Opening up the pit: Negotiating a punk ethos with PUP | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2044-1983
  • E-ISSN: 2044-3706

Abstract

What does it mean to be punk within the Canadian music industry? This article offers a close reading of the band PUP’s politics, grassroots partnerships and personal interviews to argue that they not only skew punk in genre terms, but also embody a punk ethos. Furthermore, this article will confront the ambivalent politics of punk as it becomes entangled with cultural nationalism and national identity-building through institutional arts funding and awards. If punk is about resisting the establishment, how might we reconcile PUP’s reputation as a definitively ‘Canadian’ band with their outspokenness around issues ranging from anti-Black racism to police violence to ongoing colonialism? In what ways might PUP’s leftist politics be absorbed into Canada’s national identity through their receipt of institutional recognition, funding and awards? To make sense of these entanglements, we draw on Tavia Nyong’o’s punk or punk’d theory, which responds to the apparent reification of queer theory and calls on scholars to cultivate a punk spirit. Following Nyong’o and other punk scholars, we ask: is PUP punk’ing the Canadian music machine?

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2022-06-01
2024-05-19
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