Professor Punk: Hates Singer To Be Guest Lecturer At U Of H

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Brittanie Shey
The Hates at Cactus Music, December 2009
Quick. What do Ice-T and Houston's own punk-rock elder statesman Christian Arnheiter of The Hates have in common? Well, both are respected lectures at institutes of higher learning.

Arnheiter will be guest lecturing from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday during the Popular Music of the Americas Since 1840 class in room 108 at the University of Houston main campus. The class covers various popular music styles from the U.S., Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean including rock, jazz, blues, and (obviously) punk. Currently, students are studying the music of the 1970s.

"I'll be lecturing on music from the 1970's, including punk rock and disco," says Arnheiter. "I specifically speak to the scenes in New York and London, though we touch on major bands from other cities as well. As the unit deals with the philosophy, fashion, and cultural impact of each genre, I talk about those things too."

Arnheiter is not exactly the person who comes to mind when you think of sober college scholarship. Rocks Offs can't even count the number of times we've seen people crane their heads to follow his leather-clad and liberty-spiked presence as he zipped by on his moped. Nonetheless, when it comes to the School of Oi! it would be next to impossible to find a more learned scholar.

Arnheiter's tenure as a punk rocker is longer than your humble reporter's lifespan. Inspired by seeing the Sex Pistols live, he formed what journalist Bert Woodall called, "Houston's first and last punk band" in 1979. Since then it's been an endless stream of great albums, loud life and a dedication to the genre's roots. But does simply living the life qualify him to be a lecturer?

"On a professional level? No, to be honest," Arnheiter says. "I was asked to do this because I grew up in the era in question and have always been an avid music fan. Back then, I read every publication that I could get my hands on about the music around me, and I still do.

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