1. Pussy Riot
The women of Pussy Riot are being used as examples to the Russian people as to how the government will deal with dissenting voices, while the group, which quite possibly will herald in the second coming of riot grrrl, has vowed to continue its political activism.
A few short weeks later, he was followed by Michael Davis of the influential punk band MC5, who passed away at 68 due to liver failure. In addition to his unmistakeable contributions to punk rock while in the MC5, Davis was also a member of Destroy All Monsters. However, the band had a wildly fluctuating lineup over the course of its existence, and Kelley and Davis were not members at the same time.
In July, No Use for a Name frontman, Tony Sly passed away in his sleep at the age of 41. Sly had been a member of No Use for a Name since 1987, and the band had been a staple on the pop punk scene, with a slot on the first Vans Warped Tour. More recently, Sly had launched a solo acoustic career beginning the release of is album 12-Song Program.
December saw the passing of longtime and prolific Bay Area musician and activist Sarah Kirsch from the rare genetic disorder Fanconi Anemia. Kirsch had been a longtime member of Bay Area punk bands, both as Sarah and as Mike (the name she lived under before coming out as transgender), including Baader Brains, Fuel, Torches to Rome, Bread and Circuits and punk rock supergroup Pinhead Gunpowder (where Kirsch's bandmate was Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong). She was 42.
We would like to extend condolences to the friends, families and bandmates of all our deceased punk brethren.
The band was charged with insulting the king and found guilty, for which each member was fined 900 euros. And while it's a more civilized verdict than that faced by punks in other countries, it still sends a message about the intolerance of the Spanish government for political expression.
Not only did Lydon's refusal mean that his band wouldn't perform at the program entitled A Symphony of British Music, it helped ensure that no punk band would fill that slot, with the closest representative of the era being a performance by Madness.
While Smith's history is tied to the punk scene, it's in name only. Since its inception, the white power movement in punk has been a blight on the scene. A sound and a scene that was created in order to provide refuge for a disenchanted youth, punk is about inclusion, and racist bands and ideals have little room. As everyone likes to say what is and isn't punk with varying effectiveness, I think it's safe to say that white power ideals really aren't punk.
The reasons for the departure were due to the stress of being on tour and trying to be a father, as filmed in the documentary The Other F Word, which did a good job capturing Lindberg's attempt to be a father and frontman, and feeling like he couldn't do both. Now it appears that he has reached some sort of internal compromise, and announced that he's back.
Andrew WK revealed that he was a member of the "Brony" subculture - grown men who are fans of My Little Pony. Considering himself to be "the living embodiment of the positive, party pony, Pinkie Pie," he did a motivational speech at anterlot Gardens in Ohio, during a My Little Pony fan convention.
While I wasn't there, I'm sure a nation of My Little Pony fans learned to party hard that day.