A great new podcast explores the cultural and political impact of the Only Band That Matters: the Clash

I met Andy Bothwell on Warped Tour in the summer of … 2003, I think? My friends' emo band had somehow secured a spot on the Code Of Tha Cuts Hip-Hop side stage. He jumped on stage to freestyle during a song in his MC alias as Astronautalis, and absolutely blew me away. We did a few shows together over the next couple years, but I've remained a huge fan of his talkin'-blues-indie-rock beats ever since. He's gone on to tour with artists like Tegan & Sara, and recently put out a new collaboration with POS from Doomtree that — coincidentally — includes a song about the late great Joe Strummer.

Being that I was a teenager hanging out on Warped Tour, it's perhaps no surprise that I'm a huge of the Clash. But I was surprised to find that this brilliant indie rapper I'd hung out with a few times was hosting Consequence of Sound's new podcast, The Opus, and that the latest season would focus on the only band that matters.

Admittedly, I haven't listened to the other seasons of The Opus yet, which focus on albums by Willie Nelson, Ozzy Osbourne, and more. But the three-part series on "London Calling" is absolute essential listening. Bothwell oozes excitement as he talks about the band's magnum opus. He also brings on a diverse range of guests to share their own takes, including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, Donita Sparks, Houston rapper Fat Tony, and more. Read the rest

How Joe Strummer got through this interview is anyone's guess

Joe Strummer was born on August 21, 1952 in Ankara, Turkey. The music he made in his 50 years on this rock changed damned near everything, speaking of rebellion, love and everything in between. He would have been 67 years old today.

From all reports Joe wasn't a huge fan of being interviewed and man, I'm pretty sure that he wasn't thrilled with being interviewed by this fella. Despite constant being talked over, baiting, uninformed questions that no one should have to answer and a number of awkward silences, he managed to make it through this 22 minute interview with grace, calm and dignity. I'm not sure I would have been able to manage it, were I in his shoes. Watching this makes me love him, all the more.

Happy birthday, Joe. Wish you were here.

Image via Flickr, courtesy of John Joe Coffey Read the rest

Weekend Tunes: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

Joe Strummer would have turned 66 years old this week, had he not passed away.

I still think about his music and miss him, every single day. Read the rest