reflections from the southeast PA rural underground

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oh Where, Oh Where Can Jah Love Be Found?

My dear, it's here in the Underground.

Inside the hearts of your own children.”

--from the song, House of Suffering

--Paul D. Hudson aka. H.R. (Human Rights), Bad Brains

Punk has taken many forms over the years. Starting mostly in England as out-and-out physical and mental rebellion against all forms of the status quo cultural norms, authority figures and economic inequality. A muscular, often filthy, angry, F!@# YOU! kind of punk with roots in the working class struggles as much as angsty teen boredom with all manner of mainstreamness. Read: WHITE RIOT.

Like any movement though, meanings and attitudes change. Punk has been no different. Having taken on religious themes during the late 1980's and transformed into very sellable 'pop punk' in the 90s (some would say punk had died a commercial death) the evolution over those first 25 years was just as varied as any other art form. Always and forever at the heart of America's punk rock scene or more specifically, the American born version known as hardcore punk, were the Bad Brains. A truly original blend of reggae and blistering, 10-times-faster-than-anything-else punk music. Add to that a big old helping of professionally trained jazz fusion musicianship and you get the idea.

From 1977 till now and beyond to whatever future they create, almost no band compares in scope, authenticity, and sheer powerful energy that encapsulates all that punk ever was and will be. With themes of charity, DIY, Rasta, and the ideal of a hardcore/punk community thriving against the heavy weight of an always profiteering mainstream art and music world, the Brains have kept on their rocky-at-times pilgrimage to Jah's Mt. Zion. Long live hardcore. Long live the youth nation.

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