Rachid Taha has followed Joe Strummer to rock the casbah in the hereafter

Punk, Algerian chaabi music, Rai, rock and techno: Rachid Taha had it all going on. He drew inspiration from the music of North Africa, New Orleans jazz, delta blues, The Clash and Elvis Presley. He cut his teeth spinning albums as a DJ and playing in a number of bands as he came of age in France. He worked with famed producers like Don Was and Steve Hillage and traveled in the same circles as David Bowie. In his later years, he was slowed down by muscular dystrophy, but he continued to rock, nonetheless. You've very likely enjoyed his music used in films and video games without ever knowing it. It's beautiful, fire-filled stuff.

On September 12th, Rachid Taha passed away at the age of 59. Read the rest

Weekend Tunes: The Clash - Know Your Rights

It's been 36 years since The Clash dropped Know Your Rights as the first single from their fifth studio album, Combat Rock. That it's just as relevant today as it was close to four decades ago leaves me unsure of whether I should laugh or cry.

If you're an American unsure of what your rights truly are, the ACLU has you covered. Canadian? Check out the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and this handy guide on dealing with the police.

If you're from another part of the world, help us out here: Add a link to your country's civic rights in the comments. Read the rest

The Equals perform "Police On My Back"

The Clash recorded "Police On My Back" for Sandinista! in 1980, but The Equals (fronted by Eddie Grant) did it on 1967. Here's the Richard-Lester-meets-the-Keystone-Kops video.

Here's The Clash's cover:

Both are great. I like the Clash's version better.

The Clash also covered Toots & The Maytals "Pressure Drop."

Both are great. I like Toots & The Maytals' version better.

[via] Read the rest

LISTEN: demo versions from Clash's London Calling

The Clash will always be my favorite band. So it is nice to listen to these early drafts of the songs on London Calling. Open Culture has a bunch of them, including songs that never made it on the double LP, like "Heart and Mind" (above). Read the rest

Clash release 12-cd box set with giant fake cigarette

The Clash's new 12-disk set is called Sound System, and is loaded with a bunch of swag, including what looks like a giant cigarette. I don't know what the significance of it is, though.

The new Clash retrospective, Sound System, is a 12-disc monstrosity containing remastered versions of the original band’s studio recordings, three full discs of demos, rarities and live tracks and a DVD of all their videos, as well as plenty of bodacious swag including official Clash fanzines, posters, stickers, badges and even Clash-related dogtags, all painstakingly packaged in an exact replica of Mr. Simonon’s beloved old boom-box.

The Clash Unveils 12-Disc Set: 'We Were Very Busy People With a 24-Hour Lifestyle' Read the rest

Google's 5-part documentary about The Clash

I just found out about this documentary of my favorite band, The Clash, which was produced by Google. Above: it's Topper, Paul, and Mick!

In this exclusive documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the late, great Joe Strummer, all four members of “the only band that matters” walk us through the making of each of their classic albums. Newly re-mastered versions of those albums are available below, along with a new hits collection based on the set list from one of Joe’s favorite gigs. Plus, four contemporary bands inspired by the Clash’s legacy offer their own takes on the band’s songs. If you already love the Clash, watch and listen and we guarantee you’ll hear something new. If you don’t, you’ll hear why you should.

Google produces a five part documentary on the Clash featuring the remaining band members talking through their classic albums and never-before-seen footage of Joe Strummer (Via The World's Best Ever) Read the rest