My obsessive-compulsive aural tendencies have undoubtedly been noted by careful—and dare I say, patient—readers who’ve been inundated with Halloween, Xmas, Valentine’s Day and themed playlists of all demoninations during my brief tenure. And now ... cover songs. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’ve been around forever and appear to be here to stay. Nihil novi sub sole, eh? Refresh your cover memory with this week’s music feature, The Art of the Cover Song. Below, listen to a playlist of covers created by New Mexicans like Veery (Jessica Billey), Mama Coma (Marisa Demarco), The Rondelles, Steve Hammond, Cobra//group, Treadmill, Mistletoe, The Handsome Family, The Rivet Gang, Ant Farmers, Knife City, The Morticians, Sad Baby Wolf and Strawberry Zots.
The Art of the Cover Song
Plumbing the inner reworkings of redux
Give 'em Enough Rope
The Clash's best worst record.
In the never ending quest to replace my lost record collection I was looking for a copy of Blonde on Blonde. Instead I ran into a copy of The Clash's Give 'em Enough Rope. I qualified my purchase by telling the store owner it was probably The Clash's worst record besides Cut The Crap which wasn't really a Clash record anyway.
I was wrong. Give 'em Enough Rope is their best record. Having found some monetary success, a kick-ass drummer, some extra pounds and manager Bernie Rhoades, Strummer/Jones deliver a confident selection of tunes about crime, drugs, war, the music industry and killing pigeons. This is when Mick Jones got into using a flanger but before it got really fucking annoying. It's not The Clash record you want to listen to with your mom -but like Sandanista, it's an under-appreciated gem.
Joe Strummer died on December 22nd 2002.
New Model Army
Punk rock and poetry in motion
These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.