10:10 PM Music

Told you I started getting my Amazon stuff, so today I cracked open and played the first Clash (UK version). Thoughts:

1) Sounded pretty darn good.
2) Last time I played this I had to flip it over.
3) Album kicks best from “London’s Burning” (last song on the first side) through “Police & Thieves” (on the second side).
4) Having not listened to this since I’m older and wiser, I was particularly struck (stricken?) by the bizarre Chuck Berry guitar solo in the midst of the white reggae classic “Police & Thieves.” I wonder if they planned it that way or if it was the only thing Mick Jones knew how to play for a solo?
5) Today I got The Germs and Fear – “The Record.” Bet you guys just love Fear. No redeeming artsy-fartsy qualities whatsoever.
6) I chose to give you “Cheat” because it’s not on the American release, I love the two-note guitar solo, it rocks and the alternate title could be “The Clash Buy A Flanger.”

Night Music: Graham Parker and the Rumour, “Don’t Ask Me Questions”

Sneering defiant white reggae from a smallish man who made his voice big and his passion’s large. Sounds good. They put out a remix of the song a couple of years later and took the reggae and the heart out of it. Or maybe it’s just the Graham looks funny lipsynching with such venom. This is the original mix from the original great album produced by Nick Lowe. Don’t Ask Me Questions is a live cut.

Night Music: Mayer Hawthorne, “The Stars Are Ours”

I’m not sure what to do with this. I was just out parking the car and I heard this song on the radio. Well, first there was a cover of the Rolling Stones’ I’m Free by a band called the Soup Dragons, which was weird but cool. And then this song came on.

I felt immediately that I’d heard it a thousand times, and yet I was pretty sure I hadn’t. I’ve now played it three times and I’m struck by how it seems to jam the ur-Stevie Wonder song into the ur-Steely Dan song, with pretty smart lyrics about being young and feeling special. I’m dumbstruck and awestruck at the same time. I should hate it the way I hate Bruno Mars appropriating the Police, but I don’t. Not yet, anyway.

Night Music: Belle and Sebastian, “Judy and the Dream of Horses”

I’ve never seen them play, though I did see former backup Isobel Campbell do a show with Eugene Kelly, former Vaseline, at a small club six or seven years ago. Not like Belle and Sebastian, however, which really doesn’t sound like any other band before or since. I think it’s the way the music can be tiny or big or anywhere inbetween, depending on the mood and focus of the song. In this one more and more sounds and instruments are added as it goes along, until it’s quite rousing finale. Always good words, usually declarative, even if the context isn’t immediately clear, and always sounding evocative and rich. I’d like to see them someday.

The Clash YouTube Documentary

I posted earlier today a short bit about the new Clash box set of remastered albums, with a bunch of video, and then I came across this history of the Clash video, which I think came out today on Google Play. I’ve watched part one and it’s quite direct and nice to hear the band tell their story, plus there’re a lot of good clips. There are five parts, here’s a link to part one: