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Pow! to the People: The Make-Up's Reorganization of Punk Rhetoric

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The mainstreaming of punk rock in the 1990s was disheartening to artists and fans committed to punk's radical political ethos. This paper examines the rhetorical response to punk's popularization in this era, focusing on how the DC-area band, the Make-Up, reorganized the common sense of punk by articulating it to the musical and social elements of gospel and funk. Analysis of the "repertoires for rhetorical living" that result from this juxtaposition of musical discourses leads to the conclusion that the Make-Up offers a transformed understanding of what may count as authentic in punk, reorganizing authenticity, political commitments, and identity around a collectivist subject position. The ethical implications of the Make-Up's ironic appropriations of black culture also are considered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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