Alt-Nation: Gang of Four, Sonny Vincent and Jesse Malin

I don’t have many words to expend on this, but this has been a dream come true in terms of content. I don’t know when Sonny Vincent’s interview is coming in, but we will have online interviews with all three of these guys who have been heroes of mine. I only hope people come out and support all of these shows. This is rock ’n’ roll A to Z or at least first wave of punk to post-punk to ’90s Dead Boys punks to indie rock ‘n’ roll! Damn, we should start charging money for this rag.

 Gang of Four

Gang of Four emerged out of the embers of the UK late ’70s punk scene as one of the most innovative and enduring bands from that era. Gang of Four’s debut release, Entertainment, was a mash-up of punk, dub and funk with searing political lyrics on classics like “Damaged Goods” and “Love Like Anthrax.” Gang of Four has been a beacon in the post-punk world now for over three decades. They continued off and on through the years with revolving lineups to make eight original studio albums, the most recent being 2013’s What Happens Next (Metropolis Records). Despite being the first Gang of Four album to have guitarist Andy Gill being the lone original member, What Happens Next continues the sound of stabbing guitars over a post-punk dub on great tracks like ”Broken Talk” and  “Dead Souls.” I got offered a chance to talk to a legend and the one man gang and Andy Gill so why the hell not? Check out motifri.com/andygill for more and go to the show!

Gang of Four and The New Regime will rock The Met Café on October 3.

Sonny Vincent

If there ever was a punk rock Illuminati, Sonny Vincent would be the grand wizard. You want a blueprint on getting into punk rock? Just listen to Sonny Vincent records and who plays on them. He started in a CBGB-era punk band called the Testors and has since gone on to play with people from the Velvet Underground, The Replacements, The Damned, The Stooges, MC 5, Sonic Youth, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Rocket From The Crypt and so many more. I got turned on to this guy and the next guy in this column, Jesse Malin, from Joey Ramone. In other words, this is the real deal. Sonny rips with a mix of molten guitar licks that channel Johnny Thunders, Chuck Berry and Wayne Kramer. There have been many who followed in those footsteps, but Vincent has had so many classic songs like “Down on Me,” “Funny Now (She Blew It)” and “Scratchin’ on The 8 Ball.” Just buy the The Good, The Bad, The Ugly for real meat and potatoes punk rock and come to the show. There will be an interview online with Sonny, who wasn’t available at press time because he’s on tour. As an added bonus, go early to see M.O.T.O. and The Worried. Get there early, rock out and appreciate that Sonny Vincent is kind of like the punk rock version of Buddy Holly.

Sonny Vincent, Zin Vetro, M.O.T.O., and The Worried will bring the thunder to AS220 on October 6.

Jesse Malin – Outsiders

Jesse Malin’s second album of the year kicks off with a Bo Diddley beat on the title track with a hook catchy enough to bring S.A.R.S. back. Malin brings the dance party, but at the same time goes with the theme of the Outsiders with the lines “we all get corrupted.” Malin comes up with a way to top the Ramones with using “bye baby bye” on “San Francisco,” which also shifts to Colorado and Arizona, which also deals with not being a pawn in someone else’s world. “Here’s The Situation” starts with a Jersey Shore reference, but by the time Malin’s lyrics and guest guitarist J. Mascis’s guitar solo explode, it is easy to forget about bad reality TV. “Whitestone City Limits” is a roadhouse rave-up about where Malin grew up. “In The Summer” starts with a drum beat leading into the riff similar to Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” as Malin guides it into his own vision. There is a cover of The Clash’s “Stay Free,” and Malin fleshes out the beauty of the tune. The centerpiece of Outsiders is the final tune, “You Know It’s Dark When Atheists Start To Pray.” The nugget channels early ’70s Kinks, New Orleans’s vibe and a Dylan lyric flow. Malin and his band are one of the best live bands out there. Somehow Providence landed the official release of the Outsiders on Friday night. Let’s get out and show them why we deserve it!

Jesse Malin, Matthew Ryan, Bob Kendall and more will rock Firehouse 13 on October 9.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com

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