Text and photos by David Ensminger
The photo exhibit and film revue (a sizzling array of both reel-to-reel and video including the Huns, Boy Problems, The Avengers, Sonic Youth, and Butthole Surfers) curated by Bill Daniel at Gallery Homeland in Houston, TX this past weekend represented a punk landscape of molten memory rarely equaled in American chronicles of punk’s visual history. As a fundraising event for his proposed book The Texas Punk Problem, Daniel was sincere and succinct at the helm, describing his quest to produce a catalog of photographs that truly portray the inclusive, inchoate, and indelible style of Texas punk, indie, and underground music roughly from the first half of Ronald Reagan’s tumultuous 1980s. Punk in Texas was always partly a homespun, DIY adventure, removed from the titanic egos and squabbles, media and machinations, of the two urban coasts that dominated the public’s imagination of punk style mongering and disruptive content. Yet, it was just as potent, just as pithy, and just as propulsive as any music produced during the heyday of crinkled Xerox flyers, tattered combat boots, unkempt bandanas, and torn T-shirts.
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