Archive for Mick Jones

Review: “Can’t Slow Down,” Foreigner

Posted in Review with tags , , , on September 30, 2009 by 30daysout


After 1970s rock heroes Journey made a successful comeback with their Wal-Mart-only deal last year, Foreigner hopes to hit it similarly big with their new one, Can’t Slow Down.  Of course it’s available only at Wal-Mart (unless you want to download it), and of course it sounds like the old Foreigner.  And of course, there’s a new lead singer.

That’s Kelly Hansen and although he’s no Lou Gramm, he is certainly no slouch.  The title song has the pole position on the first CD (there’s two CDs and a DVD) and you should know it’s some kind of NASCAR tie-in.  No matter: it accelerates out of the gate, propelled by the guitar work of Mick Jones, Foreigner’s only remaining original member.

Even better is “In Pieces,” a cruisin’ song that they don’t make any more.  By the time you get to the third song, “When It Comes To Love,” you know you’re locked in.  Hansen’s voice feels just right, and the sax work (by Tom Gimbel) is just the right hook for this 21st century power ballad.

The rest of the album moves along in a nearly rockin’ mode, offering highlights “I’ll Be Home Tonight,” which sounds like it could have part of Foreigner’s back catalog, and the rocker “Too Late,” which appeared on another Foreigner collection last year.

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Cool Covers

Posted in Cool Covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by 30daysout


Went to see this movie, The Watchmen, over the weekend.   So did a lot of other people, apparently – it’s the No. 1 movie right now.  This dark, violent superhero tale was pretty entertaining and had some fairly good choices of music on the soundtrack: “All Along The Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel and a hilariously elongated version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A’ Changin’ ” over the opening credits montage.

But the most ear-catching tune is the one that plays as the closing credits roll: a rockin’ punk version of Dylan’s “Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance.  The band is supposedly recording a followup to their hit album The Black Parade, and it’s been said the new work will be more “punk rock” than normal.   If their version of “Desolation Row” is any indication, it ought to be a fun listen.

MP3: “Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance

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(Almost) 30 Years Out: The Clash, Austin 1982

Posted in Rock Moment, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 15, 2008 by 30daysout

When the Clash toured the United States in 1982, they were pretty much on top of the world.  Their fifth album Combat Rock, which came out in June, was a hit – produced by Glyn Johns (who’d worked with the Beatles, among others), it spawned hit singles “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” and “Rock The Casbah.”  The Clash were considered the best band of its time; formed in 1976, they managed to survive the self destruction suffered by so many other punk bands of the era.

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Review: “Live at Shea Stadium,” The Clash

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2008 by 30daysout

The Clash came out of the London punk scene of the late 70s that featured, among others, Elvis Costello and the Sex Pistols. Many times the punk bands were good in the studio (Costello), but sucked on stage (Sex Pistols, although they were funny).  But that was the idea: they were supposed to suck, Costello couldn’t help but be good.  Everything was played at breakneck speed usually sung off key.  However, Live at Shea Stadium has neither of these negative elements.  It kicks ass from start to finish.

Actually punk was long dead when Live at Shea Stadium was recorded in 1982.  The Clash -featuring Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Terry Chimes (replacing drummer Topper Headon who was kicked out because of his need for heroin) and Paul Simonon – opened for The Who on their first of many farewell tours.  They ripped through “Train in Vain,” “Rock the Casbah,” “Spanish Bombs,” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”  They also dug into the catalog for gems like “London Calling,” “The Magnificent Seven,” the ska-inflected B-side “Armagideon Time” and a rocking “Clampdown.”

Live at Shea Stadium was one of the last great recordings that featured Strummer and Jones together.  Jones was fired the following year and went on to form Big Audio Dynamite.  Strummer continued on with some other guys, but it was never the same. There have been many great nights at the soon-to-be torn down Shea Stadium. This collection captures one of them.

MP3: “London Calling” (live)

MP3: “Rock The Casbah” (live)

The Clash official website

Did Foreigner Miss The Boat?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 3, 2008 by 30daysout

Foreigner's new lineup

In the late 1970s, the band to beat was Foreigner.  They sold millions of records beginning in 1977 when their self-titled debut spawned the monster hits “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.”  They have sold 50 million albums around the world, and in their heyday were a powerhouse live act.

So why aren’t they enjoying the same success that like-minded arena rockers Journey is having?  Well, for one thing Foreigner didn’t make a deal to sell their records at Wal-Mart.  Journey and the Eagles made deals with the department store giant and sold millions; AC/DC’s Black Ice, to be released on Columbia Records this October, will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. 

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Review: “The Last Post,” Carbon/Silicon

Posted in Review with tags , , , on April 9, 2008 by 30daysout


Mick Jones, guitarist from The Clash, is a punk-rock legend and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that’s pretty much all you need to know when plunging in to The Last Post, Jones’ new album with former Generation X guitarist Tony James.  Jones was responsible for many of the Clash’s best and most melodic songs, and his songwriting skill is evident in riff-fests like “The News” and “The Whole Truth.”  Many of the lyrics are vaguely political but way more laid-back than Jones’ other punk band.  But many of these songs — “The News,” “Why Do Men Fight?” and “Really The Blues,” particularly — get into your brain and won’t get out.  The album’s centerpiece, “What The F***,” appropriates the riff from “Clash City Rockers” to let you know what Dostoyevsky used to say — it works as either a so-what shrug or an in-your-face challenge.  These grandfathers of punk are probably real grandfathers now, but there’s no power lost in the straight-ahead rock of The Last Post.  Crank it up.

MP3: What The F***

Carbon/Silicon official website

Notes from SXSW 2008 Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2008 by 30daysout


Finally finished soaking the tired feet after SXSW 2008, it was another fine few days in Austin.  You usually wind up standing around about 35 minutes for every five minutes of music, but it’s worth it if you made your choice wisely. One of those good choices was Carbon/Silicon, the post-punk guitar band featuring Mick Jones (The Clash) and Tony James (Generation X).  I’m happy to report, this is closer to Clash than to Big Audio Dynamite – crashing guitars ripping through riff-fests like “The News” and “Soylent Green.”  The boys slashed through five songs for Minnesota Public Radio, then showed up at Waterloo Records the next day for more.  We’d heard rumors that maybe Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) may show up at Waterloo to jam with his old West London mates, but no luck.  Still … catch Carbon/Silicon if you can – they’re the real thing.   You may want to check out Minnesota Public Radio’s live broadcast site at The Current .

Carbon/Silicon official website