Tuesday, August 17

from the vaults 1998

From: Doug
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 17:05:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Jojo: MC5

>> Their down side, is that Punkers find them too "Hippy" sounding, and Boomers find them too Chaotic. >>

> I tend to agree with this criticism. When I first got into punk a couple of years ago I made it a point to listen to the "roots" of the genre (Dolls, Velvets, Stooges, and MC5). Of those groups, the MC5 sound the most dated. I really can't imagine someone who wasn't alive during the sixties finding much relevance in their music, but that's just my opinion. That being said, I think it's worth the 8 or 9 bucks to buy one of their budget-priced CDs and decide for yourself whether they were any good. Most people I've talked to seem to think that "High Times" is the best record to start with. >

I'd start with the first album, which was recorded live and really is a classic. One problem I have with the MC5 is that they were heavilly influenced by soul and free jazz (Sun Ra, Coltrane), which aren't my cup of tea. And I hate Rob Tyners white soul-shouter voice. That's what makes them sound so dated. But, they have influenced all sorts of people like Radio Birdman, and the Nomads, and shouldn't be discounted so quickly.

> I would, however, wholeheartedly recommend all of Wayne Kramer's solo output, which is getting better with every passing album. I'd like to recommend a new CD by a group called the Sonics' Rendezvous Band. >

This was Fred Smith's (of the MC5) band and he disbanded it in the late 1970's when he and Patti went "into retirement". I had the good luck of seeing them live 3 times, and they might have been the best live band in the world at the time.

But, Fred's history of substance abuse, and his total lack of business sense made sure that they never released anything other than a 45 called City Slang, which now sells for over $100. The new CD is live stuff from their heyday. It is totally superb, and sounds just as fresh today as it did when it recorded 20 years ago. It should be available from the usual places that specialize in indie type stuff. In NYC, Subterranean is the place to start, and they also do mailorder.


Note: This is a vintage post from the old base.com list. If this is your message and you want it altered or removed, contact Jojoblog.

-- rb

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