson rules. He's the greatest singer for one of the greatest bands of all time, Iron Maiden. But recently, he unleashed some pretty charged words in an interview with The Guardian. In addition to dropping one of the most incredible quotations ever, "fame is the excrement of creativity," he also said a few harsh words about punk rock, referring to it as rubbish and saying that the lack of talent in punk was an excuse to call it performance art. He goes on to state, "Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: 'What a fucking bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money and we'll fuck off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.'"

Not totally untrue. The problem, however, lies in his words that immediately follow that thought:

See also: Six Punk Bands We Don't Need To Talk About Anymore

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Grading Nirvana's Hall of Fame Lead Singers: Lorde, St. Vincent, Joan Jett, and Kim Gordon

Credits, clockwise from upper left: Tony Nelson, publicity photo, publicity photo, Steve Cohen
Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Joan Jett, Lorde, and Kim Gordon

Ahead of Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week, rumors swirled about the band's frontman for the ceremony. Any vocalist they chose would inevitably -- and unfairly -- face comparisons to Kurt Cobain, but a curveball flew in as four frontwomen took the mic.

Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent's Annie Clark, and Lorde all brought their own distinctive vocal talents to the four-song set that closed down the induction ceremony at Barclays Center. The choice was an affectionate nod to Cobain's career-long dedication to women's rights and causes, and shook up the night.

But how did these women fare singing four Nirvana anthems that in many ways defined a generation of music fans? We graded the results.

See also: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is Worthless

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Six Punk Bands We Don't Need To Talk About Anymore

Press Photo
We really, really don't need to discuss Social Distortion. Really.
I have an embarrassing tendency to bait people into conversations where I just talk about cool things I am doing. Surprise, right? While it likely stems from being bored with hearing of the mundane achievements of others (babies, crappy jobs, cars), there is a part of me that figures it must stem from some sort of deep-seated masochism--the same way I used to force myself to watch My Super Sweet 16. Without fail, the conversation switches to traveling, music, or some other trite nonsense and the question arises:

"Oh, what kind of band are you in?"

See also: Controversy Surrounds Punk Plaque Hanging in Niagra

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Sebadoh Talk Loss and Love on Defend Yourself


The onset of age can devolve into a rapid spiral of emotions, among them cynicism and panic. It's human to reach a certain age when, alone with fading memories in hand, you're forced to take stock of your experiences and regrets, accept them, and figure out how things will be better moving forward.

Dinosaur Jr. bassist and Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow speaks of his life, at this moment, as a still point in time. Over Skype, the 47-year-old's tone is reflective, yet confident.

See also: Dinosaur Jr. Are Living All Over Again

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Blondie's Debbie Harry Has Some Advice for Miley Cyrus

Debbie Harry is about pulling off the impossible. Her vocal performances shouldn't work: how can you sound distant and intimate at the same time? You can't, and definitely not in a pop song. Yet Harry does. Her stage persona--the untouchable glamor girl who still shows every ounce of her vulnerability--should be a train wreck (file under "Love, Courtney"). Instead, the front woman's presence has helped propel a four-decade career for Blondie. Pop music owes this band a lot. The new wave pioneers spent a decade in the 70s and 80s experimenting with an eclectic mix of musical styles like disco, hip-hop, and reggae, inviting the predictable wrath of punk's self-appointed bore brigade. But it's hardly an exaggeration that Blondie opened up more lanes for more artists than any New York band since The Velvets. And they're not stopping. Friday sees the band complete an 18-city tour with fellow path-breakers X, at the Roseland Ballroom, and then it's back to the studio to complete their 10th album, tentatively titled Ghosts of Download and due out next year. We sat down with Harry to talk about sexual personas, World Beat, and what "selling out" really means.

See also: Week in Review: A Collection of Preposterously Foxy Debbie Harry Photos

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Ben Weasel Punched Two Women, So Why Do I Still Want to Watch His Band?

Known asshole Ben Weasel
Remember that time Screeching Weasel's singer Ben Weasel lost his freakin' mind onstage and punched, not one, but two women? On camera? And very obviously on purpose? And then had to be held back by his bandmates and pushed backstage to stop him from attacking anyone else? It was pretty much the only memorable thing that happened at 2011's SXSW, so you probably do.

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Two Man Advantage Bring Hardcore Punk Back to Sunday Afternoons in the Bowery

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Two Man Advantage
Once upon a time, Sunday afternoons in the Bowery would come alive with the sounds of the hardest of hardcore bands as part of CBGB's matinee series. While it's been close to a decade since the venue closed its doors, hardcore punk returns to Sunday afternoons this weekend with a killer line-up at The Bowery Electric. Everyone's favorite hockey-obsessed punk rockers Two Man Advantage celebrate the release of their new album Dynasty alongside Stigma's latest For Love & Glory and No Redeeming Social Value marking their 25th anniversary together. We spoke to Two Man Advantage's guitarist Captain on reuniting hardcore punk with Sunday afternoons and touring last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

See also: The Men Get Out of the Gutter

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Too Much Johnny Business: 14 New Punk Combos Pick Their Favorite Tracks By Birthday Boy Johnny Thunders

So many years later, and still most musicians in the trashy rock'n'roll underbelly can't shake that Ramones rush. In fact, there has been a Rockaway Beach-like surf rolling in for the past couple years; boffo bands from all over have their debt to the four leather-clad lads instantly assessed, in that charming/jarring way where you realize the Ramones are kind of like the Garden of Eden story, fossil fuel burning, and pizza—they won't go away anytime soon.

But if this new round of trash-punk bands digs the Ramones, the even earlier influence of the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders (not to mention his Heartbreakers and solo efforts) is just as dominant—especially given that the fun androgyny and mascara-stained sleaze the Dolls added to punk's DNA often shadows the "one-two-three-four" calls. And hey, it's Johnny Thunders' birthday—he would have turned 60 today, and there's a party honoring his legacy tonight at Bowery Electric. (He died in 1991 at age 36.) We asked new groups that are flying the fishnet flag to list their favorite New York Dolls and/or Johnny jams.

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No Age Play Death By Audio Tonight


They will play your House of Vans, serenade your New Museums, climb around your Bowery Ballrooms. But LA-based dream-punk brothers No Age always find time for the little people, headlining your skate shops, your auto-parts-store attics, your Market Hotel opening ceremonies (RIP). They will do so again tonight, as the just-announced quote-unquote secret guest at Williamsburg's dearly beloved DIY space Death By Audio, before the duo runs through an Eastern string of all-age shows. Pterodactyl and the Zulus open the $10 bill. And please, kindly, observe the management's request and don't line up outside before 8pm. DBA also stands for Don't Be an Asshole.

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Ian MacKaye Spoke At The Opening Of UCBeast On Saturday Night

Saturday night marked the opening of UCBeast—the Upright Citizens Brigade's East Village outpost, located at East Third Street between A and B—and among the people offering up monologues that evening was one Ian MacKaye. According to friend of SOTC Andrew Krucoff, who was on hand, "Ian could take any suggestion and quickly run it through his Google mind search to pick a club/bar/venue space with same name, and roll a story from that." Among the stories offered up by the DIY legend: the tale of Fear's 1981 Saturday Night Live performance, which was full of slam-dancing and general chaos and which resulted in overheated New York Post pieces overestimating the damage. A clip of that 30-years-old-this-week performance by the LA punkers after the jump. (That's apparently MacKaye yelling "New York suuuuucks!" at the four-minute mark, by the way.)

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