Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


“Punk” makes good


Imagine my delight — and astonishment — at seeing Pere Ubu written up in today’s LA Times.

The headline of the piece attaches the band to punk music, which I think is unfortunate. Whatever the definition of “punk” now, it does more to limit than to explain. If The Clash and Elvis Costello and Husker Du and the Sex Pistols and Pere Ubu are or were all “punk,” then I surely don’t know what it is. First and foremost, through all its incarnations, Pere Ubu always has been a band, a band with a particular (though evolving) sound, and that sound has little to do with anyone we think of as “punk.” I understand the need of the human brain to confine things to groupings, but it’s unfortunate when groupings remove subtle shades of difference.

That quibble aside, I’m delighted to see the band in today’s newspaper.

Leave a Reply