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The Jam: Perform A Powerful Showcase in Paris 1981
04.10.2012
12:27 pm

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Music
Punk
Television

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thejam
 
A powerful performance from The Jam, recorded in Paris in 1981, and originally shown as part of the French TV series Chorus (presented by Antoine de Caunes, no less). Here The Jam thunder through:

01. “David Watts”
02. “Private Hell”
03. “Butterfly Collector”
04. “But I’m Different Now”
05. “When You’re Young”
06. “Eton Rifles”

It’s a fine selection of songs, which highlights The Jam’s musical progression from the influence of sixties Mods, through Punk to New Wave and onto Paul Weller’s distinct political commentary with “Eton Rifles”.  Excellent stuff. Mind you, it’s still hard to believe Tory PM and professional nincompoop, David Cameron was naive enough to claim he had a great liking for “Eton Rifles”, during a radio interview in 2008. However, the Eton-educated Cameron’s admiration for the song did not impact on his politics, something Paul Weller picked up on:

“Which part of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a jolly drinking song for the cadet corps.”

The song reached number 3 in the U.K. in November 1979, and was the beginning of The Jam’s dominance over the charts until 1982, when guitar bands were replaced by Blitz Kids, and synthesizers.

During their 5 years of recordings, The Jam brought an edge to pop music by fusing musical ambition to strong Left-wing conviction, which wouldn’t happen on such a similar scale until Pulp in the 1990s, and the likes of which are very much required today.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Blondie interviewed by JFK’s press secretary on American TV 1980
04.06.2012
02:26 pm

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Debbie Harry and Chris Stein interviewed by the very nearly hip Pierre Salinger, former press secretary for President Kennedy, on TV show 20/20 in March of 1980.

This is surprisingly good for network TV. Some cool live footage. Chris discusses his nervous breakdown after binging on LSD.

Among the many interesting aspects of Pierre Salinger’s career was the fact that he stuck to his guns after declaring “If Bush wins, I’m going to leave the country.” George W. won and Salinger moved to France.
 

 
Part two after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Documentary on heroin addiction hosted by The Velvet Underground’s John Cale
04.04.2012
01:47 pm

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Activism
Drugs
Music
Punk
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Photo: Bob Oliver

BBC news program Week In, Week Out covers the the heroin problem in Wales. Your host: John Cale.

The director of the documentary, Nick Skinner, talks about making the film with Cale:

The world I explored with John Cale was much darker. In the rundown post-industrial towns of South Wales, and the backstreets of Cardiff and Swansea, we came in contact with a the dark side of drug use. Teenagers shooting up because their mates do it, because there’s nothing else to do, because they are blocking out the pain of an abusive past. Adults trapped in a downward spiral of drugs, crime, prison and more drugs.

Heroin, Wales And Me.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
A totally trippy interview with H.R. of Bad Brains
04.03.2012
11:09 pm

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Hip-hop
History
Movies
Music
Punk
Reggae

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H.R. takes flight
 
There are folks who think H.R. flipped his wig a long time ago. That may be true - but if this is what being crazy looks like, I’ll have a hit.

H.R. is making the rounds to drum up some excitement for the terrific new Bad Brains documentary, A Band in DC.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds: Dangerous Minds interviews H.R. about new film ‘Bad Brains: ‘A Band In D.C.’

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Patti Smith TV interview from April 1, 2012
04.01.2012
06:46 pm

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CBS chat show “Sunday Morning” presents an hour long interview with Patti Smith conducted by journalist Anthony Mason. This was broadcast earlier today and it’s quite wonderful.

Patti sings “My Blakean Year” and “Grateful” and talks about her life. Mason does a good job of asking the questions and Smith is relaxed and open.
 

 
Thanks to Marty Weinstein.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Straight out of Bromley: Simon Barker’s photographs of Punk in the U.K. 1976-77
03.31.2012
08:03 am

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History
Pop Culture
Punk

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adam_ant_simon_barker
 
Punk may be long dead, but the interest in its music, ideas and artifacts continues. Over at the Independent, writer Michael Bracewell introduces a selection of photographs by Simon Barker, a former member of the legendary Bromley Contingent, the group of original Punks that included Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, Jordan, Bertie “Berlin” Marshall, Tracie O’Keefe, and Billy Idol. Barker was a participant and witness to some of the key events during the 14 months, in 1976 and 1977, when Punk changed everything - as Bracewell explains:

[Barker’s] photographs share with Nan Goldin’s early studies of the New York and Boston sub-cultures of the 1970s, a profound and joyously audacious sense of youth going out on its own into new freedoms and new possibilities.

In this, Barker’s photographs from this period capture a moment when the tipping point between innocence and experience has yet to be reached. The model and sub-cultural celebrity Jordan, for example, is photographed as a self-created work of art – her features resembling a Picasso mask, her clothes more post-war English county librarian. The provocation of her image remains untamed and unassimilated, nearly 40 years later; and within her surrealist pose there is the triumph of art made in the medium of sub-cultural lifestyle.

