Browsing Tag

The Clash


How Joe Strummer and The Clash Have Helped Me Through the Trump Era

don’t remember the first time I truly listened to Joe Strummer.

It may have been when I heard “Clampdown” off the band’s seminal 1979 album, London Calling. The song warns young men of the inherit soul-crushing nature of capitalism and reminds them that they — not the government, not The Establishment — have control of their lives.

“Let fury have the hour; anger can be power — do you know that you can use it?”

That line was my driving force in 2016, during the height of the presidential primary cycle. At the time I was volunteering for Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist and agitator of the status quo. I found parallels between Sanders and Joe Strummer of The Clash: Both were champions of socialism and the proletariat, and both were vocal critics of injustice and the oligarchy.

Though The Clash became my soundtrack during that tumultuous political year, the band hung with me long after Sanders lost the primary, Hillary Clinton lost the general and Donald (more…)

Music, Pop Culture

Can Musicians Be Artists Too?


I have a Google Alerts set up for David Byrne.

Unfortunately, a lot of people on this planet are named David Byrne.

Sometimes I am alerted of news stories about David Byrne the musician.

Like about how the soundtrack for “This Must be the Place” has been released, even though the movie hasn’t been released yet because it supposedly sucks ass. It upsets me that something named after the greatest song on the planet can supposedly suck butt so badly.

Most of the alerts are crap, but once in a blue moon I get an interesting story about David Byrne in my inbox. One that caught my attention recently was from the Spectator Arts Blog (an UK publication) and titled “An Inflated Sense of Their Own Artistry“. In it, the writer, Niru Ratnam, lambasts musicians like David Byrne, Ron Wood, Iggy Pop and David Bowie for- get ready for it- making art!

Imagine for a moment the following grouping: David Bowie, the former Clash bass player Paul Simonon, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie (more…)