While searching to see if Kimya Dawson's work is in here, I recently came across a post that asked who is into real punk music. Then she said "there is a difference between alternative and punk". While that is true, I wound up doing two things: 1) I bemoaned the fact that the discussion board was closed, 2) I started to question what she considered actual punk. (Update: I assume that what she meant was that when Afro-Punk was made, she thought there was going to be a focus on punk rock only or the punk culture and was therefore looking down on Afro-Punk's slight attempt at false advertising. Still, I must tackle her definition of real or actual.)
To me, punk and alternative are almost one and the same. It's the concept of doing different things on your own terms. Doing whatever you want with your music, regardless of the norm. The only difference being that punk is the more outspoken and the "bravest/reckless" of the two. Any motherfucker can play a fast riff with a mohawk. What counts as punk to me is what you are doing with the music and maybe even what you are saying with it.
When I think of those who ask for real punk, I think of those who bemoan Ceremony's change in sound while signing over to Matador Records, each punk talking shit about emo bands like Dashboard Confessional (I should explain the idea of why emo fits snuggly into punk rock on a whole different blog), and each time I had to call people's bluff and tell them that the idea of punk is that there is no set protocol. If there is, break it, dammit! So, in my opinion, to ask for actual music is to say that there is a protocol that should be held to a higher pedestal than all other attempts.
Seeing as how punk was made to shock, educate, or to assert the idea of who a person is, wouldn't setting up the idea of what's real or not within the genre totally defeat the purpose of the genre, movement and so forth and so on?
In fact, this is what I can't quite stand about punk circles. You never know what they mean about something being real. What constitutes as real music to you, and who are you to really say this is it and the other is not? Punk is not just about deliverance but what is in the heart of those who make it.
My point is that on one hand, I know what she may mean by real punk, but on the other hand, I don't. There are different types saying different things.
Feel free to comment on how I am thinking too much about this below.