London Calling, The Clash Answered

Music journalist Noah Lefevre has finally explained the origin of The Clash’s “London Calling” album cover, which is one of the most amazing album covers of all time.

Music essayist Noah Lefevre of Polyphonic explains the circumstances that caused The Clash to use a photo of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his favorite Fender while backstage at The Palladium in New York City. A well-behaved crowd that was being further held back by bouncers was the source of Simonon’s anger, as the band was used to raucous interaction with their crowds.

This is 100% true. Clash concerts were always interactive in both good and not-so-good ways. Restricting Clash fans would be akin to having a mosh pit during a Beatles concert: it was completely against the band’s wishes. Thus, Simonon’s rage.

This now-iconic picture was taken by photographer Pennie Smith in 1979. When the band was looking for artwork to grace their album cover, Joe Strummer found the photo and was absolutely taken in by its sheer emotion. The cover’s typography borrowed heavily from the debut album of Elvis Presley, as if to that say Rock and Punk were forged together as one.

If you never heard the song, you can see the music video below. It’s a classic.

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It’s Already Better Than Coldplay

Since much of this week’s posts have been awful retellings of the country collapsing, I am trying to make the weekends a little light. In this case, I have a musical interlude… performed by an air conditioner.

Jonny Shire captured footage of a malfunctioning air conditioner that accidentally performed a rather decent jazz drum solo. Unlike a real solo, which usually ends in rhythm with the rest of the band, the errant cooler just keeps going and going.

This is sheer genius; from the discovery to the video, it’s simply perfect.

Ah, Bach!

Once in a great while I need to expose some culture to you rubes – instead of exposing myself every day. In this case, Optical Arts created a video of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Tocatta” and combined it with shattering tableware.

“Tocatta” by Optical Arts is an observational piece that explores how music can change the perception of commonality. In this case, various forms of tableware shatter and reassemble to the soundtrack of “Toccata” by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece of music, particularly its Fugue in D Minor, is most familiar within the context of horror films and evokes a sense of violence and urgency with the simple breaking of plates and glasses that it might not otherwise have.

While this piece is one of my all-time favorites, it was used exceptionally well in the 1975 film “Rollerball.” You can see the Optical Arts video below the fold…

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A Wuhan Musical Interlude

I am thoroughly and completely sick of this Wuhan virus and the attacks on our individual freedoms.

So I’m using this post to steer away from the misery in order to throw out some very talented artists.

This is a video of cellist Samara Ginsberg performing a very tasty multi-track rendition of the Inspector Gadget theme song on cello. She does an excellent job. That theme song really takes me back.

Samara did the sections in pieces and combined them for the final result. The piece is perfect in every way.

Wow, this woman is simply incredible.

There’s more below the fold…

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Racist Rapper Rips Rueful Rooter

Before this morning, I have never heard of Kendrick Lamar. Apparently he’s a racist rapper – shock – who makes ample use of the n-word, and is very popular with members of all races.

After this performance, maybe Lamar’s white fans will seek entertainment somewhere else.

In American society, it is widely acknowledged that white people should not say the n-word. Nor should they rap it. Nor should they rap it on stage at a Kendrick Lamar performance in front of thousands of people.

For the record, the author of this despicable article is a pasty, self-hating white woman.

One white-appearing woman, identified in a video as “Delaney,” learned that lesson the very public way at Alabama’s Hangout Festival on Sunday. Lamar invited Delaney onstage during his song “M.A.A.D. City,” which chronicles the rapper and recent Pulitzer Prize winner’s experiences growing up in Compton.

The song contains 15 instances of the slang word “n—a,” three of which Delaney rapped with abandon. Until the music stopped halfway through the song. The packed crowd can be heard booing and cursing at the woman.

“You got to bleep one single word,” Lamar said.

So let me get this straight; Kendrick Lamar pens a rap song with fifteen instances of the word “nigga,” invites a white woman on stage to sing it with him, then stops the show when she actually says “nigga?”

So these are the new rules. I wonder if Lamar and all his entertainment friends will feel the same way if white women suddenly stood up and said, “We’re not going to date you anymore?”


This afternoon’s selection is “Wedding Song,” by The Psychedelic Furs.

I was listening to this while jogging yesterday, and while it’s a trippy little number, I think it is a terrific song. I inculcated the lyrics, because I enjoy them immensely.

When Mrs. Earp finally gets sick of my crap, I will actively campaign to have this song played at my next wedding. (Yeah, like I’m ever getting married again.)