Steven Blush is an American author, journalist, record collectorand film maker who is best known for his book American Hardcore and the movie of the same name. Blush has written five books, is the founder of Seconds magazine and has written articles for many magazines. Two of his books have been made into movies. Blush's work mainly specializes in hardcore punk music.
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.
A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.
Record collecting is the hobby of collecting sound recordings, usually of music and/or the "spoken word", but, in some cases, even of other recorded sounds. Although the typical focus is on vinyl records, all formats of recorded music can be collected.
Blush grew up in a Jewishfamily in suburban New Jersey. He would travel into the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City with his father who owned a print shop there. In New York he would frequent music bars like CBGB and the Lismar Lounge and stores like Trash and Vaudeville. He witnessed the start of bands like the Ramones and Talking Heads and he found that he enjoyed small scale shows like that over larger shows like Led Zeppelin. He spent some time in England where he discovered UK punk bands like the Clash and Sham 69. He moved to Washington, D.C. to attend George Washington University, with a view to becoming a lawyer, but that changed when he saw his first Black Flag concert there, which lead to his getting involved with hardcore, working with bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, the Circle Jerks and the Dead Kennedys. he briefly managed the noise band No Trend.
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.
The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, roughly located between the Bowery and the East River, and Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.
Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Blush was a DJ for the college radio station and would play hardcore bands on the air. He booked his first show through the radio station, booking the Dead Kennedys to play in the college cafeteria.After graduation, he returned to New York where he would DJ in many clubs in the city.
Currently Blush is a regular speaker at talk shows and events like the CMJ in New York.
CMJ Holdings, Corp. was a music events and online media company which ran a website, hosted an annual festival in New York City, and published CMJ New Music Monthly.
Even though Blush had no experience as a journalist, he started writing articles for magazines such as Spin, Details and Kerrang! . His first assignment was an interview with local hardcore band, the Cro-mags.He was the senior editor at Paper and he started his own magazine called Seconds, where his interviews included Glenn Danzig of the Misfits. Forty-five of Blush's interviews, conducted over his 18 years with Seconds magazine, were compiled into a book called .45 Dangerous Minds: The Most Intense Interviews From Seconds Magazine (The Art of the Interview). He has also written for Vice, High Times , The Village Voice and Interview
Spin is an American music magazine founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. The magazine stopped running in print in 2012 and currently runs as a webzine, owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group division of Valence Media.
Details was an American monthly men's magazine published by Condé Nast, founded in 1982 by Annie Flanders. Though primarily a magazine devoted to fashion and lifestyle, Details also featured reports on relevant social and political issues. In November 2015 Condé Nast announced that the magazine would cease publication with the issue of December 2015/January 2016.
Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to rock music and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.
After moving on from Seconds magazine, Blush decided to chronicle his hardcore musical journey in a book.He started writing the book, American Hardcore, in the mid-1990s when bands like Green Day and The Offspring were popular. He saw a documentary titled The History of Rock and Roll on PBS, which he described as going "straight from the Sex Pistols and Clash (I believe it mentions X) to Nirvana, as if this decade had never happened. It was like the untold story of rock." Blush said that hardcore was like a "dirty little secret that nobody really talked about when it came to music." The book is Blush's first hand account of the hardcore music scene from 1980-1986 and it exposed the punk rock underground lifestyle to a more mainstream audience, revealing it as an alternative to what many considered the life of a "rock star".
Green Day is an American rock band formed in 1986 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt. For much of the band's career, they have been a trio with drummer Tré Cool, who replaced John Kiffmeyer in 1990 prior to the recording of the band's second studio album, Kerplunk (1991).
The Offspring is an American rock band from Garden Grove, California, formed in 1984. Originally formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band has consisted of lead vocalist and guitarist Bryan "Dexter" Holland, bassist Greg K., guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada since 2007. Over the course of their 35-year career, they have released nine studio albums and experienced lineup changes, most noticeably with their drummers. Their longest-serving drummer was Ron Welty, who replaced original drummer James Lilja in 1987, and stayed with the band for 16 years; he was replaced by Atom Willard in 2003, and then four years later by Pete Parada.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing series such as American Experience, America's Test Kitchen, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Downton Abbey, Finding Your Roots, Frontline, The Magic School Bus, Masterpiece, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Nature, Nova, the PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street, and This Old House.
The Punknews.org review said that Blush "attempted and made a really good effort to cover every scene from every area around the country."The A.V. Club said is "absolutely essential reading"
In 2006 a movie version of the book was produced, which included interviews with bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains.The Dead Kennedys and Misfits declined to participate. The file was an official selection of both the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.
Blush's second book, American Hair Metal, was written partially to buck conformity.Blush discovered hair metal through the band Cinderella. Even though he was a "punk dude", he appreciated their "majestic bluesy groove". Other bands covered in the book include Britny Fox, Danger Danger, Roxx Gang, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, and Nitro.
Spin said: "In the '80s, before decorum was invented, we liked our rockers flammably coiffed. Author Steven Blush's 'American Hair Metal' remembers that era with philosophical quips from Poison and Mötley Crüe."
Lost Rockers profiles the lives of certain artists and musicians who almost made it to the big time but did not. These folks knew all the right people, etc. but somehow they never crossed the line into stardom and are largely now forgotten.
