waking into a dream journal 12.12.07

this morning's call to arms
let's rock again!
director: dick rude // 2004

cinema 4 rating: 7

when did i stop listening to what joe strummer had to say? -- i never did stop listening to him (the clash have been regular visitors to my eardrums since the '70s), but i did stop seeking out new music from him -- not even his latter day albums with the mescaleros, which is the focus of this quick (barely over an hour) and unique concert tour documentary -- hard to believe the director is the repellent and socially tortured punk criminal duke from repo man (and an alex cox regular) -- i know the point of the piece is a posthumous tribute to strummer's later years, but i can't help but feel i wanted to know a little bit more about his newer bandmates than i got from just watching them goof around backstage at gigs -- strummer is amazingly humble throughout, downplaying his influence tremendously, and ripping apart notions of his social and political importance -- we know the truth, though -- favorite scene is when joe tries to gain entrance into a radio station; left waiting for the longest time, he finally manages to get inside, and is told by the suckhole dj that, coincidentally enough, he just happened to be two songs away from playing the clash! -- i don't buy it, the director doesn't buy it, and i am sure joe didn't either; the dj shows joe a picture of the clash in a rock encyclopedia, which is pretty much proof the guy had to look up strummer's name to know who he was before letting him in, and reels off a couple of facts you are pretty sure he just ran into -- cool scene with joe handing out hastily handwritten fliers on the boardwalk, pressing the flesh and meeting the public, practically begging people to come to the show -- wish this were twice the length -- far too short, and far too little of the music, which really is the reason i wanted to watch it -- but what music is there is incredible, with joe in fine form on a variety of original mescalero songs and some clash cover bits -- tymon dogg on violin... nice -- interesting to reflect on strummer almost moving into the folk arena at times -- i simply wish there were more full songs -- seeing this on ifc, so perhaps if i checked out the dvd, there would be extra musical material -- as much as joe may protest his importance, he was vital to the end... and beyond...


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