Sunday, January 10, 2010

Straight edge


Straight Edge refers to a lifestyle and youth movement that started within the hardcore punk subculture whose adherents make a lifetime commitment to refrain from drinking alcohol, using tobacco products, and taking any recreational drugs. The term was coined by the 1980s hardcore punk band Minor Threat in the song "Straight Edge".

William Tsitsos writes that Straight Edge has gone through three different eras since its creation in 1980.Associated with punk rock, the early years of the Straight Edge subculture are now called the old school era.

Old School (1970s and early 1980s)

Straight Edge sentiments can be found in songs by the early-1980s band Minor Threat, directly within their song "Straight Edge"
An additional example of what may be considered a proto-straight-edge song is "Keep It Clean" by first wave English punk band The Vibrators. Singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman's early band The Modern Lovers also made a proto-straight-edge stand in the song "I'm Straight," which rejected drug use and first appeared in the compilation Troublemakers (1980). However, Straight Edge was most closely associated with punk rock, particularly the faster subgenre of hardcore punk which developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and partly characterized by shouting rather than sung vocals.Straight Edge people of this early "old school" era often associated with the original punk ideals such as individualism, disdain for work and school, and live-for-the-moment attitudes.Although Straight Edge started on the east coast of the United States in Washington D.C. and New York, it quickly spread through the US and Canada.By the 1980s, bands on the west coast of the United States, such as America's Hardcore (A.H.C.), Stalag 13, Justice League and Uniform Choice, were gaining popularity. In the early stages of this subculture’s history, concerts often consisted of non-straight-edge punk bands along with Straight Edge bands. However, circumstances soon changed and the old school era would eventually be viewed as the time "before the two scenes separated".Old school Straight Edge bands included: the Washington D.C. bands Minor Threat, State of Alert (S.O.A.), Government Issue and Teen Idles; Reno, Nevada's 7 Seconds; Boston's SSD, DYS and Negative FX; California bands as mentioned above; and New York City bands such as Cause for Alarm and The Abused.

Old School (1970s and early 1980s)

Straight Edge sentiments can be found in songs by the early-1980s band Minor Threat, directly within their song "Straight Edge"
An additional example of what may be considered a proto-straight-edge song is "Keep It Clean" by first wave English punk band The Vibrators. Singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman's early band The Modern Lovers also made a proto-straight-edge stand in the song "I'm Straight," which rejected drug use and first appeared in the compilation Troublemakers (1980). However, Straight Edge was most closely associated with punk rock, particularly the faster subgenre of hardcore punk which developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and partly characterized by shouting rather than sung vocals.Straight Edge people of this early "old school" era often associated with the original punk ideals such as individualism, disdain for work and school, and live-for-the-moment attitudes.Although Straight Edge started on the east coast of the United States in Washington D.C. and New York, it quickly spread through the US and Canada.By the 1980s, bands on the west coast of the United States, such as America's Hardcore (A.H.C.), Stalag 13, Justice League and Uniform Choice, were gaining popularity. In the early stages of this subculture’s history, concerts often consisted of non-straight-edge punk bands along with Straight Edge bands. However, circumstances soon changed and the old school era would eventually be viewed as the time "before the two scenes separated".Old school Straight Edge bands included: the Washington D.C. bands Minor Threat, State of Alert (S.O.A.), Government Issue and Teen Idles; Reno, Nevada's 7 Seconds; Boston's SSD, DYS and Negative FX; California bands as mentioned above; and New York City bands such as Cause for Alarm and The Abused.

Youth Crew (Mid 1980s)

During the youth crew era, which started in the mid 1980s, the influence of music on the Straight Edge scene seemed to be at an all-time high. The new branches of Straight Edge that came about during this era seemed to originate from ideas presented in songs. Notable youth crew bands included: Gorilla Biscuits, 7 Seconds, Judge, Bold, Youth of Today, Chain of Strength, and Slapshot.