Barker/Six was a member of the so-called ‘Bromley Contingent’ of very early followers of The Sex Pistols and the retail and fashion work of McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Other members would include the musicians Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin, and the writer Bertie Marshall, then known as ‘Berlin’ in homage to the perceived glamour and decadence of the Weimar republic. Originating from suburbia, but all determined to leave its security as soon as possible, the Bromley Contingent became the British sub-cultural equivalent, in many ways, of Andy Warhol’s notorious ‘superstars’ – volatile, at times self-destructive or cruelly elitist, but dedicated to a creed of self-reinvention and personal creativity.

It is this creed, as opposed to the swiftly commercialised music of punk, that Barker’s photographs from the period anatomise so well. At once intimate and forensic, austere and camp, documentary and touchingly elegiac, these photographs capture a milieu experiencing a heroic sense of being outsiders – a condition that has always been the privilege of youth, and which has long claimed many victims in its enticing contract with the thrill of taking an oppositional stance.

Read the whole article and see more of Simon’s photographs here.

Simon Barker’s book Punk’s Dead is available here.
 
poly_styrene_simon_barker
Poly Styrene
 
steven_severin_simon_barker
The Banshees: Steven Severin, Kenny Morris and John McKay
 
With thanks to Derek Dunbar
 
More punk memories after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Clash jamming with The Damned in 1979
03.30.2012
04:33 pm

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History
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Wessex Sound Studios 2003.

The Clash and The Damned were both recording at the legendary Wessex Sound Studios in London when this video was shot.

The Damned were working on Machine Gun Etiquette while The Clash were doing the same for London Calling.

The clip captures Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Joe Strummer, Topper Headon, Paul Simonon, Mick Jones and producer Guy Stevens enjoying themselves during some downtime.

I believe the footage of Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies in the beginning of the video was shot by Mick Jones.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
No New York: James Chance & The Contortions, live at Max’s Kansas City, 1979
03.30.2012
01:17 pm

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James Chance, one of the most iconic players of NYC’s “No Wave” scene, married the avant garde improvisational free jazz of Ornette Coleman to jagged, angular funk riffs that were straight out of James Brown, creating a squalling brand of chaotic jazz-punk-funk unlike anything that had been heard before. Chance and his band, The Contortions were one of the most unique groups gigging around New York from the mid 1970s until the early 1980s. James Chance and The Contortions also performed as James White and The Blacks, but it was essentially the same group of musicians.

Seen here, Chance and The Contortions perform at Max’s Kansas City in 1979. Another great clip from Paul Tschinkel’s long-running Innertube NYC public access TV show. He’s got to let his vast archive escape one day. It’s a treasure trove of the punk and post-punk era of NYC music. There’s obviously nothing else like it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Some New Kind of Kick: The Cramps live at the mental hospital, 1978
03.30.2012
08:56 am

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“Somebody told me you people are crazy! But I’m not so sure about that; you seem to be all right to me.”—Lux Interior

On June 13, 1978 The Cramps gave a free concert at the California State Mental Hospital in Napa. It is, simply put, one of the single greatest rock and roll moments ever captured on videotape (in this case, on a half-inch open reel Sony Portapak by Joe Rees and his Target Video outfit). Also on the bill were The Mutants from San Francisco.

One hundred years from now this video will be as iconic as The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. But enough description, HIT PLAY AND WATCH IT, ALREADY!

Artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard meticulously recreated this event (and the video itself) as an elaborate art project at the ICA in London in 2003. Forsyth and Pollard’s “Cramps” also performed in front of an audience comprised of psychiatric patients in their “File under Sacred Music” re-staging of the infamous 1978 gig.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Shit, Harry Crews has died
03.29.2012
09:26 pm

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Books
Literature
Punk

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A blood poet of the highest order, Harry Crews has died of neuropathy at the age of 76.

Crews wrote in a style that was at once brutal and beautiful, baroque and as ordinary as dirt. Within a single sentence he could be both tender and terrifying. His novels were populated by freaks, outlaws, burn-outs and lost souls who wandered through trailer parks, bayous, dive bars, sideshows and the long lonely highways of the deep south. Possessed of a gothic sensibility, dark humor and hard-edged grittiness that put him in the company of Cormac McCarthy, Charles Bukowski and Flannery O’Connor as well as hardboiled writers like Jim Thompson, Crews was capable of transforming the rot of reality into something so rich with life that even death had to laugh.

Punk rockers gravitated to Crews because he was a badass who managed to find a medium through which to articulate his anger, despair and lust. Lydia Lunch and Kim Gordon created a band called Harry Crews as an homage to the writer. They harnessed the energy of his books and transformed it into the only kind of music that could handle it - blistering hard rock.

Crews was one of the major influences on my writing, right up there with Bukowski and Raymond Chandler. I f you haven’t read him, I recommend starting with The Knockout Artist, All We Need Of Hell or Scar Lover. Once you’ve started up with Harry you won’t stop until you’ve read him all.
 

 
More Crews after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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