321. Charlie Don’t Surf

“Come 1980, The Clash really had nothing left to prove to anyone, having delivered perhaps the greatest rock and roll album of all time in the waning days of 1979, the four-sided monster known as London Calling. So what to do next except everything, which gave us the six-sided mega-monster Sandinista. Charlie Don’t Surf shows up well into things, a song that takes a line from Apocalypse Now and extrapolates from there, all distant helicopters and dreamy if discordant keyboards. A friend of mine heard it once at a bar in Jamaica and it worked so well it didn’t even register until a few hours later that The Clash’s take on reggae had made it to a Jamaican mixtape! Were they really that good? Apparently so.” (Philip Random)

Clash-1980-backstage

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414. nemesis

In which Shriekback give us airstrikes, poison kisses, Tinkerbell and Jack the Ripper, centaurs, monkeys, Greeks, Romans, big fat nemesis, parthenogenesis — there’s a lot going on here, even a little Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness by way of  Apocalypse Now and Marlon Brando, his head shaved, gone mad in the primordial jungles of Cambodia, a man broken from himself (on the extended version anyway). So what’s it all mean other than we’re all gonna die, and asexual reproduction (which is what parthenogenesis means)? It’s a cool rhyme for nemesis. You gotta give it that. And otherwise, well, it’s from 1985. That’s how things were in those days. Full of looming horror and unlikely rhymes.

Shriekback-1985-promo

522. F*** You G.I.

23 Skidoo being one of those outfits who define the notion of hard to pin down. F*** You G.I. being a heavy slab of polyrhythmic funk driven by a key sample from the legendary Do-Long Bridge sequence from Apocalypse Now. 1984 being nine years on from the Vietnam War’s official conclusion, but you could still feel the darkness, heat, horror, even if you were just out walking the family dog through the suburban shadows, Sony Walkman on, of course.” (Philip Random)

23skidoo-urbanG