Me + You
with the appropriately aged 60-year-old elder statesman of punk rock, Hugh Cornwell! An enlightening and energizing session
indeed, Hugh came in and charmed the pants off of us while waiving his choice to try on some pants of his own, instead choosing to buy a couple of shirts and a dress for his niece.
For real, Hugh's wide-eyed demeanor would distract from his sharp wit, which explains a lot. Mr. Cornwell's former group, The Stranglers
, were a punk rock band, although you'd be hard pressed to find any aggro 2-chord thrashers on their records. Even if you did, you can be pretty sure that the lyrical content would be rather abstract or absurd or designed to dismantle the general preconception of what is a punk song. So was the foundation for many a-Stranglers tune. From the scuzz-step faux-chauvinism of "Peaches"
to the baroque Brownstonian balladry of "Golden Brown"
, diversity was the most consistent factor throughout the group's catalog - and those were their two biggest hits, so you can imagine what their non-singles were like! Or you can clearly understand what they were like, if you are a Stranglers expert.
However, you might not know so much about what Cornwell is up to these days, even if most Stranglers fans are cult-like devotees. Speaking of which, he collaborated on a great duo album called Nosferatu
with Robert Williams
(Beefheart drummer) in '79 whilst still in his flagship group, featuring Devo bros Mark and Bob.
So it was proven that he could still hold his own outside of the unit. Yet it's not that he lost credibility or relevance after leaving the group in 1990 - quite the contrary, he recently released his new album Hoover Dam for free on the internet
, a move not often made by musical royalty unless you're Nine Inch Nails or Coldplay (thanks, wiki).
And a dam good album it is (thanks, Bart Simpson). Hugh came in to openly discuss his punk rock past but the dialogue was dispersed by wonderfully raw and driven guitar-based rock songs
from his latest offering. He also dispensed pearls of wisdom about the power of guitar music and great rock music in general. It was pretty cool. What was even cooler was that he got Tedward and engineer Robb to join in on handclaps for his song "Within You Or Without You".
Me + Hugh, forever.