Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

September 9, 2009

September 8, 2009

September 7, 2009

September 4, 2009

The Piggies Slide Show

September 3, 2009

(Hit Play & Scroll Down)


George-Bush frowning







US Obama Science

Bill Clinton









Etc… Etc… Etc..

(This is just installment # One.  There’s plenty more were that came from).

September 1, 2009

August 31, 2009

August 27, 2009

LESTER BANGS one the Velvet Underground

August 27, 2009


“Lester Bangs is head and shoulders above anyone when it comes to the music critic business. Nobody before him, nobody after him. 98% of all art critics should be burned alive at the stake. Lester Bangs is 2%.”

-Fred Face 8/27/09lester_bangs

Lester Bangs:


The Velvet Underground are alive and well (which in itself may surprise some people) and ever-changing. How do you define a group like this, who moved from “Heroin” to “Jesus” in two short-years? It is not enough to say that they have one of the broadest ranges of any group extant; this should be apparent to anyone who has listened closely to their three albums. The real question is what this music is about—smack, meth, deviate sex and drugdreams, or something deeper?

Their spiritual odyssey ranges from an early blast of sadomasochistic self-loathing called “I’m So Fucked Up,” through the furious nihilism of “Heroin” and the metaphysical quest implied in the words “I’m searching for my mainline,” to this album, which combines almost overpowering musical lyricism with deeply yearning, compassionate lyrics to let us all know that they are finally “Beginning to See the Light.”

Can this be that same bunch of junkie – faggot – sadomasochist – speed – freaks who roared their anger and their pain in storms of screaming feedback and words spat out like strings of epithets? Yes. Yes, it can, and this is perhaps the most important lesson the Velvet Underground: the power of the human soul to transcend its darker levels.

The songs on this album are about equally divided between the subjects of love and freedom. So many of them are about love, in fact, that one wonders if Lou Reed, the malevolent Burroughsian Death Dwarf who had previously never written a complimentary song about anybody, has not himself fallen in love. The opening song, “Candy Says,” is about a young girl who would like to “know completely what the others so discreetly talk about.” The fact that this and about half the other tracks on the album are ballads marks another radical departure for the Velvets. The next track is a deep throbbing thing in which he chides perhaps the same girl for her confusion with a great chorus: “Lady be good/Do what you should/You know it’ll be alright.” John Cale’s organ work on this track is stark and spare and, as usual, brilliant—this time as much for what he leaves out as what he puts in.

Then there is “Some Kinda Love,” a grooving Latiny thing, somewhat like Donovan but much more earthy, and with words that will kill you: “Put the jelly on your shoulder/Let us do what you feel most/That from which you recoil/Uh still makes your eyes moist.”

Perhaps the greatest surprise here is “Jesus,” a prayer no less. The yearning for the state of grace reflected ther culminates in “I’m Set Free,” a joyous hymn of liberation. The Velvets never seemed so beautifully close to the Byrds before.

The album is unfortunately not without its weak “tracks though. “The Murder Mystery” is an eight minute exercise in aural overload that annoys after a few listenings, and “Pale Blue Eyes” is a folky ballad that never really gets off the ground either musically or lyrically. On the whole I didn’t feel that this album matched up to White Light/White Heat, but it will still go a long way toward convincing the unbelievers that the Velvet Underground can write and play any kind of music they want to with equal brilliance.


(Posted: May 17, 1969)


The Big Takeover

August 26, 2009

August 25, 2009

August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

The Pogues (w/ Shane) In Austin, TX

August 23, 2009

Sweeeeet, I got tickets to see the Pogues, (Original Line-up), at Stubb’s. Shane is one of the few people I would plunk down $45 dollars to see. To see one of the best song writers of the 21st century, (even if he is mumbling & piss drunk), I’ll dish out my hard earned money. Not to mention an incredibly talented tight band. I think their touring the country, so, look em up.

