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Punk Rock has Moved from the City to the Suburbs. Here’s Why.

Many cities are experiencing a renaissance with their downtown areas. Gentrification and redevelopment mean higher real estate prices and fewer places for starving artists. Where do they go? The suburbs, of course. This is from The Guardian.

After their appearance at Coachella this year, Philadelphia power-pop group Sheer Mag performed in a stuffy tattoo parlor with foggy windows in Santa Rosa, California. The sleepy city is about an hour north of Oakland and San Francisco, and is most famous for being the hometown of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. The group ate pizza on the sidewalk, loaned some gear to local post-punk outfit Creative Adult, and at the end of a spirited set for a churning crowd, wore satisfactorily exhausted expressions.

Shows like that are increasingly common in Santa Rosa, and it has a lot to do with the prohibitive cost-of-living in nearby San Francisco. “I had every intention of moving down to the city,” said Ian O’Connor, 23, who organized the gig. “But when the time came, it was too expensive.” Instead, in the last three years, he has booked dozens of all-ages gigs in Santa Rosa, mostly at unofficial venues: detached garages, living rooms, lobbies of sympathetic businesses. The scene thrives on the participation of people like him, area natives in their early 20s who, not so many years ago, would’ve likely moved an hour south to Oakland or San Francisco.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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