Tuesday, October 14, 2008

History Lesson



There's a joke about rock bands, that when they get too big and fall out of touch with their audience, they start writing songs about the trials and tribulations of being on the road. It's a cliche in 1980's rock videos. You know, being on the bus, looking wistfully out the window as you roll into another town. Whatever.

Here's a group of songs by an array of artists, that look to their band as a subject for their song. This is almost, but not exclusively, the provenance of British bands: the idea of being in a band as being a member of a gang. The Clash perfected this concept. I was hard pressed to pick just one of their songs. "Clash City Rockers" was the obvious first choice, but isn't really on the subject. It's no secret that they modeled themselves after Mott, or at least guitarist Mick Jones did, and that's a good thing. Railroad Jerk tells a tall tale. The Mekons have a sense of humor about it, but the Mekons are "a band that deals in the facts of life." The Minutemen are dewey-eyed romantic punks name-checking their forebears. Felt are jangly, and Them are Irish, slightly menacing, and very intense.

Download:

"History Lesson - Part II" mp3
by The Minutemen, 1984.
available on Double Nickels on the Dime

"The Ballad Of The Band" mp3
by Felt, 1986.
available on Stains on a Decade

"Sympathy For The Mekons" mp3
by The Mekons, 1987.
available on Honky Tonkin'

"The Ballad Of Railroad Jerk" mp3
by Railroad Jerk, 1995.
available on One Track Mind

"The Story of Them Parts 1 & 2"
mp3
(THIS TRACK HAS BEEN REMOVED AS REQUESTED)
by Them, 1967.
available on The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison

"The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople" mp3
by Mott The Hoople, 1973.
available on Mott

"All The Young Punks" mp3
by The Clash, 1978.
available on Give 'em Enough Rope

12 comments:

WEB SHERIFF said...

WEB SHERIFF
Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
www.websheriff.com

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Hi Ted,

On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, we would kindly ask you not to post pirate copies of Van Morrison albums / tracks on your site.

We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Van, but Exile would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate files in question.

For your readers’ info, up-to-the-minute info on Van’s latest album - Keep It Simple - and 2008 shows is, of course, available on www.vanmorrison.com and www.myspace.com/vanmorrison and, for a limited period, you can still see Van's exclusive BBC sessions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/musictv/vanmorrison/video/ . We’re also pleased to announce that an increasing archive of exclusive film footage of Van Morrison performances has now been made available for fans on Exile’s official YouTube channel at http://uk.youtube.com/user/OfficialExileFilms.

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients' accumulated, worldwide rights and remedies remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

T-Bone Caruthers, Mayor of Fluville said...

Whereas, the citizens of the Fluville appreciate all members of the law enforcement community, as they work with great dedication to preserving and protecting the integrity of life on our internet and, therefore, we join to support annual observances such as "Sheriff's Week," to highlight the role of Web Sheriffs and to recognize the excellence of these public officers in serving our citizenry as a unique and vital part of municipal government; and

Whereas, throughout its history, the Office of Web Sheriff has been an integral component of the criminal justice system on the internet, having been established in the Web's first Constitution and having been continued in every succeeding Constitution; and

Whereas, while its function, status, and powers have changed over the course of its existence, the Office of Web Sheriff has been a constant and invaluable presence within the law enforcement community of our State, and its distinguished heritage has been preserved and remains a vital element of our criminal justice community; and

Whereas, over the years, the Office of Web Sheriff has evolved into a modern, professional, full-service Web Law enforcement agency that is manned by fully-trained police officers who employ state-of-art technology and apply the latest, most advanced theories and practices in the criminal justice field; and

Whereas, the Office of Web Sheriff is unique and its duties go far beyond the traditional role of "Keeper of the Peace," extending into many facets of public service, and include maintaining county jails, providing security in courts, dispatching emergency services, and serving and executing the civil process for our court system; and

Whereas, as a Constitutionally-sanctioned entity directly responsible to the public, the Office of Web Sheriff fulfills a distinct role within the community and today remains responsive and accountable to the public it serves, and it is fitting to celebrate the historically significant contributions of the Office of Web Sheriff and the valuable work carried out by the Sheriff as a longstanding component of law enforcement within our modern criminal justice system;

Now, Therefore, I, T-Bone Caruthers, Mayor of Fluville, hereby remove said "pirated" track.

Anonymous said...

How about X's "True Love (pt2) off their More Fun in the New World disc. I think that fits your theme. Great post, by the way.

Ted Barron said...

Anon,
You are probably thinking of "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" which is great, but more about the music scene than about the band. Thanks for tuning in.
Ted

dean said...

By the time the WEB SHERIFF finds all the "pirated" sound files of Van's songs, he won't have a fan base left. WEB SHERIFF should know that their actions have led to Morrison being put on an unofficial bloggers blacklist. I'll never post any of his songs again, that's for sure.

Ted Barron said...

Agreed. It's shame, but there's no choice but to comply. In two years of doing this Van's Sheriff is the only request I've received for removal.

Paul said...

At least web sheriff posts a comment on your blog asking you to take down the track.

I just had a post removed by blogger without any notice. The song was that hot new hit from The Band called "I Shall Be Released."

I think it's kind of odd that tracks older than me (almost) are getting taken down. Maybe I'm overestimating the effect of blogs on the younger generation, but you'd think it would help create interest that might lead to sales of the full album. Oh well.

Cookie said...

I'm actually kinda impressed. I've been doing Bedazzled for like 5 years or so and have never gotten this type of request. You got it goin' on like Phillies Blunt.

Ted Barron said...

Goin' on and goin' strong. Hey Cookie,
didn't you run into a tussle with Dick Clark?

JSG said...

Speaking of, looks like Moistworks had run afoul of something or other.

Ted Barron said...

That looks like a server issue.

bigsteveno said...

Another good one would have been Sir Doug's Recording Trip. It's on one of the Sir Douglas Quintet's Mercury albums, not sure which one.