-Fred Face 8/22/09


August 22, 2009

August 19, 2009

August 17, 2009

August 15, 2009

August 14, 2009

August 13, 2009

August 10, 2009

August 9, 2009

August 7, 2009

August 5, 2009

August 4, 2009

August 1, 2009

July 30, 2009

July 28, 2009

July 25, 2009

July 24, 2009

July 22, 2009

July 20, 2009

July 19, 2009

July 17, 2009

July 15, 2009

July 13, 2009

July 12, 2009

July 10, 2009

July 9, 2009

July 8, 2009

July 7, 2009

Happy 6th

July 6, 2009

Happy 4th

July 5, 2009

July 4, 2009

July 2, 2009

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2009

June 29, 2009

Mr. Lif – Phantom

June 28, 2009

“I’ve posted this before but it speaks volumes on the human mentality in America and the system that we’re under and the system that needs to be fought by all means necessary by allllll of the diverse people in America. We’ve all had it… and we know the enemy.”

-Fred Face 6/27/09

June 27, 2009

Moon Lune

June 26, 2009

Lune Moon

June 26, 2009

June 25, 2009

June 23, 2009

June 20, 2009

White Denim – Exposion

June 20, 2009



By Evan St. John • Dec 2nd, 2008 • Category: Sound Reviews


For a band that has already conquered the Austin music scene like a frenzied Cortés-with-a-smile, it may seem superfluous to name an album “Exposion”. In no short supply of prior popularity, White Denim is guaranteed to capture at least an ear or two with its first full-length album. Indeed, it’s amazing this group got so far without having a full-length up to this point, but their success rests on one key fact: by melody if possible, by force if necessary, White Denim compels the listener to have fun.

In their latest release, currently available only in digital format, Denim has crafted 11 meandering, spastic glimpses into an alternate universe where, villain or hero, everyone taps a toe and snaps a finger in time.



White Denim’s Myspace

Jello Biafra Writes An Open Letter To Barack Obama

June 18, 2009



(Jello Biafra’s 1979 mayoral campaign against Diane Feinstein was the first I ever worked on, which probably says a lot. We’re proud to publish his open letter to Barack Obama — jh)

My Friends (couldn’t resist, I had to say it),

Here, by semi-popular demand, are the suggestions I sent to Obama’ site for citizen input. It veers from writing to Obama himself to writing for the people who may actually read this. A lot of these ideas may be familiar from my albums and spoken word shows. For the most part I stayed away from the big no-brainers covered by others, and from ideas he would never agree to in a million years.

I did not vote for him because of his record in Congress voting for thePATRIOT Act, the anti-immigrant wall, numerous corporate breaks and subsidies, the FISA bill legalizing all the NSA’s illegal wiretapping, etc. Nevertheless I, too, felt moved by his speech in the park that night in Chicago, seeing Jesse Jackson cry and wondering how Martin Luther King, Jr would have felt. I can only imagine how much this would have meant to Wesley Willis.

And, yes, I am glad that the adult version of the Eraserhead baby and his pitbull pal were not handed the keys to the White House.

I guess that’s why it hurts so much more when the guy we all wish we could hang out with when we see him on TV turns around and backs the wrong position on something important. We expect this from the Clintons and Bidens of the world, but it hurts more with Obama because he knows better. He even said so on the FISA/NSA spying bill that he so eloquently opposed before he changed his vote. His economic and national security teams so far lack anyone from the “change” side of the Democratic Party. Not a good sign.

If you have ideas or comments, don’t just send them to me, send them to! Even I have the audacity to hope that if one of these ideas penetrates up top, it is a chance worth taking. Tom Hayden is one of many who havepointed out that it is up to this movement to drive Obama, not the other way around.

Jello Biafra



Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations on your recent victory, and for helping build such a strong mandate for change. In that spirit, please do not forget the other aisle you need to reach across. All the relief and publicity for the middle class won’t do anything for the 40-100 million Americans who are starving, unemployed or just plain poor.

You have gone out of your way to build a bridge to those of us fed up with war, pollution, inequality, corporate lawlessness and business as usual. You have energized a whole new generation who is far ahead of their elders in knowing what urgently needs to be done. I have never seen such an outpouring of heartfelt emotion, hope and support for an American politician in my life, and I remember Kennedy well. You are the first president in my lifetime to have a bona fide grassroots movement behind you and ready to rock. I hope those crowds’ hope and urgency has penetrated deeply enough that you won’t let that bridge be washed away.

I remember another person who had the audacity to exploit and toss aside people’s hope, and his name is Bill Clinton. Democrats fail time and again when they shirk responsibility and settle for being dealmakers instead of leaders. As important as it is to find common ground and build consensus for change, our situation is so dire we cannot afford any more dealmakers. The people voted for a leader. Anything less risks breaking the hearts of an entire galvanized generation who may then decide it is not worth it to get involved and participate any more.

