From the Clash to Carbon/Silicon

carbon silicon

I’ve been reading a bio of the Clash called The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town (thanks to a recommendation from Ickmusic reader Sean – thanks Sean). I’m only 100 pages into a 500 + page book, but it’s really cool to read all of the background of the members leading up to the formation of the Clash.

Mick Jones was Clash guitar-man and the higher pitched voice that complemented Joe Strummer’s snarling rough and tumble vocals. Before the Clash formed, he and bassist /guitarist and friend Tony James were in a number of bands together, the most popular of the bunch called London SS. Tony later went on to form Generation X with Billy Idol. Later in the 80’s, he formed Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

So naturally you tend to wonder what these blokes are up to these days. Mick had his post-Clash success with Big Audio Dynamite (later renamed BAD II), but I hadn’t been keeping up with his whereabouts lately. Much to my surprise, Mick Jones and Tony James teamed up in 2004 to form Carbon/Silicone. They’ve been busy recording and releasing mini EPs exclusively through their web site.

From their Wikipedia entry:

Similar in many respects to Jones’ earlier work in Big Audio Dynamite, Carbon/Silicon aims to break the traditional approach to rock and roll. The band was described by critic Alan McGee as “…the Stones jamming with a Laptop,” and they make use of samples in their recordings and live shows. The formation of the band was catalyzed by the internet and p2p file sharing. The first song written by Jones and James was entitled “MPFree,” in which they expressed their willingness to embrace the technology of the internet and file sharing, in the interest of spreading music, rather than profit. The band still makes live bootlegs and recordings freely available through their own site, and the popular fansite –

It’s great stuff. Two of my favorites are featured here. Go to their web site to download about a dozen other tracks as well.

Carbon/Silicon: The Second Time Around (mp3)
Carbon/Silicon: BarnesWallis (mp3)

The Boss Brings it Home

bruce in mansfield

The Seeger Sessions Band has landed safely on U.S. soil. In six short days, my wife and I will be lined up in triple digit heat waiting to enter the Glendale Arena to witness the experience firsthand. Last night was their first show in the U.S. since last month’s New Orleans Jazz Fest performance. Bruce and the Seeger Sessions Band hit the stage in Mansfield, Massachussetts. Peter Wolf joined in for the last couple of songs: “Dirty Water” and “Buffalo Gals”. The show went a little something like this:

May 27, 2006
Tweeter Center
Mansfield, MA

*[Buy We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions]

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Want this show? Click here.

  1. John Henry
  2. O Mary Don’t You Weep
  3. Johnny 99
  4. Old Dan Tucker
  5. Eyes on the Prize
  6. Jesse James
  7. Cadillac Ranch
  8. Erie Canal
  9. My Oklahoma Home
  10. If I Should Fall Behind
  11. Mrs. McGrath
  12. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
  13. Jacob’s Ladder
  14. We Shall Overcome
  15. Open All Night
  16. Pay Me My Money Down
  17. Encore:

  18. Introductions
  19. Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)
  20. Ramrod
  21. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
  22. When the Saints Go Marching In
  23. Dirty Water*
  24. Buffalo Gals*

*joined by Peter Wolf

The Boss in Oslo (Bosslo?)

bruce in oslo

Well, the time is upon us. Bruce kicks off his US leg of the Seeger Sessions tour tomorrow night in Mansfield, Mass. To tide us over, here are a few from last Saturday’s show in Oslo, Norway.

Bruce Springsteen & TSSB: My City of Ruins | Devils & Dust | Pay Me My Money Down (my 2 yr old daughter’s song of the year!) – Live, Oslo, Norway – May 20, 2006

Hard-Fi and the Premier Ickmusic Contest


You’ve hit on the premier Ickmusic contest!! You’ll find it at the bottom of this post….. Continuing down the path of recent British-themed posts (The Style Council, The Clash, Robert Plant), today we take a look and listen to Brit band Hard-Fi. Their debut album, ‘Stars of CCTV‘, has been very well recieved in the UK (it hit #1 on the UK album charts in January). Their biggest gigs to date have been opening for Green Day at Milton Keynes Bowl northwest of London, and they just wrapped up a five night stand (May 14-18) at the Brixton Academy in London (one of a short list of bands to do five straight nights there: The Clash, Bob Dylan, The Prodigy, and Massive Attack being the others). Did anyone out there catch any of these shows?

The band rose out of Staines, a town just outside of London (the town that the great Ali G proclaims to be from). Every good band has that charismatic front man, and Richard Archer plays that role in Hard-Fi (as well as the songwriter).

So hear and see for yourself. Here’s some Hard-Fi goodness coming your way….

Hard-Fi: Hard to Beat (Video in Quicktime) | Also Windows Media Player: Hi, Lo

Hard-Fi: Middle Eastern Holiday (Real)

Live From The Manchester Apollo, 7 May 2006

Want this show? Click here.

