Gang of Four, "To Hell With Poverty" (YSI link) 256
Gang of Four, "Capital (It Fails Us Now)" (YSI link) 320
Gang of Four, "To Hell With Poverty (Go Home Productions remix)" (YSI link)
In case you didn't know it, today is May Day, the international celebration of labor for those not in the U.S. It's a day for protest and action, seen in the streets of most US cities today in the form of immigration rights marches. I couldn't think of a more perfect post for Pound for Pound today than a Gang of Four one. One of the great political acts of all-time, definers of the "post-punk' sound and a huge influence on this site and many of our favorite artists. Andy Gill, Jon King, Dave Allen and Hugo Burnham took the spirit and political of (most) punk and combined it with a more angular, jagged sound that sounds perfect to my ears.
"To Hell With Poverty" has always been the definitive Go4 song for me, maybe not their best, but the one I always think of first when I hear their name. There's something that sort of sums up the whole band right here - the political lyrics, the defiance ("To hell with poverty/We'll get drunk on cheap wine!"), the razor-edge guitars, the amazing, rhythmic bass and drums. It's like they knew what my criticisms of punk would be before I was even born, made them happen and gave birth to one of the most interesting periods in music history. I've thrown in the remix by Go Home Productions a.k.a. Mark Vidler. It might be a little more useful to DJs, as he takes the original, throwns in a dance beat and seems to sort of clear up the sound (reducing the feedback, the vocals sound clearer, etc.) Finally, I put up the B side to the original "To Hell With Poverty" 12", "Capital (It Fails Us Now)." This honestly could just as easily replace the A side, it's got a very similar feel and sound.
Go here and get started on the Gang of Four discography if you haven't already. I'd highly recommend grabbing A Brief History of the Twentieth Century, the compilation that collects all of their most highly regarded songs and chronicles the development of their sound.
-If you're LA, be here. Cinespace hosts one of the sickest parties ever, as Ed Banger, Dim Mak and Cobrasnake join forces again to blow your fucking minds. I mean, seriously, take a look at the line-up - Busy P, DJ Mehdi, So Me, Soulwax, Steve Aoki, Guns 'n' Bombs, Them Jeans, Le Castle Vania and more. I mean, I'm speechless. The revolution starts here.
-Or be here. This too is one of the sickest parties ever, a celebration of one of the best weeklies in the country, Check Yo' Ponytail. Spank Rock and Flosstradamus are the special anniversary guests, joining a live set by Muscles and resident DJs Franki Chan and Paparazzi for a bananas night. Congrats to Franki and all the people at Iheartcomix for what they've accomplished so far. It's only the beginning, as I know that they've got much bigger things coming down the road. Btw, sick, sick, sick flier. Take a bow if you made it.
-NYC holds up its end tonight with DJs Are Not Rockstars and Alexander Technique at Mr. Black (643 Broadway). It's a who's who of NYC royalty with guest DJs Lauren Flax, Denny Le Nimh, Pussy Cat and Van Scott, plus Last Night's Party will be there if you feel like getting naked in the bathroom. Oh and this is your last chance to say goodbye to Lauren Flax before she heads out for a European jaunt.
-The rest of you, go out and protest or read some Marx or support one of the good people runninh for office in Philly or get involved with Save Darfur or yell at people who go to Starbucks.