9 August, 2007 by rhesus12
I’m currently putting together a compilation CD for Monsignor Pierre. The monsignor is a holy man with advanced punky tendencies and terrifying personal habits. The last CD I made him had a lot of electronica, funk and dance, which was a bit of a social engineering experiment to see what would happen to him. For a while there was a slight slide in his glide and a dip in his hip, but after (let me check my notes) six and a half weeks these effects lifted almost completely.
Which is partly why I’m giving this one a heavy Clash (and Mescaleros) bias. You get some of that glide sliding stuff on the solid backbone of straight ahead … not sure what exactly, possibly honesty. The authenticness that we all went after in alt-country. I liked how that recent Strummer movie used his BBC World Service radio shows as a soundtrack – I always thought the later Clash albums were a kind of World Service (“London Calling” was the BBC’s wartime signature, then there’s Radio Clash with its pirate satellites), thanks in the main to Strummer’s hugely generous spirit of well-directed global anger and love. In fact, he was much more a spiritual activist than straight-out political ideologue of the Crass school. And for a “political” musician, his lyrics were light on polemic and had brilliantly subtle way with allusion.
Case in point: The song title Get Down Moses is a play on the black American spiritual Go Down Moses, and on the Faulkner slavery book of the same name. So you got the celebratory modern urban dance culture tied into the civil war and civil rights struggles. Then you’ve got the fact that Go Down Moses refers to the flight of the Israelites from Egypt. Given that Get Down Moses is a Zion reggae song, its all pretty apt and on the money.