Sunday, January 13, 2008


I bought my Creative Zen MP3 player back in May 2005 and I’m afraid it is dying. Almost all of its two-score gigabytes are full of hundreds of albums and thousands of songs. More than once I have opined that it would be the first thing I grabbed in the event of fire, flood or other, unnamed but sinister, act of god or occurance*. It has become a friend, a rattlebag of riddim and rhyme. Anyhow, the blighter is now stuck, ‘rebuilding library’ continually and an internet search indicates that other Creative owners recognise this disease and many consider it terminal. My eye is taken by an 80gb iPod although I feel a slight disquiet at my disloyalty to the less fashionable Creative brand.

12 Crass Songs by Jeffery Lewis is the album I mentioned here. I have now presented it to not-so-young S so my purchase of it remains a secret no longer. Basically, the prolific New York anti-folk artist has reinterpreted, rather tenderly, a dozen of the anarchist punk band’s angry, raucous and somewhat shouty creations and produced sumptuous acoustic versions where the political anger of the originals is rather quaintly embellished by an unusual treatment. It works merrily. Lewis’s studied vocalisations of the varied rants are fresh and compelling and helped this listener realise just how witty Crass actually were beyond the sloganeering and the screed.

* Perhaps a 'dirty bomb' explosion.

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