Punk’s not dead

Do you like punk rock? How about feminism? Local Winnipeg history? If you do, then holy moly, get ready for a treat.

I know it’s probably bad form for me to use my short word count to toot The Uniter’s own horn, as the idiom goes. But I’m just really excited about this week’s cover feature. Arts and culture editor Cierra Bettens does a deep dive on women’s role in the history of Winnipeg’s vibrant punk scene, going back to the early days of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I spent my teenage years thumbing through the indexes of books like Steven Blush’s American Hardcore to glean as much as I could about the mysterious world of early punk, thumbing through old punk 7”s at War on Music or Music Trader and scouring the pre-YouTube internet in search of scratchy, hissing mp3 files of songs captured from long out-ofprint records and cassettes. Finding information about early punk in general was difficult, but finding material from local bands of that era was next to impossible, unless you happened to know someone who knew someone who knew a 50-year-old ex-punk.

Today, we live with an embarrassment of riches, where the discographies of bands like Die Kruzen and MDC are just a Spotify search away, and even Winnipeg pioneers like Stretch Marks can be found on streaming services. My hope is that this exceptional bit of reporting by Cierra can add to that tapestry.

Published in Volume 76, Number 05 of The Uniter (October 7, 2021)

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