Friday Four Pack: The Only Band that Ever Mattered

Editor’s Note: Gone but not forgotten, the Collective returns. We’re in the process of sorting out a new schedule and direction for the blog, but in the meantime enjoy some killer tunes.

The Clash—in many respects—are the only band that ever mattered. Thoughtful (“I wasn’t born/so much as I fell out”), political (“Ain’t no asylum here/ King Solomon he never lived round here”) and just plain cool (“I’m so bored with the U.S.A.”), the Clash drifted high above the creative annals of their contemporaries like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. With the swan song of Cut the Crap, alternative culture had to confront a painful question: where does punk rock go next?

Fortunately, punk is bigger than the Clash. Many suitors popped up from lesser-known contemporaries like the Buzzcocks and the Stiff Little Fingers through 90’s mainstays like Superchunk, the idea and aesthetic never really went away. [1] It’s been a while since we did this, so let’s start with a bang, eh?

Not quite anarchy in the UK:

– “Whatever Happened To…?,” The Buzzcocks, Another Music in a Different Kitchen

– “Wasted Life,” Stiff Little Fingers, Inflammable Material

– “Detroit Has a Skyline Too,” Superchunk, Here’s Where the Strings Come In (sorry for the live version, I couldn’t find a suitable recorded version. Plus this is at the Metro, so that’s awesome)

– “Stay Useless,” Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory

[1] In Lester Bang’s expose of the Clash he talks about Teds (Beatniks) and their growing irrelevance in British culture. Thankfully, the punks never faced all that much cultural blowback unless you count the Faint’s flaccid and outdated “Drop Kick the Punks,” and have contributed a significant amount of creative GDP for Europe.

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