Cut – The Slits (1979)


“Here are some things you might already know about Cut, even if you haven’t heard one note of the Slits’ music: This is the first time the album’s been released domestically in the U.S. on CD (with the obligatory bonus tracks). The album cover features three members of the group wearing nothing but mud and loincloths. When the group first formed, they couldn’t play their instruments for shit. The songs on the album offer an amalgam of punk’s abrasive DIY WTF-ness and the spacious relaxed rhythms of dub reggae. This album is a keystone for any and all punk-based grrrl movements. And– though it goes without saying, it’s often said anyway– this album is terribly, terribly important in the history of the rock music and the grand scheme of canonical flippity floo flap. Funny thing is, for all its import, Cut is actually a lot of fun. Fun in the way Ari Up trills and coos and yelps across the songs like a precocious schoolgirl taunting all the boys and teachers. Fun in the way Viv Albertine scratches and waxes her guitar. Fun in the way Tessa’s bass and Budgie’s drums slip in and out of grooves like lovers test-driving the Kama Sutra. …”
Pitchfork
Guardian – Mud, music and mayhem: why the Slits’ Cut is still up for a fight
allmusic (Audio)
W – Cut
YouTube: Cut 32:01

Babylon Rockers #3 • Special guest Ganja Tree • DJ Set • Le Mellotron


“Leroy smart, Dennis Brown, Carl dawkins, Althea + Donna, Toyan and more.  Le Mellotron is all about people and music. In the beginning it was a blog that quickly takes the shape of a webradio gathering a growing community of music curators and lovers. Located in a bar just steps from Place de la Republique, in the heart of Paris, Le Mellotron beats day after day to the rhythm of the city, its people and streets. We strongly believe in a an emerging parisian musical scene, moved by its curiosity, able to capture and transform its worldwide influences. LeMellotron will be its amplifier.”
YouTube: Babylon Rockers #3 • Special guest Ganja Tree
Mixcloud (Audio)

Why the Clash Matter


“‘The only band that matters.’ There is charismatic hubris in this phrase, a declaration of radical faith. Fuck the past, the future is here and everything in music will be ruthlessly revamped in its wake. And when the description was applied to the Clash, it was easy to believe. Today, though, it’s easy to scoff at. Since the death of front-man Joe Strummer in 2002, the Clash have ascended into rock-and-roll mythos. No fewer than thirty books have been released on the band or on Strummer. Some of them are wonderful. Others are shallow and sloppy hagiographies. Their music has been used to hawk everything from boots to smartphones. Centrists in progressive clothing like Beto O’Rourke receive high praise for quoting ‘The Clampdown’ to Ted Cruz. Separating what’s commodity and spectacle from the band’s actual contribution is getting harder. The latest in the growing list of biographical material is ‘Stay Free: The Story of the Clash.’ Produced by Spotify in collaboration with the BBC and narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, it’s the first podcast dedicated to the band’s history. It is an excellent piece of work, both in terms of substance and style. Social and cultural context play a prominent role in telling the story of the band’s evolution. Strikes, riots, movements, political explosions and implosions clearly inform their philosophy and musical practices as global capitalism reconstitutes itself in the 1970s and 1980s. …”
Jacobin

Visit John Ashbery’s Nest, Virtually


“Over the past few years, there has been a lot of attention paid to John Ashbery’s unusual and beautiful house in Hudson, New York, and its relationship to his poetry and aesthetics.  I’ve written about this before on a number of occasions, including about the concept behind ‘The Ashbery Home School’ writers retreat (which at least originally involved a visit to the Ashbery home), a recent gallery exhibit devoted to Ashbery as collector, and a gathering of critical essays on Ashbery’s ‘created spaces’ in Rain Taxi. If you aren’t one of the lucky few to be able to visit Ashbery’s home in person, rest easy: you can now visit this remarkable house virtually, thanks to ‘John Ashbery’s Nest,’ a stunning new project produced by Karin Roffman (who has just published a biography of Ashbery’s early years), in conjunction with the Yale Digital Humanities Lab. …”
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
John Ashbery’s Nest

