Best Punk Rock Librarian - 2012
More than 30 years after she fronted the Avengers — regarded by many as the best of San Francisco's early crop of punk bands — Penelope Houston is couching her lyrical razor blades in much prettier, softer music. But the cutting lines are still there, on nearly every track of Houston's excellent new album, On Market Street. Houston isn't just a musician, though: She's also an employee of the main branch of the San Francisco Library. A regular employee. One you may actually call upon to, like, help you find a book. The day job may seem a bit out of line with such a local legend, but to us it only adds to her aura: When Houston urges listeners to take pity on struggling street people in a song like "On Market Street," you know she has to pass them on the way to work, too. And is there anything more punk than living like a regular person while also living those punk ideals?