Friday, May 13, 2005

Decline of Western Civilization

Penelope Spheeris' Decline of Western Civilization was one of the first "punk rock" films I ever saw, and still remains one of my favorites nearly 25 years after it's initial release. Filmed in 1980, Decline... offers a view of the Los Angeles punk scene in one of it's more exciting periods. Live footage is interspersed with interviews with the bands, prominent scene players, and regular punk rock kids. The highlight is the music, featuring performances from X, Circle Jerks, Germs, Alice Bag, Catholic Discipline. The Black Flag and Fear sets are particularly hot.

The soundtrack was originally released on Slash, but was reissued on CD by Rhino a couple of years ago. At this point it appears it has slipped out of print again. As for the movie itself, I've heard rumors that it will eventually be available as part of a 3 disc box (containing DOWC parts 2 and 3), but who knows when that will happen.

I've left the tracks "as is", which means they may have some sound clips (interviews) from the movie :

Black Flag - Depression.mp3
Germs - Manimal.mp3
X- Johnny Hit and Run Paulene.mp3
Circle Jerks - Back Against The Wall.mp3
Alice Bag Band - Gluttony.mp3
Fear - I Don't Care About You.mp3