Starting in the mid-1980s, the band Youth of Today became associated with the Straight Edge movement, and their song "Youth Crew" expressed a desire to unite the scene into a movement.
The most identifiable theme that arose during the youth crew era was an association of Straight Edge with vegetarianism. In 1988, Youth of Today released the song "No More", which initiated this new theme within the subculture. Lead singer Ray Cappo displayed his vegetarian views in the lyrics: "Meat-eating, flesh-eating, think about it. So callous this crime we commit". This began a trend of animal rights and veganism within Straight Edge that would reach its peak in the 1990s.

1990s

By the early 1990s, militant Straight Edge was a well-known presence in the scene - the term militant meaning someone who is dedicated and outspoken, but also believed to be narrow-minded, judgmental, and potentially violent.
The militant Straight Edger was characterized by less tolerance for non-straight-edge people, more outward pride in being Straight Edge, more outspokenness, and the willingness to resort to violence in order to promote clean living.

It was also around this time that veganism would become a major part of the lives of many Straight Edge individuals and was reflected by bands such as Earth Crisis and Path of Resistance that promoted militant Straight Edge and animal rights messages. From this view on militant straight edge came a more extreme variant called Hardline.

In the mid-1990s, a number of bands advocating social justice, animal liberation, veganism, and Straight Edge practices displayed a stronger metal influence. Bands from this era include Mouthpiece, Culture, Earth Crisis, Chorus of Disapproval, Undertow and Strife.

2000s

After the 1990s, some of the more controversial aspects that surrounded Straight Edge began to disappear, partly in response to media reports portraying the movement as a type of gang.
In the 2000s, Straight Edge and non-Straight Edge bands have played concerts together regularly. Both Straight Edge and non-Straight Edge people attend the concerts of such a nature. Many bands now range from a variety of styles, some having a more classic hardcore punk element, while others have a more metallic style. Some of these new era Straight Edge bands include xAFBx, Allegiance, Black My Heart, Carpathian, Casey Jones, Champion, Coke Bust, Down to Nothing, Embrace Today, The First Step, Go It Alone, Have Heart, Loud and Clear, Rhinoceros, Righteous Jams, Stick to Your Guns, Suffocate Faster, Waste Management, Throwdown, and xTyrantx.

The X symbol

The letter X is the most known symbol of Straight Edge, commonly worn as a marking on the back of both hands, though it can be displayed on other body parts as well. Some followers of Straight Edge have also incorporated the symbol into clothing and pins. According to a series of interviews by journalist Michael Azerrad, the Straight Edge "X" can be traced to the Teen Idles' brief U.S. West Coast tour in 1980.

The Teen Idles were scheduled to play at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens, but when the band arrived, club management discovered that the entire band was under the legal drinking age and therefore should be denied entry to the club. As a compromise, management marked each of the Idles' hands with a large black "X" as a warning to the club's staff not to serve alcohol to the band. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., the band suggested this same system to local clubs as a means to allow teenagers in to see musical performances without being served alcohol. The mark soon became associated with the Straight Edge lifestyle. In recent years, more music venues (and even dance clubs) have begun adopting this system.


A variation involving a trio of X's (XXX) originated in artwork created by Minor Threat's drummer, Jeff Nelson, in which he replaced the three stars in the band's hometown Washington, DC flag with X's.[
The term is sometimes abbreviated by including an X with the abbreviation of the term "Straight Edge" to give "sXe". By analogy, hardcore punk is sometimes abbreviated to "hXc". The X symbol can be used as a way to signify a band or person is Straight Edge, by adding an 'x' to the front and back, for example, the band xDEATHSTARx.


sXe

I'm a person just like you
But I've got better things to do
Than sit around and fuck my head
Hang out with the living dead
Snort white shit up my nose
Pass out at the shows
I don't even think about speed
That's something I just don't need
I've got the straight edge
I'm a person just like you
But I've got better things to do
Than sit around and smoke dope
'Cause I know I can cope
Laugh at the thought of eating ludes
Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue
Always gonna keep in touch
Never want to use a crutch

I've got the straight edge
Minor Threat::Straight Edge


more, visit wikipedia
external link:

A Straight Edge FAQ

Free Translation