Double Nickels on the Dime – Minutemen (1984)


Double Nickels on the Dime is the third album by American punk trio Minutemen, released on the California independent record label SST Records in 1984. A double album containing 45 songs, Double Nickels on the Dime combines elements of punk rock, funk, country, spoken word and jazz, and references a variety of themes, from the Vietnam War and racism in America, to working-class experience and linguistics. After recording new material, each band member selected songs for different sides of the double album, with the fourth side named ‘Chaff’. Several songs on Double Nickels on the Dime were outsourced to or inspired by contemporaries, such as Black Flag‘s Henry Rollins and Jack Brewer of Saccharine Trust. Double Nickels on the Dime is seen not only as Minutemen’s crowning achievement, but, according to critic Mark Deming, ‘one of the very best American rock albums of the 1980s’. … Minutemen were formed by guitarist D. Boon and bassist Mike Watt, both from San Pedro, California, in 1980.[5] After their previous band, The Reactionaries, disbanded in 1979, the pair continued to write new material and formed the band with drummer Frank Tonche a year later. Minutemen signed to the Californian independent record label SST Records following their second gig. George Hurley, the former drummer of The Reactionaries, replaced Tonche as drummer soon afterwards. The Minutemen were noted in the California punk scene for a philosophy of ‘jamming econo’; a sense of thriftiness reflected in their touring and presentation. …”
Wikipedia
Pitchfork
Graded on a Curve: Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
allmusic (Audio)
YouTube: Double Nickels On The Dime LP 1:22:49

The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash and the Wheels of Steel (1981)


“As digital sampling becomes more and more pervasive as a recording technique, the belief that anything is possible in a studio nowadays is also on the rise. But in 1981 ‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash and the Wheels of Steel’ took the cut-and-paste-sound approach used covertly on many records today (when they’re not abusing Auto-Tune) and the scavenging of other songs as its very subject. The number asks: How smart can you steal? How slick can you mix? This technical apex of one of rap’s leading disc-spinners is tremendously influential; many of today’s dance-music and rock productions are unimaginable without it. Flash started as a South Bronx dance-hall disc jockey whose trademark was taking his favorite rock and rap songs and repeating their hottest elements for heightened effect. Although credited to the full vocal group he supported, ‘Wheels of Steel’ was a solo shot by Flash designed to show off the wizardry that knocked ’em out live. After a stuttering intro, Flash lets Blondie’s ‘Rapture,’ Chic’s ‘Good Times,’ and Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ as well as snippets from earlier Flash/Five singles glide in and slam out of the unwavering beat. These songs of different tempos all fit without being forced. Spoken sections, boasts, and song apexes are finely woven into an amazingly seamless whole. Before the serrated-edged righteousness of ‘The Message’ and ‘White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)’ turned attention to rapper and writer Melle Mel, the group was a showcase for Flash. This is why.”
boingboing
W – “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash and the Wheels of Steel”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Grandmaster Flash – The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (original mix)

Subway Sect – Peel Session 1977


“Subway Sect to end the week – Their first session for John Peel, recorded on October 17, 1977 and first broadcast on October 24th of that year. Subway Sect were one of the first British punk bands. Although their commercial success was limited by the small amount of recorded material they released, they have been credited as highly influential on the Postcard Records scene and the indie pop genre which followed. The core of the band was singer-songwriter, Vic Godard, plus assorted soul fans, who congregated around early gigs by the Sex Pistols until Malcolm McLaren suggested they form their own band. Subway Sect were among the performers at the 100 Club Punk Festival on Monday, 21 September 1976 – sharing the bill with Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash and the Sex Pistols. The first line-up of Godard on vocals, Paul Packham on drums, Paul Myers on bass and Rob Symmons on guitar lasted for 4 gigs before Mark Laff replaced Packham. …”
Past Daily (Audio)
YouTube: Subway Sect – Peel Session 1977