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issue #1

“New Pop! Manifesto
“As our teen-bongo, Space Age counter-culture becomes infiltrated by wimpoid TV “mop tops” in skinny ties and leather pants, it becomes apparent that the bland sameness of the pop suprastructure is with us once again. Once-adventurous bands who now opt for major label contracts are immediately becoming the robot-slaves of a system that is interested in one thing only – money. Believe me, wealthy biz-execs who sit in their air-conditioned penthouses are not contemplating anarchy and invention. Likewise, the machine-like organizations they work for could care less about new sounds or new cultural heroes.
“We must recognize the fact that BIG BEAT music (next to TV) is the dominant cultural force of our time. When people buy a record, they are not only plugging into the music, but into the values & lifestyles that are implied by that artist. By supporting huge New Hollywood music corporations, you (yes, you) are not only allowing middle-aged capitalists to dictate what goes over the airwaves, but you are giving them the go-ahead to promote macho pig-fuck bands whose entire lifestyle revolves around cocaine, sexism, money and more money. The ‘80s need new sounds, but just as importantly, they need new cultural heroes.
“Only by supporting new ideas by local artists, bands, and record labels can the U.S. expect any kind of dynamic social/cultural change in the 1980s. This is because the mass homogenization of our culture is due to the claustrophobic centralization of our culture. We need diverse, regionalized, localized approaches to all forms of art, music, and politics. It is important to remember that bands like Pere Ubu, B-52’s, Specials, DEVO, Patti Smith, the Voidoids, the Romantics and Elvis Costello all started on independent labels; and we all know that fat, cigar-smoking dough-boys at Warner Bros. Didn’t give a fuck about these bands until they realized there was a profit involved.
“A few of the aforementioned bands have been able to maintain a sense of strength and adventurousness since becoming employees of major corporations. Others have definitely not (drop dead Patti). The important thing to remember is this: the most intense music, the most original ideas…are coming out of scenes you don’t even know exist. Tomorrow’s pop is being realized today on small decentralized record labels that are interested in taking risks, not making money.”
Subterranean Pop, issue #1, Introduction