I saw the Pixies again, in 2017. It was the worst show that sold over 1000 tickets that I've ever seen. We left at maybe five songs in and I felt embarrassed to have attended.
Sounds like they're still sleepwalking for the dinner party set -- something the Clash never did, at least -- though this venue sounds like it was a notch down from that. Where did you see them, exactly?
One thing I've felt about the clash in recent years is that all that myth stuff has become irrelevant, or at least far less prominent than it was. I always remember whenever they came up in discussions, you'd get all this shit about joe the posh public school boy and the clash rebel posers among other stuff. I dont see that much anymore. I think it's the music and the message that endures and that, by any standard, is one formidable back catalogue. It's not that surprising to me that their stock should be so high right now, some of those songs were incredibly and almost eerily prescient.
I think people have gotten a bit savvier about that stuff than they used to be. At a certain point, the music either holds your interest, or it doesn't. And at the end of the day, it's either worth hearing again, over and over, or it isn't.
As time passes, my feeling is that bands -- whether they carry on, or don't -- become less about those four or five guys in a garage (quote-unquote), and more a body of work that either stands up, or it doesn't. The surrounding baggage becomes less important, and recedes into the background, as context that people will pick up on, or push aside, as they wish.
That's certainly true of the Clash, though I think their stock has grown because they largely avoided the sonic cliches of the era in which they existed, which allows subsequent generations to hear it with a fresh ear, and also, because their lyrics -- and topics -- stood head and shoulders above much of the fodder of late '70s and early '80s.
I mean, as a lyricist, Joe Strummer rarely addresses love and escapism, two of pop's biggest tropes -- which is one big reason why they grabbed me, and kept me, as a fan. And later on, as a musician, and then, as a biographer. Certainly, working on We Are The Clash with Mark reminded me of these things all over again, and got me thinking about why I gravitated to them to begin with.