Born from necessity, maintained by enjoyment. When punk works, it works in levels. Multi-leveled tiers of participation and abstract, often unnoticed stipends. If you thought the stock market was convoluted, just think about the “dividends” one receives from their involvement in DIY punk. All the benefits are fringe benefits.
When Martin Wong started organizing the Save the Music in Chinatown show series he did it on all the right levels: a love for his family, a love for education, a love for music, and a love for fun punk shows. When a good excuse is a good cause, you know you’re on the right track, and that’s why he’s still at it. It’s also why so many people from so many different backgrounds have rallied behind the cause and helped be part of the project.
This may be one of the best interviews I’ve been a part of because, at a certain point, I realized that just letting Martin talk was so much more interesting than any of the questions I had prepared. He was coming from decades of involvement and still dedicated to the ideas that made him excited as a teenager.
Punk with a purpose is having realistic expectations and the enthusiasm to actually make it happen. See some mind-blowing bands, raise a couple bucks for the kids, eat some delicious cookies, and get home at a reasonable hour. Levels.
This podcast also features live tracks from Mike Watt And The Secondmen and The Adolescents, recorded at Save the Music in Chinatown #5 on 01/11/15.