You are my guitar hero!

There was a big article in the latest Rolling Stone about the demise of the record industry. The major labels have been bleeding money since the end of the last century, and, except for the occasional fetish-oriented corner shop run by unrepentant rockers (God bless ’em), the retail market has died pissing on itself in the gutter.

And yet …

And yet it is precisely the redemptive power of rock ’n’ roll that just might save the rest of us garage denizens from being buried in the falling wreckage of an admittedly vile, bloated, and ultimately poisonous industry. You just have to know where to find it.

Maybe it’s because we’re “across the pond” and don’t see the posters, but a band with the strange moniker Carbon/Silicon has been not-so-quietly working behind the scenes in a London warehouse to subvert the system, or at the very least, to suggest a badly-needed alternative.

The crazy part? It’s the return of one of rock’s prodigal sons—back from the wilderness of ’80s dance music, the Libertines/Babyshambles debacle, and, well … tea and telly.

Mick Jones fought to save rock music once before as a founding member of the Clash, and while doing so, strove to carve out a place in a fatally-damaged society (in those days, post-war/pre-Thatcher London) for malcontents, anarchists and other pissed-off geezers to jump around and generally lose their shit.

Rejoining Jones in the bunker is his original foil, Tony James who played in the pre-Clash, pre-punk London SS before going on to form Generation X with a zygote Billy Idol.

The two punk veterans have cherry-picked what worked from their storied careers and shit-canned the rest (Sigue Sigue Sputnik anyone?) to forge a new sound that retains the tradition of questioning of the status quo without the youthful vitriol.

The best part? And forgive me for burying the lead … it’s all free! I have to admit, I don’t quite have their anti-business model sussed just yet, but I respect and appreciate it. It bears close consideration.

There have been three “official” releases posted as free downloads on their site,, as they were produced. I missed the first two, A.T.O.M. and Western Front, but with a little poking around on the forums, I was able to download both and they haven’t left my iPod yet. Run together, they make a nice post-millennium London Calling … or maybe more two-thirds of an end-of-modern-civilization Sandinista! Or maybe … just maybe, something new.


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