In 2017 a movie was made of the book.
New York Rock chronicles the music of the city, starting with the rise of the Velvet Underground in 1966, to the closing of the CBGB bar in 2006, some 40 years later. Blush chose those milestones because he believed the Velvet Underground where the first rock and roll band to appeal to "adult sensibilities", and because he felt that the end of CBGB marked the end of an era.
In a review for The Big Takeover , critic James Mann said that Blush has "brought together a wealth of history charting the rise of rock and roll in the Big Apple".The Kirkus Review described the book as a "brisk overview of New York City's rock 'n' roll tradition, from doo-wop to hard core, mirroring the city’s transformations. Writing for AM New York , Hal Bienstock said: "Author, promoter and DJ Steven Blush has been covering the scene for decades, and his new book is a comprehensive look at the city's rock music, highlighting both the legends and the lesser-known acts." DJ Jason said "It’s actually pretty amazing that something so special and prosperous in NYC has been overlooked by journalists for so long."
Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."
CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan's East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal's original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.
Agnostic Front is an American hardcore punk band that pioneered the sub-genre known as crossover thrash. Founded in 1980, the band helped found the New York hardcore scene. After releasing their debut album, 1984’s Victim in Pain, they began to incorporate thrash metal elements into their music.
Noise rock is a noise-oriented style of experimental rock that spun off from punk rock in the 1980s. Drawing on movements such as minimalism, industrial music, and New York hardcore, artists indulge in extreme levels of distortion through the use of electric guitars and, less frequently, electronic instrumentation, either to provide percussive sounds or to contribute to the overall arrangement.
New York hardcore (NYHC) is hardcore punk music created in New York City, and the subculture and lifestyle associated with that music. New York hardcore grew out of the hardcore scene established in Washington, D.C., by bands such as Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Initially a local phenomenon of the 1980s and 1990s, New York Hardcore eventually grew to establish an international reputation with little to moderate mainstream popularity, but with a dedicated and enthusiastic underground following, primarily in the US and Europe. With a history spanning over more than 3 decades, many of the early NYHC bands are still in activity to this day; some of them being continuously or almost continuously active since their formation, and also in the form of reunion shows.
Underground music comprises musical genres beyond mainstream culture. Any song that is not being legally commercialized is considered underground.
The Middle Class were an American punk rock band established in 1977 from Orange County, California. The band consisted of Jeff Atta on vocals, Mike Atta on lead guitar, Mike Patton on bass, and Bruce Atta on drums.
American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 is a documentary directed by Paul Rachman and written by Steven Blush. It is based on the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History also written by Blush. It was released on September 22, 2006 on a limited basis. The film features some early pioneers of the hardcore punk music scene including Bad Brains, Black Flag, D.O.A., Minor Threat, Minutemen, SSD, and others. It was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on February 20, 2007.
Nite City were a rock group from Los Angeles, United States. Nite City was The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek’s supergroup featuring vocalist Noah James and later Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison. The group recorded and released two albums in 1977 and 1978 on the 20th Century Record label.
Written by Steven Blush, American Hardcore: A Tribal History is a journalistic book that relates the history of the hardcore punk movement that took place in Northern America between 1980 and 1986. It was first published by Feral House in October 2001.
Bewitched was a noise rock musical project headed by American percussionist Bob Bert. It was founded in 1986 after Bert had left the band Sonic Youth the previous year. The project began as a solo effort but morphed to incorporate several other musicians, including violinist Donna Croughn of Tiny Lights. The music was noise rock influenced with an emphasis placed on Bert's drumming. It also incorporated turntables courtesy of DJ David Cream of Wheat P, which at the time was innovative.
Hogan's Heroes was an American hardcore punk band formed in New Jersey in 1984. During their time they recorded three full lengths for California label New Red Archives. They have been described as a classic hardcore band, as well as "thrash," and metalcore band. The band broke up in 1993.
T. Roth and Another Pretty Face is an American glam rock band.
The Stimulators were a punk rock band from New York City, US. Although they have a limited discography, they are notable for being consistently cited as an important transitional band between the late-1970s New York City punk rock scene and New York hardcore, and for being the musical entry point for future Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan.
Lionel White (1948–1998) was an American funk and punk rock musician who recorded music under the name Snuky Tate. He is best remembered for his novelty single He's the Groove (1980) about Pope John Paul II.
"He's the Groove" is a 1980 novelty song by Snuky Tate, the stage persona of American funk and punk rock musician Lionel White. The song is about Pope John Paul II.
Craig Setari is an American musician and former competitive boxer, who is currently active as the bass player in Sick of It All, however has also worked with many other hardcore punk bands, including Youth of Today, Straight Ahead, Rest in Pieces, Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags. He also co-wrote Stormtroopers of Death's 1985 demo album Crab Society North with Dan Lilker.
Straight Ahead was an American straight edge hardcore punk band formed in Queens, New York in 1984, by drummer and vocalist Tommy Carroll, guitarist Gordon Ancis and bassist Tony Marc Shimkin.
The Pussywillows were a group that featured Elinor Blake, Lisa Dembling and Lisa Jenio. Their recordings have appeared on the Kill the Moonlight soundtrack, and the Rutles Highway Revisited album.
Todd Abramson is a former record label owner, booking agent and night club owner.