times are tough in our nation. there is no hiding the fact that something stinks over in washington, and our political people aren't at their very best, or at least, doing what many so want them to do. there is lot's of double talk, and fingers crossed behind backs. tonight was the state of the union address by our current president, barack obama. i'm not a fan of him and i didn't vote at all in the last election. things begin to stir up inside me when i see him speak on behalf of the people. i never asked him to do that for me, because i don't agree with a lot of what he says. of course, i'm free to say these things since it's my given right, and whoever disagrees with me has every right to. i'm not here to make a rant, but instead to make a post on emotions. in all reality, my blog is a response to everyday emotions and feelings towards anything that might interest me, or make me think. to make the communication effect, i like to have music speak for me.
tonight's speech has made me frustrated and wanting to kick something around. i guess i'll just kick out some jams, by the amazing, and fantastic band, the MC5. (ugh, bad pun...)
punk started in america. don't deny that fact. it's started in the late 60's as a response to the situations going on at that time. i wasn't born until 1984, so by then it was just yuppie scum and acid washed jeans, but at some point in time, there was a spark started by bands with a passion and an effort to speak of something more than flowers and peace. these guys were about busting the system and kicking some butt, and the MC5 were one of the first to do such a thing. (The Stooges were the other at the time!!!)
emotions ran high during the 60's, what with Vietnam going on and our government loosing a lot of support from the people. there was radical change wanting to be made, and also a radical response from the public. art is and will forever be, the free place to make a statement. even during the 2000's, music made in response to the worldly situations was created, and some of it was good. (not as good as the stuff before though...) going back to the roots, this band was from the left and stood in contrast to the bs going on in america. not many were this brave at the time, and it came as a threat to many who didn't expect this from their children and neighbors.
the MC5, or Motor City Five, were from detroit, and existed from 1964 to 1972. the original lineup consisted of anarchists, and leftists with attitude. there was lead singer, rob tyner, guitarists wayne kramer and fred "sonic" smith, bassist michael davis and drummer dennis thompson. don't look at the current reunited version of the band, because it's just terrible tripe... anyway, these dudes were heavily inspired by the marxism/maoism of groups like the black panther party and fred hampton, the african american chairman of the illinoise chapter of the party. huey p. newton prompted poet and activist (plus MC5 manager) john sinclair to start the white panther party, who were a militant, far-left, and anti-racist party that supported the black panthers through the 60's. their goal was for "cultural revolution" as well as other elements, like "rock 'n roll, dope, sex in the streets and the abolishing of capitalism." the MC5 was the party's house band, and often their shows became politically influenced performances with "special" incidents taking place. the band is also famous for their performance at the democratic national convention in 1968, in chicago where violent protests took place. it is stated that the band played for eight hours straight, and none of the other bands came... lol
ha ha, so take that with whatever you want. it's old news and been done and is now gone, but what's left behind is the music and attitude. the MC5 made three awesome, perfect albums of 60's garage punk. their first album, Kick Out The Jams, was recorded live as an effort to capture their live showcase and it grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. the sheer intensity of singer rob tyner and the messy but carefully arranged guitar plucking's from the members rages on with the thumping bass and mammoth drumming that fills in the rest of the gaps. this music is powerful and makes me wish i could have witnessed it back then just to see the faces on the people witnessing it for the first time.
music this good needs to be spread around and discussed for it's own merit. these guys created something original and radical, and because of that, they hold a special place amongst the more well known artists of then and now. there is a lot to be seen in today's music and performance that owes much credit to these pioneers of style and force. the presence on stage was dynamic and often exploding like an atom bomb on the unsuspecting audience. when i first got into this band, their live videos i found reminded me of At The Drive-In, but then i realized this stuff was back in the freekin' 60's man!!! this is totally awesome and makes me wonder why more people my age don't know about these guys!!!
now, for the music we have here all three albums the band made in their career during those troubling times in america. first is the already mentioned, Kick Out The Jams. this album is just great, and it sends shivers down my spine every time i hear it. kick out the jams, along with the next album, are featured in the Rollingstone Top 500 Greatest Albums Ever Made, issue, and rightfully so. yeah, so that next album mentioned is Back In The USA, and it's a more focused, pop rock, bluesy affair and made the bands talent more well known, but received mixed reviews. and for their final effort, we have the album, High Time. this album was their poorest reviewed and least selling, which caused their label to loose money and drop the band. too bad, because money isn't everything right??? okay, so i'm done with the history lesson, and now it's time for bed, and the forgetting of things that have happened in the past. well, except for the music because it's more important that what obama burped out. enjoy!!!
"kick out the jams, motherf*ckers!!!"...