Strong medicine is needed. Here are some ideas:


The closest thing to a solution I have heard was offered clear back in April 2004 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference ( The OIC is comprised of 57 Islamic countries ranging from West Africa clear over to Southeast Asia. At their annual meeting they found six member nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen and Morocco) willing to pony up enough of their own troops (approx. 150,000) that our troops could have gone home! Who slammed the door on that one? Colin Powell, on the grounds that having the Islamic soldiers under UN command instead of Americans was out of the question.

WHY??!? Wouldn’t a neutral force of Muslim peacekeepers make a lot more headway than the disaster we’ve made? Wouldn’t they at least command a lot more respect, resulting in a huge drop in violence? Surely the non-stop carnage and Iracketeering we have spawned is Exhibit A that we need to get over this colonialist illusion that other countries’ problems can only be solved by Americans. The OIC’s proposal for US withdrawal and peace in Iraq must be revisited immediately, and also considered for Afghanistan.

We must end not just our military occupation of Iraq, but our economic occupation NOW. Iraq is not ours to sell, and neither is its oil. Your promise not to leave any permanent US military bases in Iraq is a good start. But you have also backed leaving US troops in Iraq to “protect American assets like the Green Zone.” The Green Zone is not our “asset.” We stole it and we have to give it back. I hope you don’t seriously believe we can get away with that giant feudal fortress of an embassy we are building, ten times the size of any other in history. We cannot afford to waste any more money on this, or down the black hole of the Bush administration’s crony backroom deals with corrupt, incompetent private contractors like Blackwater, KBR and Halliburton. We need to fire them and they need to leave—NOW.

We do owe the Iraqi people help, and we have an obligation to clean up the mess we have made. That goes double for Afghanistan. But I can’t see this getting done unless someone other than the United States is in charge. Let us also not forget the 2 million-plus refugees stuck outside Iraq who are draining the economies of Iraq’s neighbors, especially Jordan and Syria.

June 18, 2009

June 17, 2009

June 15, 2009

June 14, 2009

“A band that had soo much potential that died after it’s first two albums. Their first album is great. Of the 10 years or so I lived in NYC, Gogol’s show at the Fez was the best rock show I had ever scene. Then something went tragically wrong starting with album 3 produced by Steve Albini. I don’t stand behind many bands but they used to be one. Something happens to your musical sensibility when you start touring big venue style festivals, increased exposure,  etc etc. Sad to see them go.”

-Fred Face 

“Air Guitar” -Dave Hickey

June 13, 2009



“Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us–simpatico dudes that we are–while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time–while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works–but it doesn’t feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns. 

Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us–as damaged and anti-social as we are–might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can’t. The song’s too simple, and we’re too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we’re breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions. 

And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically “perfect” rock–like “free” jazz–sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is alwayson top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we’re trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we’re all a bunch of flakes. That’s something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that’s all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.” 
— Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy)


Buy Air Guitar

June 12, 2009

June 11, 2009

June 10, 2009

June 9, 2009

Good Movie… Great Band

June 9, 2009


MC5 * A True Testimonial 
© Future/Now Films, 1998, Design by Gary Grimshaw

David Thomas on the MC5 movie
(November 1998)


The film will place the story of the MC5 in its historic context, exploring the tension between the idealistic goals of an exploding counterculture and the demands of a commercial marketplace, celebrating the band’s accomplishments and high-energy aesthetic, examining the factors that contributed to the rise and fall of the MC5.

Future/Now Films has spent 2 years in research and pre-production on MC5 * A True Testimonial, uncovering a wealth of archival materials from a variety of sources. Much of this material is previously unseen or seen only by a handful of collectors —- all of it bears visual testimony to the persistent legend of the MC5. As production funds have become available we have filmed interviews with Dennis Thompson (inside Detroit’s Grande Ballroom), Wayne Kramer (on the site of the MC5’s historic performance during the ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago), Gary Grimshaw, and others. Recently completed preview trailers, incorporating archival materials and interview segments, have been screened in Detroit, Austin and London, Cleveland (at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame), New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco.

A portion of the financing for MC5 * A True Testimonial has already been secured in the form of grants from Studio Film & Tape, Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council, private investment and generous donations. Future/Now Films continues its efforts to secure the funding necessary to complete principal photography.

