Dirty Linen review
Sandinista! was the Clash's magnum opus -- an amazing three-record set from the proto-punk band that had almost no punk music. Instead, it filtered the band's musical politics through gospel, soul, blues, dub reggae, rockabilly, jazz, rap, and more. This two-disc tribute, organized by music critic Jimmy Guterman, replaces the Clash's very British sensibility with a bunch of mostly American bands who add their own twists, emphasizing the original songs' power. Sometimes the culture, er, "clash" is just too much, as when [negative mention of one track excised -- hey, it's my web site!-JG], but overall the set delivers surprises (including theremins!) and satisfaction. Highlights include Mekons Jon Langford and Sally Timms' dub reggae "Junco Partner/Version Pardner" and Katrina Leskanich's (of the Waves) hyper-exuberant "Hitsville U.K." Profits support two charities -- Amnesty International and the Joe Strummer Memorial Forest.