Cowpunk  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Cowpunk or Country punk is a subgenre of punk rock that began in the UK and California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines punk rock or New Wave with country music, folk music, and blues in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style. Many of the musicians in this scene have now become associated with alternative country or roots rock.

History

A 1984 New York Times article on the emerging aesthetic acknowledged cowpunk as one of several catch-all terms critics were using to categorize the country-influenced music of otherwise unrelated punk and New Wave bands. The article briefly summarized the music's history, at least in the U.S., saying that in the early 1980s, several punk and New Wave bands had begun collecting classic country records, and soon thereafter began performing high-tempo cover versions of their favorite songs, and that new bands had also formed around the idea. By 1984, there were dozens of bands in both the U.S. and England "personalizing country music and making it palatable for the MTV Generation." Examples included two UK groups—the country-tinged pop band Boothill Foot Tappers and the tongue-in-cheek New Wave outfit Yip Yip Coyote—and several U.S. bands: X, The Blasters, Meat Puppets, Rubber Rodeo (which ironically "juxtaposed countrypolitan elements and more conventional rock postures" in homage to "a pop-culture west rather than a geographic or historic one"), Rank and File (playing "an updated version of 1960s country-rock"), Jason and the Scorchers (with "authentically deep country roots"), and Violent Femmes (at that time incorporating "mountain banjo, wheezing saxophones, scraping fiddle, twanging jew's harp, and ragged vocal choruses").

Bands associated with the 1980s "Cowpunk" ethos in Los Angeles

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cowpunk" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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