MC5 * A True Testimonial will be an electrifying film, at once an examination of the MC5’s dramatic story and a reflection of their high-energy aesthetic. It is perhaps the last great untold story in Rock & Roll- and a film whose time has come.







There is an earlier, frequently-overlooked MC5 from which all later incarnations spring: the ‘garage-band’ MC5, ‘psychedelic-greasers’ from the Motor City. This very early MC5 is much like other American garage / punk / psyche bands of the period (Shadows of Knight, Standells, Music Machine, etc.), and it is out of this aesthetic base, coupled with a soulful mastery of R&B forms, that the MC5 would evolve into the high-octane rabble-rousers of Kick Out the JamsBack in the USA, and High Time. Taking their cues from The Rolling Stones (the first ‘original song’ the MC5 ever recorded, “One of the Guys,” is a hyped-up “Down Home Girl” with new, topical lyrics), The Who (check the opening stun-chords and “Magic Bus”-like coke-bottle percussion of “I Just Don’t Know”), Them (“I Can Only Give You Everything” was a favorite among many American garage bands), and The Troggs (who also covered “I Can Only Give You Everything” and recorded the original “I Want You” which mutates into “I Want You Right Now” on Kick Out the Jams) the early MC5 fashioned a sound which was largely derivative but which provides the jumping-off-point for their subsequent development.

The original A-Squared 45 of “Looking At You,” and its flip, “Borderline,” while ‘produced’ by John Sinclair, is clearly rooted in this garage band aesthetic; when John Sinclair first saw the MC5 in 1967 (according to his own account in CREEM, [Vol 2 #8]) it was on a bill with The Unrelated Segments, a great Michigan garage-punk band. At that point the MC5 had been playing around the Detroit area for over two years and at the Grande Ballroom for six months, sharpening their chops on bills with other garage bands like The Chosen Few, The Woolies, The Prime Movers, The Thyme, The Underdogs, and The Spikedrivers. Their repertoire included standard garage-band fare like “Route 66,” “I’m a Man,” “You Really Got Me,” “Baby Please Don’t Go, ” “My Generation,” and other hits of the day. Their sets also included “I Can Only Give You Everything,” “I Just Don’t Know,” and “One of the Guys” all of which were recorded by the MC5 in 1966 (for the AMG label). It is this ‘garage-aesthetic,’ with its celebration of snotty-bad-attitude-teen-libidos fueled by loud-ass guitars, which is the impetus behind the MC5’s sound and image and the common thread that runs through all of their subsequent incarnations.

Kick Out the Jams, recorded live at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit over two nights in October, 1968, is a documentation of the MC5’s high-energy stage show just as they were reaching their apex as the most electrifying and dynamic band in the country. Constant gigging throughout Michigan and the Midwest during the Spring and Summer of 1968 had helped them hone their presentation to a tumultuous roar.Kick Out the Jams is a call to arms, a tightrope dance on the edge of chaos, an unleashing of all the power and swagger and soulful exuberance at the heart of Rock & Roll. It is staggering in its sheer energy level — rarely has it been equalled, never has it been surpassed. For most fans, and probably through all posterity, Kick Out the Jams, will be lauded as the ‘real’ MC5.

Perhaps no record could be further from the audacity of Kick Out the Jams than its over-rehearsed and over-produced follow-up, Back in the USA. While the blame for Back in the USA‘s sonic shortcomings lie squarely on the shoulders of rookie producer Jon Landau, the MC5 themselves were willing co-conspirators. Coming off a string of mishaps, blunders and traumatic upheavals (dropped by Elektra, shunned by the critics, Sinclair imprisoned) it is hardly surprising that the MC5 fell under the controlling influence of Landau, attempting to record a followup which would ingratiate them to their many detractors. The playing is often eloquent and mercurial, the arrangements tight and streamlined, and the songwriting is some of their best ever (“Shakin’ Street,” “The American Ruse,” “Tonight”). Back in the USA is head and shoulders above the efforts of most of their contemporaries, but coming off the fire and bluster of Kick Out the Jams, it was a horrible disappointment, an ill-timed and transparent bid for commercial success. The irony and humor of tracks like “Call Me Animal,” and “High School” (harkening back to their snotty garage days) and the complexity and sophistication of “Human Being Lawnmower” is largely lost in the ‘uptight’ mix. Even “Looking At You,” boasting a leaner, meaner arrangement, a brilliant lead guitar break, and impassioned playing and singing seems somehow flat (especially next to the original A-Squared 45). Back in the USA seems a great record fighting to get out. Wonderfully inspired but hopelessly flawed, it is as much a reflection of the ‘real’ MC5 as anything else they ever did. It just doesn’t sound like it.

