Mik Grantham is the author of the debut poetry collection Hardcore, available from Short Flight / Long Drive Books.

Grantham is the founder and co-editor of Disorder Press which she runs with her brother. Her work has appeared in New World WritingHobartMaudlin HouseThe Nervous Breakdown, and Fanzine. She currently lives in New Orleans. Hardcore is her first book.


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By the dawn of the 80s, punk rock was dead and a leaner, more muscular sound known as hardcore had commandeered the underground. On the West Coast, hardcore pioneers like Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, Social Distortion and The Minutemen unleashed rage-fueled anthems that bypassed the cheek of punk and went straight for the jugular.

Chronicling every show, rumor and police raid was We Got Power, a fanzine founded by a pair of first generation hardcore freaks and best friends, Dave Markey and Jordan Schwartz. The epitome of DIY publishing, We Got Power seethed with unchecked passion, snark and attitude, and three decades later, their humble periodical now stands as one of the most vivid and enduring documents of Los Angeles in the Reagan era.

First-wave hardcore fans may have trouble conceiving of hardcore (formerly “hardcore punk”) existing in 2011. What started out as a subculture of the maladjusted and praxis of social resistance has become a folk culture all its own. In the early 1960s, young people didn’t hesitate to don flannel, pick up an acoustic 12-string and bang out tunes Woody Guthrie made popular 30 years prior. In 2010 bad haircuts, fuzzed-out SG copies and Agnostic Front records may not mean what they did in 1982, but they still mean something. Despite recurring invasions from major labels, wannabe major labels and art-school kids looking to latch on to their next post-emo phase, hardcore remains a vibrant subculture for young and old.

Old folks and other cynics seeking proof that hardcore still turns out envelope-pushing, relevant rock and roll need look no further than the fruits of the last decade. From the crossover thrash revival to renewed influence in the mutant strain known as powerviolence and experimentation with prog and jazz, the hardcore of the aughties holds its own with any other decade.