Skip to content
CityLab
Justice

For Punk Music, Gentrification Is the New Ronald Reagan

In D.C, developers and restaurateurs are now subject to the kind of disdain that punks once held for the former president. It's only partly deserved.
Ian Svenonius performs with his band Chain and the Gang in January.
Ian Svenonius performs with his band Chain and the Gang in January. Trask Bedortha

President Ronald Reagan was the most influential figure in the history of punk. You don't need me to tell you that, because you already heard it from Wasted Youth and The Dead Kennedys and Government Issue and The Ramones and Reagan Youth and The Minutemen and DOA and TSOL and every other band that wasn't playing pop in the 1980s.

Nobody gives President Barack Obama nearly as much grief. He's been the subject of fawning tributes from the likes of Nas and Young Jeezy. Even a public beef with Yeezy does him more good than harm. So is disgruntled institutional critique set to three chords gone for good?