  1. Middle Eastern Holiday
  2. Gotta Reason
  3. Tied Up Too Tight
  4. Feltham is Singing Out
  5. Unnecessary Trouble
  6. Better Do Better
  7. Cash Machine
  8. Hard To Beat
  9. Move On Now
  10. Stars Of CCTV
  11. Living For The Weekend

Now, the premier Ickmusic contest: For a brand spanking new ‘Stars of CCTV’ CD… What is the only nightclub in Hard-Fi’s hometown of Staines, Middlesex, England? Email the answer to me. I’ll select a random winner from the first ten correct answers. We’ll ship to the U.S. or U.K. (sorry to all you others!) Good luck!

UPDATE: We gotta winner! Kevin from Cary, North Carolina correctly answered with Cheekee’s. Well done Kevin. Your Google skills are impeccable. A few of you answered Simply Neon, which isn’t a nightclub, but a neon light manufacturer. Ah well. Stay tuned for more exciting contests like this!

Quote of the Day: “There’s a lot of people out there who don’t like the fact that we’ve connected with them and jumped all that kind of scenester shit, all those bands walking around dressed like they’re from a fucking charity shop when you know they’ve got money. It gets on my tits.” – Richard Archer

My new favorite saying is officially “It gets on my tits.”

Prince does, um, American Idol

Do you really think I’d let this one slide by without a comment? Yeah, the rumors from a few weeks ago proved true after all. Prince showed up on the season finale of American Idol. He came out unannounced to sing “Lolita” and “Satisfied” with his twin backup singers. Unlike the other special guests of the evening, he wasn’t paired up with one of the Idols (thankfully).

Oh yes, my friends, what an absolutely star studded lineup of special guests: Dionne Warwick! Al Jarreau! Toni Braxton! Mary J. Blige! (somebody shut her up please!) David Hasselhoff weeping in the audience!

I had actually walked away after I realized this was a 2 hr episode, and went straight to for my yearly ritual of finding out who won before the West Coast announcement. It was there I saw the potentially frightening news that Prince performed (oh no!!) by himself (phewww). So back to the TV I went. So is this a sellout? A savvy marketing move? Probably both. It should move some ‘3121‘ units, and hopefully produce some tour dates (finally).

So what are your thoughts (Prince fans and non-Prince fans alike)? Care to hear what it sounded like? Take a listen…

Prince: Lolita, Satisfied (mp3) – American Idol performance

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Biking with the Fambly Cat

jason lytle

Whatever happened to the music video? I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting older, but I do know that you have a better chance of winning the lottery than seeing one on MTV or VH-1. Yeah I know, we have MTV2, VH-1 Hits, and Fuse and so on, but it’s rare that I’ll see any contemporary video that captures my interest (now Vh-1 Classic, that’s another story!).

That is, until I caught the new Grandaddy video for “Where I’m Anymore” (online of course). It’s back to basics weirdness, Jason Lytle on a bicycle, riding along in a grove of trees and a typical American suburban neighborhood, singing his song with in inanimate cat (the Fambly Cat, I assume).

It’s sort of indicative of the current state of Grandaddy, all that’s left is Jason. He just finished up a short promotional tour with some in store acoustic performances and radio interviews. From what I understood from his WOXY interview, he’s heading back to his new home in Montana to live the quiet life. ‘Just Like the Fambly Cat’ is sadly Grandaddy’s swan song, but I’d bet Jason will be soaking up some inspiration out there in the Big Sky Country and it won’t be too long before we hear his melodic, poetic tech-organic-space tunes again….

Grandaddy: Where I’m Anymore (mov)

video image

Also available in WMP [low, high]


Grandaddy Live
April 22, 2001
Carrboro, NC

XD-Data II (mp3)
Nonphenominal Lineage -> So You’ll Aim Towards The Sky (mp3)
Miner At The Dial-A-View (mp3)

It’s downright depressing to me that Grandaddy is no longer. I only saw them live once, opening for Elliott Smith in the early 00’s (once again, I think). I never saw a full show. Will I ever? No Fambly Cat touring? What gives?

Buy Just LIke the Fambly Cat

The Ickmusic Fambly Cat (Jefe)

jefe the cat

Prince after hours at the Fillmore


One of the coolest parts about being a Prince fan is, if you’re lucky, catching one of his patented ‘aftershows’. I’ve only seen a couple in my day, one at the Utopia nighclub in Las Vegas (’97 I think), and another at the Electric Ballroom in Tempe, AZ (’97 too I guess… gee gotta love my memory these days). To see him perform in an intimate setting in the late night hours (his prime time hours) is a real treat. They’re relaxed, funky, extended jam sessions.

This aftershow from 2001’s Hit n Run tour is no exception. In the early morning hours of April 29th, 2001, Prince, his band the NPG, Larry Graham (formerly of the Family Stone and Graham Central Station, and apparently the man responsible for steering Prince toward the Jehovah’s Witnesses), Sheila E., sax man Najee, and Kirk Johnson’s band the Fonky Baldheads, took the stage at the Fillmore in San Francisco for some after hours jamming.

The quality here is excellent. Make sure to check out “Joy in Repetition” (a great ‘Graffiti Bridge‘ tune), “Paisley Park”(f** yeah!) from ‘Around the World in a Day“, and please oh please listen to his guitar work on “Oye Como Va”. You’re in for a treat…….

