the rotten boys

Anna Boghiguian, A Play to Play, 2013,
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By CIRO SEIJI*

Considerations on the trajectory of the punk rock band from ABC Paulista

Describing the punk protest at its birth, in the eighties in São Paulo and especially in the ABC region of São Paulo is difficult because the word “protest” does not fit as a manifest political act. The shock strategy was not one of conscious rupture, it wasn't just carefully torn clothes or nappa coats full of rivets and graffiti, it had the ridiculous and anti-aesthetic as a component, it had the stench and war of garbage, cachaça and improvised drugs, it even had a punk who walked around in flip-flops under a boot without a sole, I think they called him the carrion general.

rotten boys it was one of those bands that talked about working class struggle, but also ridiculed Batman as pimping Batgirl, and performed comically on stage as if nothing would come of it. Not for any other reason had chosen the worst possible name for a band that was born not to be successful.

After all, the musical success he was playing was related to an instrumental virtuosity and a joy that could not be seen anywhere behind the soot and fog of the train tracks. The Odara hippies sang “Alá, meu only you, no azul da Estrela”, this was the domesticated MPB that played on the radio. We hated it with all our might.

If there was one thing that was born to fail, it was punk rock from São Paulo, which was regurgitated by an avant-garde with no musical or literary tradition. The only thing that was essential was a mocking, violent and raw nihilism. Not without reason punk rock must have been the only aesthetic that didn't sell. Its successors yes, new-wave, and post-punk bands sold t-shirts, hairstyles and even gave a new definition to the word "goth". Before thinking of cathedrals with stained glass windows that end in a pointed arch, remember Eduardo Scissorhand, look at the capital selling depression as aesthetics.

The economic unfeasibility of punk is blatant and is open to the fact that Mau and his band rotten boys release the music video "antifa hooligans” in a concert hall that has already said goodbye to the city several times.[I] Probably one of the last venues where basically punk rock is played and in contrast there are dozens of bars full tonight in São Paulo, where another musical genre contemporary to punk, metal, is more musically elaborate in the sense that a rocker Adorno would classify as the busy listener in naming instrumental virtuosity as the center of his consumption habit.

Nothing against the working-class origin of Black Sabbath whose guitarist had lost his fingertips to a machine, but the genre took off from the industrial suburbs of Birmingham into the culture industry like any millionaire hippie band that sells love, love, love. Anyway, how to fight capital getting rich?

Oh! and why football?[ii] Where else does the bourgeois order still allow us to get together to fight?

*Ciro Seiji is a technologist, visual artist, poet and lyricist.

 

Notes


[I]Hangar 110 is a traditional rock nightclub located at Rua Rodolfo Miranda, 110, in the Bom Retiro neighborhood, in the Central Zone of São Paulo.

[ii]According to the band's page:antifa hooligans was composed by the Italian band Los Fastidios, the fantastic melody of antifa hooligans it has become a classic for all those who today side with the resistance against fascism. Here in Brazil, the 2016 and 2018 coups led Brazil to a government that never hid its fascist inspiration, and that daily threatens the Brazilian people with a military coup. Faced with this tragic reality, we Bad Boys we place ourselves next to the trenches of humanity's defense against the darkness of fascist barbarism! Through this version of antifa hooligans, we try to honor not only the “Los Fastidios” (and also the band The Oppressed, who recorded an exquisite version of this song) but mainly to all those who resist Fascism!!”.

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