1977 – The Year Punk Broke (Pt. 1), Opinions on Fleet Foxes, and Jody Stephens

The Clash

In part one of our two-part series on the historic year 1977, Jim and Greg explore the punk explosion in the UK with music writer Jon Savage. They discuss important British bands like The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash and what made them so influential. Plus, they'll review the new record from indie folk band Fleet Foxes, and Big Star's Jody Stephens shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

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1977 - The Year Punk Broke

This week, Jim and Greg kick off a two-part series about one seminal year in rock history, 1977: The Year Punk Broke. In this episode, they tackle the punk explosion in the U.K. with help from music writer Jon Savage. (Many consider Savage's England’s Dreaming to be the definitive book on this period.) So what made punk explode in 1977? Terrible pop songs, the entrance of The Ramones and the rise of groups like the Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols.

Jim and Greg close out 1977 Part One by playing two favorite songs from that year. Greg goes out with The Adverts' "One Chord Wonder." Jim goes with the Wire track "Ex-Lion Tamer" from one of his favorite records of all time, Pink Flag.

00:45:03Review: Fleet Foxes

Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes helped create a Pacific Northwest-based folk-rock movement in the early aughts that featured acts like Blitzen Trapper and Bon Iver. Greg says that on their first record, "Fleet Foxes did it brilliantly, more brilliantly than any of them." He goes on to say that their latest record, Crack-Up, doesn't fare as well. Greg says "some emotional intensity that [he] so loved about the band has gotten lost amid those serpentine arrangements that they are putting together". He says give it a Try It.

Crack-Up was released after a six-year hiatus for the band, during which lead singer/guitarist Robin Pecknold attended school at Columbia University. Jim says though he generally likes Fleet Foxes, on this album there is a lot of "mid-tempo snooziness". He adds that he doesn't know why Pecknold decided to come back from his hiatus, because Pecknold "has nothing new to say". Jim gives the record a Trash It.

Hooked On Sonics: Jody Stephens of Big Star

Hooked on Sonics is a segment where musicians share the songs that made them fall in love with music. Drummer Jody Stephens helped form pivotal Memphis rock group Big Star, alongside vocalist and songwriter Alex Chilton. Big Star, is, in many ways, more famous now than they were during their first 1970s incarnation. In the 1980s and 1990s, a whole new generation discovered the group after The Replacements and REM cited them as influences.

Today, Jody works at the famous Ardent Studios down in Memphis; but as a kid, it was music from a completely different part of the world that got him Hooked on Sonics. That song was I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles. But, as you'll hear, it all came around full circle.

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