Mark E. Smith was a post-punk hero

“We were playing a festival in Dublin the other week. There was this other group, like, warming up in the next sort of chalet, and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them cunts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them. The band said, ‘That’s the Sons of Mumford’ or something. ‘They’re number five in the charts!’ I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”

So said one of my childhood heroes, the Fall’s Mark E. Smith last year in conversation with Australian rag Brag when discussing one of the truly banal bands to come down the pipe in a quite some time. What a charmer!

Having been gutted last week by the untimely passing of Motorhead’s Fast Eddie Clarke, I was hesitant to mention the recent passing of the hip priest at the tender age of 60 in fear this would look like an obituary column, but fuggit — Mark E. Smith’s demise strikes a personal chord and I felt obligated to tap something out on the world’s greatest curmudgeon.

Anyone who has watched the amazing doc The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith is well aware of how uh, difficult Mr.Smith could be, but just give a listen to Cruisers Creek or That’s How I Wrote Elastic Man and try to deny the man’s genius — his indelible mark on post-punk is without question. Having gone through more members in the Fall than I have socks in my drawer, Smith was able to create a signature sound that was always the same, or, as he once said, “If it’s me and your grandmom, it’s the Fall.”

What we need now is more bottle throwers, but given the current social-media-driven climate, the last of them might be buried this week. Mr. Smith, thanks for all of the infuriating years. The next pint will be lifted to the high heavens in your honour.

Thursday: If you’re digging into the Lux Magna festival, you might want to check out the six-hour music & conversation event with Elle Barbara, Eliza Kaution, Skin Tone, Elena Stoodley, Cyber, St x Liam, Small Talk, Flat Teeth, Radiovoid, Dead Dog, Johnny Coteau, Mark Lowe and Anabasine. All proceeds will benefit Taking What We Need, Project 10 and the Natives Women’s Shelter. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., 10$/NOTAFLOF

Killswitch Engage will be dropping their modern metal meltdown, but the real reason you will want to show up to MTelus tonight is to catch thrash legends Anthrax with the ample support of Havok. 59 Ste-Catherine E., 7 p.m., $43-$48

Fans of epic doom metal riffs are gong to be at le Ritz to catch the Skull as they perform their classic 1985 record Trouble in its entirety, with guests to be announced. 179 Jean-Talon W., 9:30 p.m., $25/$20 advance

Those of you who’d like a little bit more croon in their groove can check out Weakened Friends at l’Esco with Laureate and Weird Star. 4461 St-Denis, 9:30 p.m., $10

Saturday: Fans of straight-up riffs served up good and loud will want to squeeze into Katacombes to catch Painbow with a tribute to Eskorbuto, Cerebros Destruidos. 1635 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $5

If you’re looking to set your controls to the heart of the sun, head down to the comfy confines of Cagibi (which will be picking up stakes and moving north soon) to catch A Devil’s Din with Autumn Rue unplugged. 5490 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10

Sunday: Analogue Addiction’s Pasta Party continues with the effervescent Beaver Sheppard. You know the deal: starts at 5 p.m. and entrance fee includes a fine plate of pasta with your Beaver falsetto. L’Escogriffe (4461 St-Denis), 5-8 p.m., $12

Tuesday: Barfly’s regular Tuesday night series Eardrum Buzz goes into its fifth edition with the groovey drones of thisquietarmy’s Eric Quach, with extra help from Squalor’s Ruel Ordonez and Charly Buss. This event has been J.T.A.-approved, btw. 4062 St-Laurent, 6 p.m., free

Current Obsession: Yes, Close to the Edge
jonathan.cummins@gmail.com

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