Archive for the ‘music’ Category

I am not one of those types who gets musically stuck in an era. You know: the guy who refuses to listen to anything beyond 1976 and Lynyrd Skynyrd or the girl who only likes whatever is popular on FM.

Me, I grew up listening to my parents’ music (Ray Coniff, Glen Campbell, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and classical), and was exposed to really cool stuff my friends’ older siblings listened to ( The Beatles, The Doors, Ohio Express, Marvin Gaye etc.). Of course, I adored The Monkees and (embarrassingly) The Partridge Family. Hey, “I Think I Love You” is still one of the catchiest and most fun songs of all time.

The first single I got was the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” with the even better (and still ultra groovy) “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone.”
Stepping Stone

OK, the point of today’s post:
While in my senior year of high school, my musical taste/life changed when I heard a song coming from the radio playing in the back of the stockroom where I worked.

It was The Clash’s “London Calling,” and it was being played on WAIF, this weird, underground public station that played little heard-of bands and often got into trouble (for playing The Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk To Fuck” on-air, without bleeping it).

At that time, The Clash were still considered underground in the states. For me, it was love at first listen. My friends had already written me off as the one with the weird taste as I introduced them to the B52’s and “Rock Lobster” when their first album came out in 1980.

Even though Joe Strummer died a few years back, I still find “London Calling” and its follow up, “Sandinista” to be two of the greatest albums of all time.

A lot of sound alike bands have come and gone since the demise of The Clash in 1986.

For my money, I think the Libertines came very close. Carl Barat and Pete Doherty’s rough vocals, coupled with jangling guitars made me run out and buy their CD “Up the Bracket” in 2002.
Unfortunately, the band didn’t last, as Doherty’s predilection for heroin and cocaine drove him away from Barat.

Doherty hit back with a crappily named, but popular band, Babyshambles. I just couldn’t dig his sound. Plus, he became celebrity rag fodder with his relationship with model Kate Moss. I found him to be creepy and uninteresting.

Then, in 2006, I heard an amazing album called “Waterloo to Anywhere,” by a band called Dirty Pretty Things. It was Barat’s new band and its sound trumped the Libertines in my book. Unfortunately, they were short-lived, too.

I hadn’t listened to them much in the last year or so, until yesterday, when I was running and “Bang Bang You’re Dead” came through the headphones.

Those garage-y sounding guitars, the vocals and the energy reminded me of “London Calling.” Comparing the two songs, the former sounds like a raveup of the latter:

Some say the song is a fuck-you to Doherty, but Barat denies it.

And that, in a protracted way, is what I wanted to tell you: if you haven’t downloaded DPT, do it. And I am hoping that Barat will not be far off with his next effort. Doherty, eh, who cares, in my book.