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Joe Strummer on Punkcast

Punkcast.com was an online video site that covered the NYC underground music scene. The site, though not active, remains with an archive of videos from 1997 to 2011.[1] Newer videos are now on the Punkcast YouTube channel.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Punkcast's founder Joly MacFie was born in England and during the punk scene in the late 70s and early 80s sold badges and pins through his company Better Badges, before in 1983 selling the business to his staff and moving to New York.[3]

Early years[edit | edit source]

Punkcast was started in September 1997 to cover the visit to NYC of punk band One Way System, in order to demonstrate the internet's broadcast potential to the band's manager John Bentham who had run Jettisoundz, a major creator/distributor of punk video in the UK.[4] In the early days the site covered old-school punk via several cameramen, but in 2001 MacFie started himself shooting the local indie scene.[5] In September 2005 Punkcast launched a video podcast[5] and later a YouTube channel.[6]

Later years[edit | edit source]

The content is mainly complete songs from live performances in the city's clubs and other locations.[7] but the site occasionally covers other local community events. In 2003, Punkcast charged a few dollars per video to each band they filmed[clarification needed].[8] They also sell DVDs on their website and accept donations.[9] Punkcast often follows a DIY policy of filming the footage first, without permission, and also posting it without permission, but will generally take down material if asked. Founder Joly MacFie argues that this serves an important archival purpose.[10]

YouTube account suspension[edit | edit source]

In July 2009 the Punkcast YouTube channel was briefly suspended after a DMCA claim by Richard Hell over a segment of him talking about a new record. Hell recanted when he was made aware of the ramifications of his actions, and withdrew the claim, and the segment was deleted. MacFie said "I appreciate the irony of the DIY site punkcast being taken down by arguably the originator of punk style using entirely establishment means." Hell explained to MacFie, "I just wish you would ask me before you post clips of me... if there's anything I can do to support your reinstatement at YouTube, I'd be happy to do it".[10]

MacFie added:

'While there might be some validity to your idea that all punkcast style DIY public video should be subject to pre-approval from the subjects it's not practical and, I would suggest, a top-down concept that was one of the shibboleths that punk destroyed back in the day. The ability of the music business to control the public agenda was destroyed as new technology permitted the production of fanzines, badges, mixtapes, etc. Eventually a hybrid compromise was reached which has still yet to be encoded. Savvy artists have come to understand that what's coming up at them from the users is as valid and useful as what's being dumped down. If artists actually were required to approve the 'up' material that very approval would invalidate it's dodgy essence.'
— {{{2}}}

Hell responded:

'I have complicated feelings about artists' rights to their works and their "image." Too complicated to try to go into here. But I have no hesitation in saying that it speaks badly for Joly's whole sense of decency and his concept of rights to privacy for him to publicly print a personal email I sent him. I had sympathy with him, and I'm glad to be able to see the band appearances he videos, but this publication of private email is a giveaway. A person who can do that is in no position to get righteous about other people's stances regarding intellectual property. It's creepy and wrong (and illegal) for him to publish my private message without asking me. He should have paraphrased it or sought my permission. My point, obviously, isn't that there's anything I said in the email that I wish to hide, but, rather, that Joly, if he were anything like as righteous as he portrays himself, would have instinctively known he should ask me before publishing my private email. This whole article is done in bad faith, thanks to Joly, (and Brooklyn Vegan should remove it) because a simple email to me could have cleared up what happened, which is nothing like the way Joly portrays it.'
— {{{2}}}

MacFie responded:

'Well, the fact is - this story went up well before I received the response from Richard. I felt it incumbent to make the response public, as a lot of people were already saying nasty things... From correspondence I've had from him since (and which I've hitherto kept to myself) it is evident that he has not learned from the experience - he intimates that, while letting me off the hook because I'm on "thin ice", he will continue to serve DMCA takedowns on all and sundry that he disapproves of. Fact is, with this 3 strikes rule and Viacom/Warner DMCA blanket bombing - every YouTube user is on thin ice. I'm sure we've all seen great channels go down the (excuse me) tube.'
— {{{2}}}

Bands filmed[edit | edit source]

In 2001 Punkcast published live videos of both the Moldy Peaches and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

In 2002 Punkcast published 4 songs from Joe Strummer's final USA shows in Brooklyn, months before his death, .[11]

Screenings[edit | edit source]

In 2003 Punkcast supplied some of the live programming for the first year of New York Noise - a local music show on the nascent municipal TV station NYC TV.[8][12]

In June 2007 an installation of Punkcast videos was part of the first FILMER LA MUSIQUE exhibit at Point Éphémère in Paris.[13]

Awards[edit | edit source]

In May 2006: Wired Magazine described punkcast.com in its "Watch This Way" list as "visceral scenes of pop art in the making".[14]

In October 2007: Village Voice awarded MacFie 'Best documentarian of New York's indie-rock scene' in their Best of NYC 2007 issue.[15]

In October 2010: Village Voice awarded MacFie 'Best Uploader of Geek Culture and Music', one of many specialized awards in their Best of NYC 2010 issue.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. punkcast.com
  2. https://www.youtube.com/user/wwwhatsup
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Joly MacFie: Best Uploader of Geek Culture and Music". Village Voice. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  4. Grow, Kory (2007-11-08). "Tapehead". Paper Thin Walls. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "PUNKCAST 10 YEARS ANNIVERSARY PARTY AND SCREENING". punkcast.com. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. Punkcast - YouTube
  7. Samiljan, Tom (April 5, 2007). "The Top Video Podcast Vaults", Rolling Stone (1023): 72,
  8. 8.0 8.1 Motia, Shahryar (Oct 28, 2003). "Bootlegger's Banquet". Village Voice. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  9. punkcast.com
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Punkcast YouTube account suspended by Richard Hell". Brooklyn Vegan. July 17, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  11. "PUNKCAST#140 Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros @ St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn - NYC - Apr 1-6 2002:". punkcast.com. 2002-04-08. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  12. Playlists 2005-2003 | NEW YORK NOISE TV
  13. http://www.filmerlamusique.com/2007/FLM2007_programme.pdf
  14. "Watch This Way". Wired. May 2006. p. 131. 
  15. "Best of NYC 2007". Village Voice. 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 

External links[edit | edit source]