12 Crass Songs

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Click for availability and more information 12 Crass Songs, Jeffrey Lewis

Crass were a politically strident anarchist punk band. Active in the late '70's until the mid 1980's, the band popularized the seminal peace punk movement and advocated direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism. The band's message was accompanied by loud, poorly recorded guitar, bass and drums. They were one of punk rock's forebears. Jeffrey Lewis is a folk singer and songwriter (film buffs will recognize his voice from his work with the band The Moldy Peaches, who are featured prominently on the soundtrack to the movie Juno.) Lewis has taken 12 songs written by and originally performed by Crass and re-worked them in a way that allows the listener to hear those angry and incendiary lyrics in an entirely different context. What's striking is how the messages contained in many of these songs are still pertinent in today's political climate. Just replace Crass's targets, Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War with George Bush and Iraq War and the songs retain certain pertinence. One listen to the song "Securicor", which was released over twenty years ago, makes you conjure up images of Blackwater and the rest of the hired armies in Iraq. Where Crass delivered these songs with angst ridden earnestness, Lewis takes the band's message and offers it up with a voice full of mild-mannered wit as his acoustic guitar, toy piano; cello and accordion carry the rage in a different musical tone.

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This page contains a single entry published on April 25, 2008 8:47 PM.

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