Carbon/Silicon (Mick Jones & Tony James)

Mick and Tony at the Bluebird

Legendary British punk rocker/producer Mick Jones (formerly of The Clash, London S.S., Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (London S.S., Generation X, Sigue Sigue Sputnik) performed in their newest incarnation, Carbon/Silicon, at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on Thursday evening.  I was simply awed by being so close and surrounded by old and young fans of both performers.  Carbon/Silicon finally released its first CD last year, despite releasing two digital albums and numerous songs since forming in 2002.  Carbon/Silicon is often credited as being the first band to digitally distribute their recordings for free as Mp3s and to attract a widespread following, especially in their native UK.

I believe this was the band’s first tour of the States and it was my third time seeing Mick Jones live.  I last saw him 12 years ago at The Bayou in Georgetown–a performance shortly after turning the prerequisite 18 that I’ll always remember.  I hope I don’t have to wait another dozen.  I snapped the photo above and the video below of the closing exchange between Jones and James, as they introduce each other to the audience during the encore.  I’ve also posted two of my favorite tracks off their recent album The Last Post.

“War on Culture” — Carbon/Silicon

“What the Fuck” — Carbon/Silicon

Official Website


7 Responses to “Carbon/Silicon (Mick Jones & Tony James)”

  1. March 28, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Self didn’t attract much of a following because of it, but they were distributing MP3s for free I’d like to think before these dudes. My harsh comment for the day, JT.

  2. 2 Joe
    March 28, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Thanks Dave for the history lesson. You know, it’s not like I wasn’t there downloading Self’s tracks too. I was downloading Mp2s from IUMA and SFBAUM in 1994. However, as I wrote, “Carbon/Silicon is often credited as being the first band to digitally distribute their recordings for free as Mp3s and to attract a widespread following, especially in their native UK.” IUMA was a U.S. thing, not huge overseas.

    Even read your precious Pitchfork: “Well, Jones and James and have been using the band website to get material to fans for years now, dropping mini-albums and digital-only EPs whenever they saw fit. These old cats are schooling you, Yorke!” Didn’t you read that while eating cereal one day?

    That said, my comment was more about perception and intent, as I thought was clear. Their name Carbon/Silicon is a comment on the Information Age and their first song was “M.P.Free.”

    I will say though–B.A.D. was interspersing guitars with samples before Matt Mahaffey was barely out of diapers. As AMG writes: “Adding samplers, dance tracks, and found sounds to Jones’ concise pop songwriting, B.A.D. debuted on record with the single “The Bottom Line” in September 1985 and the album This Is Big Audio Dynamite later that year. “E=MC2” and “Medicine Show” became sizable hits in England, and reached the dance charts in America.”

    Not to mention, remember STD? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_Tire_Damage_(band)

    Bring it, DMB.

  3. March 28, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    I’m staying out of the bickering, dudes.

    Another great live-show post, JT. Relevance!

  4. March 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    No need to bring it. You got way too defensive there, man.

  5. 5 Joe
    March 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I wasn’t all that serious, Dave.

  6. March 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Is this what it’s like to be in a band? I wish I knew. Just kidding…

  7. 7 Joe
    March 28, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    The fame has clearly hit us….we just need to balance the drugs and women now.

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