Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mantua: Something for the Weekend/Germany Got the RAF - England Got Crass.

If you missed all the madness of the Leechrum festival the weekend before last, then like me, you could do far worse than promise to find yourself wandering around a field somewhere in Rosscommon come Sunday night. Why? After hosting Vex'd as part of a Planet Mu/Warp records showcase earlier in the year, the Mantua lives festival will be finally tacking itself on to the festival circuit for the first time on the 19th and 20th of August. Nialler9 has the full low down, with some mp3s of the headlining acts ripped and ready, just to get you in the mood. Among the acts I'll be clamouring up the front for will be God Is An Astronaut, who we've interviewed on this blog before (after they wiped Whipping Boy off the stage at one of their come back gigs down in Cork before Christmas) Herv, Radioactive man, Ebauche and Giveamankick.

Now for something different. Crass remain one of the most popular bands to emerge from the post-'77 British punk scene. Taking the cartoon anarchism of the Pistols to a far deeper level, they wedded their music to social and political subversion combining situaitonist sloganeering with sqautter punk activism. Their 'Do They Owe Us A Living?' continues to be an unabated anthem that champions the potential for auto-reducing our exploitation by capitalism. Doing much to keep the black flag flying during the years of Thatcherism, Crass are one of the most controversial bands in the history of British music. I'm not going to go any further with this off the cuff biography of Crass, instead I'm going to send you off in the direction of three articles I've being pointing people to for sometime now. Punk and Autonomia - the 1977 lines between punk in the UK and Autonomia in Italy, Aufhebens' Chill or Kill - Analysis of the Opposition to the Criminal Justice Bill and the Praxis 18 Newsletter on Breakcore. What unites all of these articles is a clearly articulated attempt to relate culture to its political and social context, and thats something that we here on Soundtracksforthem quite like but probably rarely put much effort into doing.

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