A Train Brings the Two Jons to New Orleans

It’s telling. If jam/jazz/funk fans want to tie their music and their vacation together, there’s the Jam Cruise, where sun and laid-back vibes are built into the concept. Americana fans get Roots on the Rails, where they tap into the nostalgia that trains evoke and travel from famed city to famed city, accompanied by a few singer/songwriters or small bands. Parties don’t come more bookish.

The Mekons: Still Punk Rock After All These Years

When opportunity knocked, The Mekons pretended they weren’t home. Actually, that’s not true. They just didn’t stop what they were doing to answer the door. The British punk band were art school mates with the Gang of Four and recorded their answer to The Clash’s “White Riot”—“Never Been in a Riot”—in 1978. At the time, primitive skills were badges of honor in the fight against the tyranny of technique as embodied by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Eric Clapton, and any musician who intentionally played in 11/4 time.