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 Punk and Hardcore Fliers, Zines and Ephemera – XRay Ted
Courtesy of Printed Matter

The lost artefacts of America’s DIY punk scene

Back before Facebook event invites, see how bands like The Ramones and The New York Dolls were competing for stage time

For the most part, the dawning of the internet age has been an incredible thing. Yet there’s no denying that there are definitely a few things that ‘just aren’t what they used to be’. There’s a whole conversation to be had here but this is not the place. This place, right here, is to celebrate the (now lost) art of flyer making.

Sure, we’ve got a burgeoning (now bulging) DIY zine scene to satiate our appetite for a Xerox, a borrowed aesthetic that bands once used to promote themselves as they competed for prime lamp post space. But New York’s Printed Matter has decided it’s time to salute our pre-internet era by sharing an unearthed archive of flyers from 40 years of America’s music scene in their exhibition Punk and Hardcore Fliers, Zines and Ephemera – curated by Johan Kugelberg.

"Often there is a common thread of restless youths seeking to express themselves as much visually as they were musically. But in an age without the Internet, the flier, the handbill, and the zine were essential to the experience. Iconic design elements still recognized today were the result of often simple experimentation fueled by the very soundtracks they were advocating,” reads the press release.

Spanning from the early 70s, there are over 150 flyers on display, as well as zines and periodicals, all available for purchase. Hand crafted in cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where glam rock, punk, garage rock and hardcore – to name a few – reigned supreme, bands like Black Flag, The Ramones, The New York Dolls, as well as lesser known names like The Nuns and The Residents, were putting your shitty Facebook event to shame long before you even thought of spamming your mates with invites.

Punk and Hardcore Fliers, Zines and Ephemera is on show at New York’s Printed Matter until 13 February, 2016. To find out more, click here