Archive for February, 2010
Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010
TEN OUT OF 5: A comprehensive guide to the MC5’s recordings, for the curious, the enthusiast and the hopeless completist by Arthur Magazine‘s Seth “The Seth Man” Wimpfheimer, James Parker and Ian Svenonius.
MC5 – Kick Out the Jams
Halloween Night 1968, the Grande Ballroom, Detroit. First night of a two-night stand for locals the MC5, who are being recorded by Elektra Records for their major label debut: a live album. According to the Zenta calendar, which has been devised by religious personages close to the band, it is New Year’s. Zenta will never quite catch on, but the rap of its chief prophet and warm-up man, Brother J.C. Crawford, is ageless: “BROTHERS AND SISTERS! I WANNA SEE A SEA OF HANDS OUT THERE!” etc. The rabble is roused, and the band kicks off: “Ramblin’ Rose,” preposterously overdriven blues-rock, with Wayne Kramer’s falsetto vibrating like a steam-valve. Can you feel it? Hype, beautiful fucking Dionysian hype, is its own kind of electricity, and The Motor City Five, being electricity addicts, were hype kings.
To dig the band was almost an act of faith, an investment in the idea that somewhere in this shrouded world there could exist a gang of strobe-lit blue-collar psychosexual freebooters and political daredevils who played like God, lived like pigs, and freed everyone they touched. Crazy? Oh no no no. The MC5 were it. They were IT. And if they weren’t it, you could be certain that nobody else was.
They hyped themselves, they hyped each other, they were hyped by their manager John Sinclair and by and by it became the truth—rhetorically inflated and musically bombastic but yes, the truth. They were the only band reckless enough to play to the protesters outside the ‘68 Democratic Convention in Chicago (moments before the baton charge), reckless enough to harness the dynamics of roots rock in the service of a free-jazz mindblow. Continue reading TEN OUT OF 5: A comprehensive guide to the MC5’s recordings, for the curious, the enthusiast and the hopeless completist – ARTHUR MAGAZINE – WE FOUND THE OTHERS.
Beautiful, sincere: MC5 leader Robin Tyner remembers the great ol’ days at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit…
Tags: arthur magazine, Brother J.C. Crawford, Detroit, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, Ian Svenonius, James Parker, John Sinclair, Jon Landau, MC5, Mike Davis, Rob Tyner, Seth “The Seth Man” Wimpfheimer, Wayne Kramer
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