30 August 2019


I suggest starting this series with Volume 1 here, and then sink into this hour of sounds that you know and a story that is ultimately fascinating for fans of this, or any, era of rock 'n roll. Host Mike Johnston focuses on STOOGES and MC5 in Volume 2, so you've likely heard most of the featured tracks, but this isn't (just) about the tracks. Between Johnston's clear reverence for the sound and time, and interviews with Ron Asheton (STOOGES) and Dennis Thompson (MC5) and some context from Scott Morgan (THE RATIONALS), this hour is a wholly compelling listen. These are the innovators - breaking the rules before most people knew there were rules, harnessing the politics and turning it all into one energy. So even if you've heard the free jazz meets high energy rock 'n roll freak out "Train Music" from the last MC5 studio session, I recommend listening to it again with Thompson's introduction.

"What that band tried to do was just open up the limits, because music is constrictive and formulaic and equative - it's the same equation played over and over again, and there's not much there for people to grab onto as a contemporary art form. Not much there that you can take away with you, not much content that you can dream on and base you life around. A lot of it's negative, and a lot of it's just pop and fluff. And the one thing I can say about The 5 is they stood for a lot of quality things: They stood for brotherhood and they stood for experimentation.
And they stood for the art form."
- Dennis Thompson, MC5

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