Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited

The 101ers. <i>Astralwerks</i>.

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Here’s a fascinating rock-and-roll artifact: the recordings of the mid-’70s band fronted by Joe Strummer before he led the Clash to punk-rock greatness. This 20-track feast is perfect for noisy parties—and valuable cultural history to boot. The 101ers played exciting, R&B-fueled pub rock, anticipating punk by championing energetic simplicity over self-conscious polish. Already braying in that wounded-beast voice, Strummer exposes his musical roots with covers of Chuck Berry, the Stones, and Van Morrison (a surreal “Gloria”). But lyrically, the agitprop of the Clash is largely absent, with his own material instead chronicling the musician’s life (“Sweety of the St. Moritz”) and even barking out an unlikely love song (“Keys to Your Heart”) with righteous passion.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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