High Time, self-produced with engineer Geoffrey Haslam, puts the MC5 firmly back on the Hi-N-R-G track, and it is a masterful and joyous ride. High Time is an amazingly intelligent record, power-packed and nimble and full of cautionary tales from a band bloodied but unbowed. The playing throughout is taut and self-assured, they seem at once relaxed and ferocious- like sharks in the water. There are moments onHigh Time that are frightening in their intensity (RobTyner at the edge of his range on “Over & Over,” the dual-guitar mayhem at the end of “Gotta Keep Movin,” Fred Smith’s guttural outburst in “Sister Anne” and the blistering guitar/guitar/bluesharp break that follows, the polyrhythms of “Skunk (Sonically Speaking)”) and it is this intensity and confidence which makes High Time such a marvel, and perhaps the quintessential MC5 record. After all they had been through it was a wonder that they could make a record so rich, so full of ideas, and seemingly, do it so effortlessly. High Time sounds like a great Rock & Roll record by a band born to make great Rock & Roll records. At the end of their rope career-wise, with few watching and less really caring, the MC5 did what they really did best- they “done kicked ’em out!”

Flaws intact, the MC5 always walked it like they talked it. Frozen in time in all their incarnations (from Garage-band Neophytes to gun-totin’ Revolutionaries, from Pop-Star wanna-be’s to washed-up Futurists) the MC5 were nothing if not “real.” From their earliest singles to their last recordings (“Thunder Express” and “Gold”) the MC5 were forever true to their own dictum:

“Truth …and Love …are my Law …. and Worship ……. Form and Conscience are my Manifestation and Guide ………Nature …and Peace are my Shelter and Companion ………Order is my Attitude ……Beauty and Perfection ….are my …ATTACK.” 
from “Poison” – Wayne Kramer


The politics of the band have as much to do with the dynamics of the Sinclair-MC5 relationship as with politics. With Sinclair ‘fired’ by the band and jailed in July 1969, there were clearly issues of a financial and personal nature fueling Sinclair’s subsequent statements about the MC5. Careful listening to both Back in the USA and High Time reveal lyrics which are more pointedly political than anything which appears on Kick Out the Jams. “The American Ruse,” and “Human Being Lawnmower,” from Back in the USA, and “Future/Now,” “Gotta Keep Movin,” and “Over and Over” from High Time are all songs which express specific viewpoints on politically-charged issues. The second verse of “Future/Now” may go a long way toward explaining some of the MC5’s own view of the dynamics of their relationship with John Sinclair.

After John Sinclair was in jail and the MC5 had ended their association with him, they did play benefits for various causes associated with Sinclair’s legal difficulties and ‘The Movement.’ Through the Summer of 1969 and into 1970 the MC5 topped several bills in and around Detroit which were organized as ‘Free John Sinclair’ events. On January 24, 1970, a date proclaimed ‘International Free John Sinclair Day’ by The Fifth Estate and The Seed, SRC and the MC5 headlined a ‘Free John Sinclair Rally’ at the Grande Ballroom and Eastown Ballroom, Detroit, ……guest speakers included Abbie Hoffman and attorney Ken Cockrell, ….(this is not the more famous ‘John Sinclair Freedom Rally’ held in Ann Arbor on December 10, 1971 — an event which the MC5 were NOT invited to perform at). The MC5’s participation in this January 1970 event comes six months AFTER they had severed their ties to John Sinclair, Trans-Love, and The White Panthers – and despite the general urgings of Jon Landau and Atlantic Records.

Following the MC5’s first appearance in the UK (Phun City Festival, July 25, 1970) it is interesting to note the sudden burst of articles in the English music and underground press (especially International Times) espousing a ‘Revolutionary’ view, including the announcement of the formation of a London branch of The White Panther Party. Seems at the least that the MC5 were still carrying the message.


