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86 Segments




Punk Rock Actress, Edie Massey.

Edie Massey is an actress known for her eccentric roles in John Waters' films. She has appeared in "Pink Flamingos" "Multiple Maniacs," and "Polyester." She was discovered by the director in a Baltimore bar, and she also runs a thrift store, "Edith's Shopping Bag," in the city. Massey also heads a punk act and is performing in Philadelphia tonight. She plays a mixture of Connie Francis and Four Seasons' songs, as well as originals.


The "True" Fathers of Punk.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles The Stooges, A Detroit group that was pioneered punk, even before the famed British punk bands.


The "Real" Standells.

Rock historian Ed Ward will profile The Standells. Their big hit was titled "Dirty Water." The group's name surfaced in the news recently when someone tried to impersonate Dick Dodd, the group's leader in an Austin, Texas nightclub.


Poetry and Music of "The Blank Generation."

Poet Richard Hell. He moved to New York City in the 70s, intending to concentrate on poetry. But he was drawn to the emerging punk rock scene and quickly became one of its best known acts with his band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. He later landed roles in the films "Smithereens" and "Desperately Seeking Susan." He is writing poetry again, editing the new poetry journal Cuz, and running the poetry programs at the St. Marks Poetry Project.


Influential Punk Rockers The Buzzcocks.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles The Buzzcocks, a British punk group that had more influence on the British punk scene than better-known bands like The Sex Pistols. The band was based in Manchester and had an even grittier veneer than that of the notorious London punk bands.


Ken Tucker: The Interview.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker. It's another in the continuing series of interviews with Fresh Air's contributors. Ken tells us how a frustrated college poet found himself in crowded clubs listening to punk bands and being paid for it.


The "Decline" of Aging Rockers

Part I of Terry Gross's interview with filmmaker Penelope Spheeris. Spheeris talks about her new movie, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: the Metal Years, a documentary about the heavy metal scene. She thinks stereotypes of the inarticulate and unskilled metal musicians are unfair -- though it's often true that they embrace a drug-fueled, self-destructive lifestyle.


At the Forefront of Ramones Mania

The Queens-based punk band has a new disc compiling some of their best tracks. Frontman Joey Ramone joins Fresh Air to discuss how the group formed, the punk attitude, and the changing sounds of popular music.


Author Dennis Cooper on Sex and Death

Cooper says his new novel Closer -- which features explicit depictions of sex acts -- is meant to disturb, but not shock or arouse. While honing in on the experiences of gay men, Cooper sidesteps the issue of AIDS; he says sexuality generates enough anxiety on its own.


Two of the L. A. Music Scene's Most Interesting Acts.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new albums from Los Angeles groups. The first is the debut album from Mary's Danish, a band that Ken says combines the roughness of punk with a sense of melody and humor. The other is the latest solo album from Don Henley, a former member of the Eagles.


When Punk Rock Erupted in London.

Rock historian Ed Ward looks back to the dawn of the British punk scene, and the creation of acts such as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Billy Idol, and Siouxie and the Banshees.


From "Warsaw" to "Joy Division" to "New Order."

Rock and roll historian Ed Ward traces the development of the band "New Order." In 1977, a 21-year-old in Manchester, England saw the Sex Pistols and decided to form his own band. He called it "Joy Division." In the decade since, the band, now called "New Order," evolved to become one of the most influential of their time, with such hits as "True Faith" and "Bizarre Love Triangle."


The Mekons Remain Fresh on Their New Album.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from the Mekons (pronounced MEE-kons). The Mekons formed in England at the height of the punk movement. Their musical style embraces punk, country, reggae and just about everything else. The one unifying theme in their music is politics, particularity the politics of the music industry. The new album is called "The Mekons Rock 'n' Roll."


When Punk and Jamaican Music Met.

Rock historian Ed Ward traces the history of 2 Tone, a musical movement that started in industrial England in the late 70's. It was started by groups like The Specials, the Selecter, the Beat, and Madness, playing ska, a form of pre-reggae Jamaican music.


Japanese Popular Music, Part 2: The Influence of Punk.

World music commentator Milo Miles explores the continuing influence of punk rock on Japanese music in the second of his two-part examination of Japanese pop music. Milo looks at two Japanese groups -- The Plastics and The Frank Chickens.


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