Prince (with the NPG, Larry Graham, Najee, Sheila E., Milenia, and the Fonky Baldheads)
Hit N Run Aftershow
The Fillmore, San Francisco
April 29th, 2001

  1. The Daisy Chain
  2. Do Right Woman – Do Right Man (sung by Rosie Gaines)
  3. Carwash (sung by Rosie Gaines)
  4. Ain’t No Way (sung by Rosie Gaines)
  5. Joy in Repetition(feat. Najee on Sax)
  6. Paisley Park
  7. Santana Medley (feat. Sheila E.)
  8. Oye Como Va
  9. Come On
  10. Fonky Baldheads (Tracks played over PA system)
  11. Alphabet St.
  12. Outro


jason collett

Once again demonstrating my prowess of being on the cutting edge of what’s going on in the music scene, I just discovered this Jason Collett song recently (thanks again, Sirius). It’s been out for a year now, it’s been posted by many mp3 bloggers (my man Craig at Songs:Illinois being one of the first, of course), but I’ll be damned if I’m not gonna throw it on ol’ Ickmusic, because it’s new to me! Besides, I have another related song to go along with it, a theme if you will, so there.

The theme being hangovers of course. I’m 35 now. I’ve had many a hangover in my day. None in recent memory since those crazy party days seem to be a thing of the past with this whole “wife and kids” deal I have going now. My mom will remember one of my worst hangovers. 20 years old. Summer job. My mom woke me up at an ungodly hour to go to the ol’ machine shop for my daily sweeping, painting, and forklift operating. I stumble out of bed, stagger over to the flight of stairs and proceed to fall down them. Bad hangover. That only made it worse. You should have seen how close I parked the front end of my mom’s station wagon to the garage wall the night before. She wasn’t pleased with me that day.

So yes, the song is “Hangover Days”, a happy-go-lucky roots-rockety duet with Jason Collett and Emily Haines. Jason is from Broken Social Scene, a musical collective of sorts from Toronto.

Jason Collett: Hangover Days (mp3) – from Idols of Exile

The alt-countryish vibe, the hangover subject, and the duet brought to mind this song by the Supersuckers, which showed up on their “country album”, ‘Must’ve Been High’. Lead singer Eddie Spaghetti and Amy Nelson sing softly about the beauty of sharing a hangover.

The Supersuckers: Hungover Together (mp3) – from Must’ve Been High

Style Council, part two

What kind of a person would I be if I didn’t follow up with the rest of the Style Council show? A wretched one, that’s what. So here’s part two of the Style Council’s 1984 Milan show. The first half is here.

paul weller

So I’ve been checking out Paul Weller’s impressive web site, and am looking forward to jumping in to some of his newer stuff. There’s a great video page on there with some cool live performances. It doesn’t indicate where the live footage is from, but it looks like one of those great British gatherings like maybe the Isle of Wight Festival. Paul is releasing a new live double album on June 12th too. We Yanks can pre-order it here. You Brits can pre-order it here.

Part II, Milan, 24October, 1984

Want this show? Click here.

  • 11. Le Depart
  • 12. The Paris Match
  • 13. The Whole Point Of No Return
  • 14. Me Ship Came In!
  • 15. Money-Go-Round
  • 16. Headstart For Happiness
  • 17. Strength Of Your Nature
  • 18. Speak Like A Child
  • 19. One Nation Under A Groove (Parliament cover)
  • An Evening with The Style Council

    style council

    It’s obvious I’ve been on sort of a live music kick lately, so why not some more? I first heard about The Style Council the way a lot of people discover music: an older sibling. My brother Steve was a big fan of theirs way back when, and truth be told, I never gave the SC much of a chance. But I did like their sound. I like-a-tha soul, and these boys had the soul. White boy soul, but soul nonetheless.

    The Style Council was formed in 1983 by guitarist and vocalist Paul Weller. Weller belonged to one of the great British bands to rise out of the mid-70’s punk revolution: The Jam. Not satisfied with the direction the band was going, and in need of more soul, R&B and jazz influence, he joined up with keyboardist Mick Talbot to form the Style Council (much to the chagrin of Jam fans).

    So I got a hold of a live recording from their heyday, 1984 (the year I got soul / r&b / funk crazy when I discovered Prince). I thought I’d post half of the show, and post the other half in a few days if the interest is there. I also will be checking out a 1980 Jam show I came across. But for now, Ladies and gentlemen, the Style Council….

    The Style Council
    Milano Teatro Tenda, Milan, Italy
    October 24, 1984

    Want this show? Click here.

    1. Big Boss Groove
    2. My Ever Changing Moods
    3. You’re The Best Thing
    4. A Man Of Great Promise
    5. Mick’s Up
    6. It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands
    7. Long Hot Summer
    8. Don’t Do It
    9. Shout To The Top!
    10. Infearing Beat
    11. Le Depart
    12. The Paris Match
    13. The Whole Point Of No Return
    14. Me Ship Came In!
    15. Money-Go-Round
    16. Headstart For Happiness
    17. Strength Of Your Nature
    18. Speak Like A Child
    19. One Nation Under A Groove
    20. Buy the Style Council’s Greatest Hits