Monday, November 22, 2010

Please Don't Hang Out In Front of the House

Aaron from Attica! Attica! has put together a compilation of songs to celebrate house shows in response to the co-opting of the DIY scene that was recently started by Red Bull's "Noise Complaint" contest/show in New Brunswick, New Jersey. We put together a song for the comp called "D.I.Why?" which is our feelings and response to the not-so-surprising co-opting of the DIY punk scene by a major corporation like Red Bull and how we need to focus more on safe spaces that are welcoming to all and deviate away from "scenes" that are limiting. Below I've listed the lyrics and what Charlene had to say about them. You can download the compilation HERE.

"I used to feel alone here
just trying to get by
one fist up, one head down
to fight and then to cry
I used to feel like a stranger
people I thought I knew
‘til I saw what they believed in
heard the language they that used
I used to think I wouldn’t make it
as I’d wait for things to change
but I’m tired of waiting
and the despair it creates

why do you do it yourself
when you can build with me
with him or her
working collectively
let’s book our own shows
and let’s play on the streets
and share what we’ve got
with our community

I used to feel like I was dying
and becoming who I hate
one day I was all right another I cried
then it started again
I used to feel so helpless
before I learned what we could make
the greatest strength of humanity
is the power to change
I know that we’re all trying
we keep growing constantly
spend some sober nights alone
take ourselves seriously

why do you do it yourself
when you can build with me
with him or with her
working collectively
learning from our neighbors
moving beyond scenes
to create the safe spaces
that everyone needs"

“Overall, the song is about both the potential and limitations of the “do it yourself” scene. As a queer woman, the D.I.Y. punk scene can feel unwelcoming and patriarchal; and as people interested in movement-building and radical spaces, we sometimes get frustrated by the failure of punks to actually participate in direct actions and popular education. The song calls on D.I.Y. punks to focus less on the individualist mantra “do it yourself” and to instead work towards building together, working collectively, and creating truly radical, diverse, and welcoming spaces for everyone—not just punks.” - Charlene

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