Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Musical Interlude: PiL

Here's another blast from the past, this time as a sort of response to C&L's Late Night Music Club. Later PiL had its moments - and "Rise" with its fusion of rock and Celtic folk is one of more memorable moments from the band's later catalogue - but ultimately my heart belongs to their abrasive post-punk roots. "Poptones" was a track off of PiL's second album, Metal Box (or Second Edition as it was known in the States). Think of Lee "Scratch" Perry and Captain Beefheart meeting in a dark alley with some nihilistic antagonist out of a Dostoevsky novel, and you'll know what to expect. It's hard to believe that 30 years have gone by since Metal Box was originally issued.

Apparently, John Lydon is reforming PiL for a few tour dates. Like C&L's MaxMarginal, I see this kind of revival as likely to come off better than the Sex Pistols revivals simply because Lydon's post Sex Pistols work doesn't contain so much as a hint of pretense of youthful abandon or rebellion. Too bad former PiL bassist Jah Wobble isn't in the lineup. The band really was never the same once Wobble split. Which reminds me: Wobble's own creative output has been nothing short of stunning over the past couple decades, including my personal fave album Heaven and Earth in the mid 1990s (Bill Laswell produced, and jazz legend Pharoah Sanders appeared on a couple tracks - nuff said), and more recently Passage to Hades with jazz saxophonist Evan Parker.

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