Sunday, 19 July 2009

Dose 23...Sore Subjects of the Seventies

1)Spanish Bombs by The Clash

Giovanni Dadomo famously heralded The Clash as, "the first new group to come along who can really scare the Sex Pistols shitless". Ironically, the band was formed in an effort to branch away from the Sex Pistols unapologetic, "like it or fuck off", brand of rock. Stummer and Jones, instead, sought to popularize pub rock and even add an even deeper basis to the music. By their third album, London Calling (1979), the band had not only established pub rock as its very own scene, but synthesized elements of reggae, ska, punk, and soul in creating a truly unique amalgam.

"Spanish Bombs" typifies the sheer genius of this record. Initially conceived during a conversation regarding a Basque nationalist separatist movement (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), the final work reflects on the friction between Franco's fascist regime and his centerist/communist/anarchist opposition. Thoroughly intricate, the track is littered with allusions to figures like Frederico Garcia Lorca and the people's militia, red and black flags (communists and anarchists working together to oust the dictatorship), la Gaurdia Civil (a Spanish police force), and the atrocities at Guernica.

Amazing Album. Amazing Song.

London Calling

2)California by Joni Mitchell

If I were around in the 60's and 70's, had a bit of a musical streak, and was willing to compete with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, I think Joni Michell and I could have got on great as a couple. Her because she was a beautiful, young idealist with an angelic voice and a passion for creating the best folk music of the decade (Re: Dylan excluded). Me, well, I probably could have served as a fawning devotee to any of her causes, in addition to being a great homemaker (see how progressive I would have been!). The problem with this fictional romance I, not-too-regularly, daydream about is that (and here's the kicker) I would never have had Joni's heart. No, she wasn't tied up with another man, but rather with another land. As a Canadian transplant, Mitchell found herself enamored of California's surreal geography and open-minded thinkers. Consequently, she recognized her new potential for independence in this frontier and saw that she had an audience comprised of those who believed her ideas possible. Luckily, as an 80's baby, I never had to deal with the anguish of losing Joni Mitchell, but you get the idea...

Blue (1971)

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