Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mid-Week MP3

In honor of this week’s Thanksgiving Day celebration, here is a quick list of a half-dozen things that I’m thankful for:

*My wife and son
*The Rangers not sucking this season
*My Scion xB (Thanks, dear!)
*Cook’s Grand Spumante
*The Nintendo DS
*The enduring legacy of The Clash

That last one brings me to this week’s Mid-Week MP3.

The Clash have proven to be a band far more significant than their initial lifespan. Their ten year tenure as the ruling kings of political punk pales in comparison to the lasting relevance of their music and message. Originally composed of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon , and Terry Chimes (plus Keith Leven, if in name only), the band didn’t hit full stride until Chimes’s replacement Topper Headon sat behind the skins following the release of their first album. From simply leftist to elaborately anti-racist and Marxist politics, Strummer and company sang about and for the counterculture, urging the nihilistic punkers of the day to stand up and be counted as a force for positive cultural change.

While initial success in the states seemed like a long shot, even we stuffy Americans could appreciate the band’s universal appeal, and today you can’t pass a high school without seeing some young buck in a London Calling t-shirt. No band before or since managed to succeed in the melding of punk, rockabilly, reggae, rap, dub, and pop to such a degree as The Clash. Though drugs and fame tore the band apart in 1983, individual members continued to participate in various artistic endeavors, with varying degrees of commercial success. Tragically, Joe Strummer’s career ended abruptly in 2002 when he fell victim to a heart attack at the age of 50.

This song is for Mick and for Topper and for Terry and for Paul and for Joe (R.I.P.) and for you. Consider it an early Christmas present. Enjoy, and save me some stuffing.

1modernboy humbly requests that you use these MP3s solely as a means of evaluation. If you like what you hear, please buy records, CDs, t-shirts, or other merchandise to support this band/artist and his/her/their label-mates. Seeing them live probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Should the features artist, or the related label or distributor take issue with my inclusion of the song file, please don’t hesitate to contact me, so that the offending file can be removed.

The Clash -- 1-2 Crush on You

Monday, November 21, 2005

Uncle Ruckus

I was lucky enough to catch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on opening weekend, and I have to say I dug it. While the book was, in my humble opinion, the best in the series so far, the movie was a noticeable abridged version – more akin to a friend telling you about the book in a drunken, sometimes uneven and vehemently whispered conversation. Still, it was a keeper. The visual presentation and overall look was clean and consistent, even when the dialogue slipped, and the super CGI monsters and shit didn’t really take away from the story. I didn’t like it quite as much as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it was a noble effort that I think most fans will enjoy.

In other entertainment news, if you’re not watching The Boondocks on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, shame on you! Aaron McGruder’s comic masterpiece has made the jump to television with its wit (and all its venom) intact.