Ultravox! New Europeans!

Ultravox, also know is awesome, is as eighties as you can get, and without a doubt one of my favourite bands. They market synth with a vengeance, with stupendous guitar riffs, with powerful vocals that reek of melancholy and anger and decisiveness and other mixed emotions that Freud would diagnose as symptoms of a severe mania resolving from an unresolved relationship with one of your second cousins! Super!

The video above is a classic. There’s a brief Dutch subtitled interview with the band before it cuts to a live performance of “New Europeans”. This song seems to embody the apocalypse in all its compellingly schadenfreude glory. When the world financial system finally collapses under it’s own weight, I’ll be fanging around post-Apocalyptic Forster with this blaring out of the car speakers, raiding petrol with my cadre! Because when you think about it, aren’t we all New Europeans? Fine, that doesn’t really make any sense. Watch the video, let Midge Ure and the lads do the talking.

Redskins: Socialist Punk

What’s this? This is the Redskins, one of the best political punk bands of the 1980s. The Redskins fought Nazi and far right skinheads, racial prejudice and the Thatcher government through their actions and their lyrics, set against the turbulent backdrop of the British miner’s strike. This song, Lev Bronstein, condemns the Soviet Union, lauds the Solidarity movement in Poland and evokes the memory of that decisive and divisive ideological figure, Leon Trotsky. Have a listen. Check out more of their songs. They’re quite awesome.

10cc: Rubber Bullets

This is one of my favourite songs at the moment, I stumbled across it on my computer a couple of days ago, with no distinct idea of how it got there, but its grown in me like cheese in a can. Which I despise, so maybe that isn’t the best simile.

The song is a sort of piss take on Jailhouse Rock on Elvis, as is obvious from both the style of the music, the accent and the lyrics. Its very 1950s, with more than a dollop of mind bending psychedelia especially when it comes to the solos. The lyrics themselves are intensely political. 10cc is a British art-rock band, and the song alludes, intentionally or accidentally, to the then ongoing intense conflict in Northern Ireland, and the use of rubber bullets there. For all these reasons Rubber Bullets a gem of a song, and the 70s aesthetics on show throughout the film clip is only the icing on the cake.

A Different Type of McCarthy

I included this in the Congressman Allen West accusing the Democrats of being Communists post, but on second thoughts I realised, this being in my most humble opinion, one of the best leftist themed songs out there, it probably deserved a post in its own right. Its a beautiful melancholic song, with a sort of broad, epic, dark sound stemming from rolling drums and an evocative echoing yet clean guitar riff that repeats throughout, and vocals full of expression. That’s the end of me attempting to be a music critic. Listen on Comrades.

Cut To The Credits

It’s finally finished, the Mid-Course exams that have plagued me like Russian tourists plague the children of the Nile are over. I apprehensively started Modern History, moved on to the dynamo of stress which was Advanced History and then relaxed dramatically for a one hour story about internally machinations in a socialist UK for Extension 1. The angst meter dipped up briefly for German, before finally coming through to French, which was passed with a sense of confidence and a relieved smile with thanks to a certain blogger.
Five days, five exams, and now before me, like the open sea, three weeks of free, stressless time. What shall I do with this time? That is a question that will need answering in the near future, and I’m inviting suggestions from all you guys out there, because I’m stumped.

But the post about that particular dilemma is several days in the future. For this is the part of the movie where we fade out, and cut slowly to the credits, several marching lines of black text, overlain with some ancient classic. Cue cultural cringe!