Edited by Thurston Moore | Abrams Image | 289 pages | $27.50
“Punks are good people,” writes Thurston Moore in the intro to Punk House, a project for which he seems to have been an honorary godfather. He lends his name and credibility to this collection of photographs taken across the country at group homes like “Fuckpit” in Portland, Oregon (one of six such Portland homes documented here), to the more amusingly named “International House of Mancakes” in Minneapolis, on a roadtrip by photographer Abby Banks and her singer-songwriter sidekick Timothy Findlen. Moore is careful to distinguish between American punk houses and their European counterparts or squats, condemned structures with little in the way of basic amenities. As Moore reports Mike Watt’s take on squatters: “Those dudes had the wrong idea about freedom.” The freedom that Banks finds here in the US may be messy, but there’s a method to the madness. Kitchens become live-in sculptures, with full place settings glued to the ceiling; collages abound; and Americana kitsch sits side-by-side with giant vinyl collections, spare guitars, half-finished paintings, and other art in progress. The inhabitants aren’t leather-and-spiked punk clichés so much as pleasant indie kids. Some even have desks that they apparently work at. And for all the colorful clutter, they evidently clean up after themselves. Their punk homes are a colorful tribute to the creativity and ingenuity of today’s punk culture and, yes, a reminder that punks are good people.
, Thurston Moore, Abby Banks, Mike Watt