Makagon on the DIY Spirit of Punk

College of Communication Associate Professor Daniel Makagon has long been both a fan, but also a documentarian, on the punk music scene, through both his writing and his audio documentaries. Carrying on with his studies, Daniel's new book, Underground: The Subterranean Culture of DIY Punk Shows, explores the development of regional punk shows in the 1980s that led to a national do-it-yourself (DIY) touring network starting in the early 1990s.

Underground primarily focuses on house shows and shows at volunteer-run community spaces from the 1990s to the present, including interviews with punks throughout the US who are or were members of DIY touring bands, booked shows or were actively involved in their local scenes. Punk didn't end in the 1980s; it is, perhaps, more exciting now than ever before.

Daniel spoke with DePaul University's Newsline recently about Underground.

What makes your book different or unique from others in the same genre?
Most popular books about punk focus on a specific city, band or sub-genre of music. Most academic books about punk either fail to engage people outside the academy or treat punk as if the music's best days are in the past. Underground was written to appeal to both academics and popular audiences by relying on field studies and interviews and taking an approach to writing inspired more by literary journalism than scholarly style manuals. The book explains why DIY spaces matter; how punks face challenges within their local areas; and the important relationships among community, spatial experiences and cultural production.

About the Author
Daniel Makagon, associate professor in the College of Communication, received his PhD from the University of South Florida. His teaching and research interests are in urban communication, ethnography, cultural studies, documentaries and communities. He also is author of Where the Ball Drops: Days and Nights in Times Square (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) and co-author of Recording Culture: Audio Documentary and the Ethnographic Experience (Sage, 2008).

Publisher, publication date, length:
Microcosm Publishing, September 2015, 223 pages