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  • Mark Shields

40 Years of Empowerment



The Clash need no introduction by me, nor of course does the eminent Joe Strummer, frontman and bestower of ideals on the seminal punk rock outfit. 40 years ago this month, millions of North American rubes were run over by the raucous vibrations of London Calling and a generation of anti-establishmentarians heeded the call, cut the sleeves off their leather jackets, got lost in the supermarket, and ran with the development of a whole new musical genre.

What knocked 'em down wasn't just the music (though that alone surely would have been enough), it was also the power mingling with the notes. Musical empowerment certainly wasn't new and was most definitely not first imagined by Joe Strummer. Music has always possessed power. But Joe Strummer and the Clash put it front and centre, spit it in your face, clamped it down, Spanish Bombed it, and turned it up louder. After his passing, Strummer was fittingly memorialized by the foundation bearing his name, which supports efforts to enhance musical empowerment around the world. Whether you loved or hated the Clash on their musical merits, few could endeavor to deny that Strummer believed wholeheartedly in the power of music to change individuals and societies, and put that power to use every day of his shortened life.


It is a fitting time for Major Minor Music Project to be hosting a special edition of Punk Rock Bowling YYC to honour the momentous event of the Clash barging into the brains of North American punks. Major Minor is all about musical empowerment. We want to give people of all ages, cultures, colours and genders the power to express themselves through music. You will see this well on display when you come by Paradise Lanes on July 26. Local bands like Pagans of Northumberland, The Galacticas, No More Moments, Dead Pixel and more, all sharing the power of music and paying tribute to one of the true greats in this artistic form. These musicians are certainly doing Joe proud, harnessing music and using it to send their message.


Major Minor is gearing up to take our empowerment to the next level, as you will hopefully see by perusing this updated website. We feel that we've ripened and are ready to drive a bunch of new initiatives into the Calgary music scene like a brand new Cadillac.


It may be 40 years since London Calling hit music shelves around here, and Joe Strummer may have left us mortals behind; but that eternal, immovable empowerment potential found in music is alive and well, and Major Minor will do our very best every day to turn the empowerment knob up to the max just like The Clash.

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