mc5

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The MC5: The Big Bang! The Best of the MC5 (2000 compilation)

The MC5: The Big Bang! The Best of the MC5 (2000 compilation)

Writing against the tenor of these times, let it be said that sometimes there's no particular advantage in being first. Take Detroit's MC5. Essentially they made snotty, loud, politicised rock'n'roll. Like the Clash? Sort of - except of their era, which was, unfortunately for them, the confusing period at the start of which Magical...

THE MC5, WAYNE KRAMER INTERVIEWED AND CONCERT REVIEW (2004): The politics of rock

THE MC5, WAYNE KRAMER INTERVIEWED AND CONCERT REVIEW (2004): The politics of rock

It's fair to think most people only know the noise of the MC5 through their spiritual heirs: the garageband clatter of the Datsuns, D4, Soledad Brothers, the Black Keys and other such rowdies who have an old-school r'n'b heart and amps turned up to 11. Or maybe people know of them through the connection with their old hometown of Detroit:...

GANG OF FOUR, A 100 FLOWERS BLOOM: Would you like politics with that?

GANG OF FOUR, A 100 FLOWERS BLOOM: Would you like politics with that?

The ideas and ideologies which came in the late 70s with punk, new wave and anarcho-pop threw up some extraordinary bands, not the least of which was Gang of Four, an outfit from Leeds whose 1979 debut Entertainment! brought together minimalist punk-funk bass and drums with guitarist Andy Gill's switchblade guitar and howling feedback. Oh,...

RADIO BIRDMAN REMEMBERED: Detroit rock'n'roll . . . . outta Sydney, Australia

RADIO BIRDMAN REMEMBERED: Detroit rock'n'roll . . . . outta Sydney, Australia

Radio Birdman were one of the great Detroit rock bands, except they came from Sydney. Inspired by the Stooges and MC5, they blasted out of Australia in the pre-punk Seventies in one of those short, fast flights that would end in legend or obscurity. They managed to achieve both. Most people have never heard of them let alone their sonic...

Magazine: Real Life (1978)

Magazine: Real Life (1978)

If there was a godfather of the Manchester scene in the Eighties there's a good case to be made that it wasn't Tony Wilson (who founded the Hacienda and Factory Records) but that it was Howard Devoto, singer and songwriter for Magazine, the band he formed in 1977. In that crucial year Devoto promoted the two local concerts by the Sex Pistols...

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

The punk era tossed up -- threw up? -- some real oddities, few more unexpected than Wallis who was no spring chicken in the world of short haired rock'n'roll for angry 18-year olds. He'd been in the music game for over a decade and in the Sixties had been in such household names as The Entire Sioux Nation and Shagrat. To be fair, Shagrat...

FREEDOM, RHYTHM AND SOUND: Jazz with a raised fist and a copy of Malcolm X speeches in the other hand

FREEDOM, RHYTHM AND SOUND: Jazz with a raised fist and a copy of Malcolm X speeches in the other hand

Few people today -- musicians included -- consider rock or jazz as “political”, even in the broadest sense of the word. Yet back in the late 60s and through the 70s large areas of both certainly were. Less than a year after that remarkable year 1968 (student demonstrations, assassinations, political oppression and...

The Last Poets: When the Revolution Comes (1970)

The Last Poets: When the Revolution Comes (1970)

In the wake of the killing of Martin Luther King and the rise of Black Power politics, the ghettos were in flames. It was inevitable that music -- and in this case street poetry coupled with Afro-roots music -- should reflect, and even drive, the times. The Last Poets were mad as hell and not going to take it: and they were mad as hell about...

The Fall: Your Future Our Clutter (Domino)

The Fall: Your Future Our Clutter (Domino)

Mark E Smith of Britain's marathon-running post-punk agit-prop outfit The Fall, is nothing if not consistent: He's still annoyed at the world and putting his anger and observations into a brittle, confrontation garage-noise, electro-distorted musical context. His vocals on Bury Parts 1 and 3 here come from the bottom of some sulphur...

THE JOE STRUMMER STORY, a documentary by MIKE PARKINSON (DV1 DVD/Southbound)

THE JOE STRUMMER STORY, a documentary by MIKE PARKINSON (DV1 DVD/Southbound)

With each passing year the myth and power of Joe Strummer seems to grow as his story has its contradictions and inconveniences ironed out. His wilderness years after the Clash are all but ignored and increasingly it seems as if Strummer moved seamlessly from agit-prop rocker to senior statesman who took his message of tolerance and commitment to...

The Flys: Love and a Molotov Cocktail (1978)

The Flys: Love and a Molotov Cocktail (1978)

1977 was a confusing year in Britain: pub-rockers Dr Feelgood were at an all-time peak, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and others advanced the punk agenda, and off on the margins were power-pop bands which hadn't quite seen the changes coming. The four-piece Flys out of Coventry -- a little distant from the London scene -- were in the latter...

Various Artists: Kris Needs Presents Dirty Water; The Birth of Punk Attitude (Future Police/Southbound)

Various Artists: Kris Needs Presents Dirty Water; The Birth of Punk Attitude (Future Police/Southbound)

This excellent, wayward and musically diverse double disc is like a mix tape/vanity project from a friend who just wants to get down his/her favourite raw rock'n'roll/mad attitude songs in the one place for you, the stuff that has been inspirational and still stands up. Here UK rock journalist (Zigzag) and sometimes band frontman Needs takes...

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

Gang of Four: Content (Growland)

There's enjoyable nostalgia -- for example the Hollies who, against expectation delivered a fine show some weeks ago -- and then there are old bands who still sound relevant, like Children's Hour who delivered a deafening but impressively irritable set at the Auckland Laneway's Festival just days before the Hollies served up their classic...

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