Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Tomorrow night, I make my return to The Busted Halo show on SiriusXM's Catholic Channel. It's been a while since I've been on the program. I'm definitely looking forward to it, it's always fun to talk about music with Father Dave.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the amazing music of Joe Strummer. I think about him a lot lately: I think he would have loved the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and the other ones that it has inspired across the globe.  But whatever your politics are, most people can get inspiration from the way that Joe always stuck up for the underdog.  Whether or not I agree with the tea party, they feel that they're the underdogs!

I'm sure a lot of young (and not-so-young) people can relate to a song like "Career Opportunities." Ditto for "Clampdown."  But while I was doing my research for the program, I listened to "Rock The Casbah," I hadn't really thought about that song (or video) for a long time.  But when I watched the video on YouTube, I kind of forgot how it impacted me as a kid.  First of all, it may have been the first time I saw a  punk rock band.  I was a big metal fan, and I thought of punk rock as sort of cartoony, I guess.  I don't know that this video changed my mind, actually.  But what did make an impact on me was the storyline: first, that it was about an orthodox jew and an arab looking guy hanging out and getting along.  And second, because the thing that they bonded over was music.  I haven't thought about this in a while, but I know that that made an impact on me.

Having just finalized the list of songs that I'm bringing to the show, I just realized that there was nothing from Joe's solo albums, and I feel bad about that.  I know he took a lot of pride in the albums he made with his backing band, The Mescaleros, and rightfully so. So I'll take this opportunity to recommend Rock, Art and The X-Ray Style, Global A-Go-Go and Streetcore.  Let me also recommend The Clash documentary Westway To The World, and the Strummer docs The Future Is Unwritten and Let's Rock Again.

I'll also take this opportunity to remind people about the incredible speeches that The Edge and Tom Morello made about Joe and The Clash when The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago.  Watch The Edge's speech here, and read the transcript of Morello's here.

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