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The Clash was a constant contradiction. They were anti-establishment but they signed to a major recording label. The band kept the price of their records low but insisted on lavish tour accommodations. They were a rock band but it was a disco dance beat that brought them their greatest fame. They were punk but they were so much more than a four letter scene. And at the heart of this contradiction, undeniably, was Joe Strummer.



Popular music critics have hijacked American audiences. Heralding Bruce Springsteen's The Rising as the definitive response to September 11th within popular music, critics would have audiences believe The Rising accurately embodies the emotions felt by survivors and witnesses to last year's tragedy. Like near-sighted lemmings, the critics rushed to applaud The Rising, giving little attention to the work of other artists addressing 9/11, as if Springsteen ushered in a new era of musical social criticism or a more valid musical witness to 9/11. A form of cultural imperialism, this universal praise underlines the serious lack of diversity within circles of popular music critics. The manner in which critics praised The Rising serves to grant popular music a deceiving sense of accomplishment and dangerously conditions appropriate social responses to 9/11.



A country croon here, a feedback drenched solo there, solid soul rhythm, and a straight ahead beat, the best way to coolly describe Lucero might be Indie Southern Gothic. This is music for and from a generation that came of age with worn out, hand me down copies of the Replacements' Tim, stumbled into their mid-twenties with Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, and settled down with the early Old 97s and borrowed Uncle Tupelo records.
Filmmakers Resurrect the Legend of the MC5
For most Americans, the MC5 are just a footnote in rock music history. "* In 1968, played at the Yippies Festival of Life rally right outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago before the police started bashing everyone's brains in." Yet despite their relative obscurity in the US mindset, the MC5 were one of the major foundations of modern punk rock, a huge influence on many heavy bands, and also a quintessential example of the ups and downs of rock stardom. Their tale would make any Behind The Music story seem weak by comparison.

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