After pushing the warp engines to 139% capacity and shedding excess molecular waste which will shorten the longevity of the unit, Grading Robot has powered down to half power.
It has been a rough week for Grading Robot. Other classes queue up now, but time opens like a flower blooming.
How do you spell relief?
It has been a while since I featured some music on the blog. It has been exactly ...
A week ago today, I showcased T-shirt #231: my CBGB shirt dedicated my post to Lou Reed.
Okay, true enough, a week is not a very long time.
Before that, although I snuck in some music content in T-shirt #209 after my wife discovered Lucius, a great band, the last blog entry with a shirt that featured a musical artist on the actual shirt front was T-shirt #190 for Stereolab. Forty-one days is a long time between music-themed T-shirts. Partially, the reason for the gap is my fear of running out of music shirts. I have fewer music shirts than ultimate-themed or comic- book-themed shirts. Also, I have been holding back some of my music T-shirts because the love letter I want to write will take time and research. Though I have been thinking, perhaps I need to dispense with writing lengthy love letters for EVERYTHING. Right now, I am trying to create an extended posting once a week. With that in mind, this post will not be too elaborate or long. Though how I define "not too long" may be different than how others define it.
Today's shirt, quite obviously, features ONE OF THE GREATEST BANDS EVER: The Clash.
I could write a HUGE entry about the Clash, my experiences with their music, basics on their history. But I will restrict myself to a couple anecdotes and connections.
Every time I think of the Clash, I think about how when I was in college, I met a guy named George Constas, better known as "γιώργος" or "yiorgos" in Greek (which are both Greek for George). He was from Greece (obviously). He could drink like a fish, and he only liked The Clash and the Psychedelic Furs, of which he would remind us frequently when drunk by yelling "Play the Clash!" or "Play the Furs!" George's English was all right but not fantastic. I never spoke down to him or tried to simplify things so that he might understand them (or talk louder or slower, which is what some people stupidly do with people who do not know English well). I just spoke normally, at my normal speed, with my normal vocabulary, which in my early years of college was extra-pretentious. George always responded with the same one liner: "you stupid fucking Americans; you don't know shit." George was a classic. And he loved the Clash.
These pictures are a bit of a cheat, but I like props. I don't really play the guitar, but my wife and step-son do, and so we have a lot of guitars around the house.
THE CLASH ON WIKI
After starting in 1976, the Clash disbanded in 1986. The band's lead vocalist and spiritual center, Joe Strummer, died in 2002, dashing forever the hope of a Clash reunion and robbing the world of a musical giant.
The Clash are best known for their third album London Calling, which by unanimous agreement sits at eighth place on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of all time list. It's great. Though I love dozens of Clash songs, in picking some videos to share (I was going to just share three and it grew to five before I cut myself off), four of the five are from London Calling.
The music speaks for itself.
The Clash are amazing. I am sure that most of my readers already know their music well.
Last comment on today's shirt: Like my memory of George, which is an instructive anecdote, I always remember Rule of Chris Number Two when talking about the Clash, as I did each semester when I made them one of the featured artists in my women's studies course. I have only written about the Rules of Chris twice before: T-shirt #64: Embrace Uncertainty and T-shirt #103: Aloha. Rule of Chris #1 is the Golden Rule because it's the abiding principle of life and living. But Rule of Chris #2 is "always have a book." Before the modern age when I gained the ability to carry around a computer that fits in the palm of my hand with five times more computing power than my first two computers combined (at least), I needed a book more desperately. Now, I carry a Kindle, which is a computer containing many books, though I often have an old-fashioned, paper book anyway.
I was reading Gravity's Rainbow for a class when I saw the Clash in concert, and I toted a huge, trade paperback sized tome in the pocket of my Army fatigue cargo pants and read many pages while standing in line to get in to the concert. I wanted to get a picture of the book, but I can't find it. If I ever do, I may update here. On a side note, I read Moby Dick between Santana and the Rolling Stones at the Pontiac Silverdome. There was a two hour wait in the three act concert (Iggy Pop, Santana, and the Rolling Stones). This was in 1981. I spent a lot of time reading that damn Moby Dick book.
RULE OF CHRIS #2: Always have a book to read; one never knows when one has to wait a long time for someone or something.
Here are my five favorite Clash songs (though it was a close call with "Straight to Hell" and "Clash City Rockers" and several others... basically the entire London Calling album).