Austin’s Rule-Breaking ’80s Punk Scene On Full Display In ‘Texas Is The Reason’ – KUT

From Texas Standard:

In the 1980s, photojournalism student Pat Blashill captured a burgeoning punk music scene in Austin – one intentionally at odds with mainstream Texas culture.

His new book, “Texas Is the Reason: The Mavericks of Lone Star Punk,” is filled with his photos from that era, accompanied by essays by Texans like filmmaker Richard Linklater and drummer Teresa Taylor of the band Butthole Surfers.

Blashill told Texas Standard the scene that emerged in the university town was a rebuke of the racism, religious conservatism and the conservative Greek culture dominant on the University of Texas campus at the time.

“Some of the bands, they were kind of playing with the idea that Texans are these kind of backwards, slack-jawed yokels,” Blashill said.

He said Austin’s punk scene, which included bands like Butthole Surfers and Poison 13, was a collection of artists looking for creative ways to express angst and dissatisfaction toward mainstream culture. The scene thrived in a way unlike in any other mayor city because Austin was off the beaten path.

“There wasn’t this intense media, news or Hollywood or advertising industries in our town … so it had a chance to kind of fester and grow on its own,” Blashill said. “That was an advantage because then, I think, the scene was much more unusual, and it became much more unique and diverse.”

As Austin’s punk scene grew organically, it influenced some of the
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