Thursday, May 10, 2012

Certain Artifacts of the Post-Punk Scene

There’s nothing that makes me happier than putting on a post-punk record and drifting back to a few years before I was born. There’s no point in saying I wish I was born twenty years earlier, but I’ll say it anyway. I’ve never felt a stronger musical connection with any era than with the ‘70s punk and ‘80s post-punk scenes. So you can imagine my excitement when I clicked-through a tweet from WFMU (the renowned freeform rock station in New Jersey) and happened upon this Flickr set.

I couldn’t bookmark it at work fast enough to read at home later.

Posters and flyers are a perfect medium. They don’t tell a story; they invite you to write your own. See the flyer. Go to the show. Unless you grab a poster from the club’s wall, you probably won’t remember the flyer, but you’ll likely remember the show forever. The flyer isn’t integral to the show, of course, but if they stick around long enough, they become a nostalgic artifact that enriches the history of the music.

Out of the 200+ flyers in the set, these were my favorite:
 I couldn’t find any discernible information on this one until I had my face an inch from my screen. Searching for this information is like searching for something on a map, and what do you know, the flyer *is* a map! :) If you want to find something, you’ll look hard enough. This goes for maps and flyers.

These two flyers are amazing. They’re an accurate visual representation of the scene. Take a look at album artwork from that time, and you’ll see the connection. I’ve seen people today try and replicate this look and feel, but it always ends up feeling contrived and disingenuous. These, however, are honest and legit.

My favorite part about this poster is the outlining of “FALL” and that weird shape sitting below the “L.” Why? What would compel someone to do this? Who knows. Who wants to know? It adds to that bit of mystery so many post-punk groups engendered. It’s random, and it just works.

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