Tuesday, November 18, 2008

50. Clutch - Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths

I wanted the 50th to be special. Clutch is special.

Whenever I'm asked to describe this band to someone who has never heard them before I say, imagine early Black Sabbath combined with Frank Zappa. They're heavy and grungy and full of funk and metal and irreverent, smart lyrics that mix pop culture with literature and history with nonsense.

Some time in the mid 90's I was in my favorite local record store that doesn't exist anymore and the owner, whose name was I think Jerry but whom I called Mr. Cheapo, as that was the name of the store, said "I got something for you." He always had something for me. And he was 99% of the time right about choosing music for me. Except for that time with Kiss's Psycho Circus, but I think selection was more for my son than me. But this particular day, he put on this Clutch CD. He played A Shogun Named Marcus. This were unlike anything I had heard before, virtually undefinable. After the song was over Mr. Cheapo said "What do you think?" And I said. "It makes me think of ninjas driving a combine."

And I was hooked forever on Clutch. They quickly moved up the ranks on the "bands I can't live without list" and still remain there at number two.

One time I drove to Pennsylvania playing nothing but A Shogun Named Marcus over and over the whole way, and decided that if they ever made a movie about my life it would be called Check It Out, I'm Like A Buzzbomb.

Side note: The first real conversation I ever had with Todd was about this band - he had gone to see them the night before and was gloating to me in the forums on fark.com about having been to the show. We became instant friends that day. The rest is history.

Favorite song: A Shogun Named Marcus (go on, download it if you never heard it. let me know what you think)
Clutch Discography


Cullen said...

I discovered Clutch because of Kali and you guys during our Faster Than The World time.

I have come to love them. I'm really fond of their last two albums, especially since I'm only 20 minutes away from Beale Street.

Woody said...

I fucking love you, Michele. Sorry, Todd.

Clutch is the greatest band currently inhabiting planet Earth.

I always describe them as "Black Sabbath as a funk band" but "ninjas driving a combine" is pretty kickass too.