Sunday, August 16, 2009

Musical Interlude

The cat who uploaded this video clip sez, "forcing punks to listen to free jazz is fun."

I love this band. Black Flag rapidly evolved from one of the premier hardcore acts of the early 1980s into something else altogether by the time they split up in the mid-1980s. The tune on this video, "Your Last Affront", is from The Process of Weeding Out - an instrumental e.p. that would be released in 1985. The musicians stretch out a bit more on the recording, but then again, they had to be realistic whenever they went out on stage - the audience looks like most of them had no idea what had just hit them. If you dig this, you'll also like the instrumental half of Family Man, a 1984 l.p. (both records have the same lineup of Greg Ginn on guitar, Kira on bass, and Bill Stevenson on drums).

I ended up getting exposed to their later material first, and then worked my way backward to their earlier material. The Process of Weeding Out, in fact, was my first Black Flag purchase. In my opinion, it's hard to go wrong with most of their late-period recordings.

I recall the band got a bit of flack for taking the musical route that they took - punk purists dissed Black Flag as "hippies" which was a pretty big insult back in the mid-1980s. True to form, Rollins and crew really didn't seem to give a fuck, and went on playing what they were playing. Along with The Minutemen, Black Flag were not only the premier artists on the legendary SST label, but they were, simply put, premier artists in the rock world more generally. If you find yourself digging this, check out The Minutemen, and also start seeking out recordings by The Blue Humans. You'll thank me later.

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