Detroit’s MC5 were one of the most electrifying acts to ever storm a Rock & Roll stage and their performances in the late 60’s are the stuff of myth and legend. In a time when every obscure cult band is an instant legend, the MC5 have a real feel of American folklore. They were the loudest, the baddest, the most outrageous bunch of get-down white brothers the nation had yet seen. They achieved that most elusive of rock Grails — a new sound, unbelievably loud and hard, yet sensuous, with a strong and original feel for black music. At a time when this country resonated with the conflicting voices of rebellion and repression, the MC5 represented the musical expression of the most radical elements of a cultural revolution. Born of a place where violent labor militancy, black insurgency, and the roar of machinery were real elements of the environment, Detroit’s MC5 fused the liberating spirit of high-energy rock and roll with the strident politics of confrontation, applying the counterculture’s exploration of consciousness and the senses, energy and spirit, to an older and more traditional kind of Rock & Roll and R&B. Combined with a penchant for high-energy experimentation, an innate sense of showmanship, and a distinctly-Detroit work ethic, the MC5 crafted a presentation which stunned, shocked and electrified anyone who was lucky enough to witness it.

But the MC5’s ascendant moment is also the moment at which the whole counterculture, the whole era – snaps. They are identified with the final mad reach of the 1960’s- their idealistic aspirations and radical approach come at the very time that the forces of Law & Order are taking the offensive, as the record industry is learning to harness the wild energies of rock music, and as the counterculture itself is fragmenting and dispersing, being co-opted and reabsorbed into the American mainstream. The story of the MC5 is the last great untold story of the 1960s; it is a microcosm of the civil unrest, political revolt, and cultural upheaval that shook the country’s foundation; to leave their tale untold is to leave a crucial chapter of American history unwritten.

The MC5 affected many people in their audience on a deeply personal level. Time and time again we, as filmmakers researching the story of the MC5, have heard stories of how this group deeply affected the world-view of those who experienced them. For many the MC5 were a working model of limitless possibilities and the MC5 experience a catalyst for their own personal and political awakenings. Devotion bordering on fanaticism surrounded this group; the MC5 changed many lives forever.

The MC5’s energies jump-started and catalyzed a music scene in Southeast Michigan which included Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes, Bob Seger, The Rationals, Mitch Ryder, The Stooges, Alice Cooper, Commander Cody, Grand Funk Railroad, SRC, Brownsville Station, Suzi Quatro, and others. Many of these artists went on to commercial successes which dwarfed those of the MC5, but few would deny the inspiration and influence that the MC5 had on their own work. Artists as diverse as David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Marshall Crenshaw, Captain Sensible, and Henry Rollins testify to their impact.

The MC5’s music combined diverse influences into a unique and original high-energy style, defining a hard-rock sound which would become universal by the late ’70’s and planting the seeds of ‘alternative’ styles which would burst through to commercial success in the 1990’s. In 1978 the British music paper New Musical Express referred to their first LP, Kick Out the Jams, as the first ‘punk’ LP, their second LP, Back in the USA, as the first ‘new wave’ record, and their third LP, High Time, as the first ‘new-metal’ LP. While the terms now seem outdated the analysis is accurate.

The MC5 provided a blueprint for many artists and groups that came later- from the dual guitar attacks of the NY Dolls and Blue Oyster Cult to the anarchy of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned; from the punk mayhem of Black Flag and the Bad Brains to the sonic assault of Poison Idea, Spacemen 3 and Mudhoney to recent celebrations by groups like The Makeup and the Lord High Fixers.

Their one ‘hit’ record, “Kick Out the Jams,” (the single reached #1 on AM Radio in several Midwest markets in the spring of 1969; the LP remained on the charts for 27 weeks) has entered the vernacular as a phrase which signifies the breaking down of all barriers in an all-out personal effort. The phrase crops up in a myriad of contexts, from sports writing to advertising; while the meaning is implicitly clear the origin of the phrase is often forgotten or overlooked.

(c) 1998 – David C. Thomas – Future/Now Films. Future/Now films. Inc., Chicago welcomes any and all inquiries.

June 8, 2009

June 7, 2009

June 7, 2009

June 6, 2009

Lester Bangs 1980

June 6, 2009


Incredible 90 minute interview with legendary rock critic Lester Bangs from 1980. Lester speaks about factors within the music industry, New Wave, Punk, CBGB’s & music journalism.




June 5, 2009

June 4, 2009

June 2, 2009