communardes!

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March 28th 1871: Paris Commune declared

On this day in 1871, following elections held two days prior, the Paris Commune was officially proclaimed. The Commune seized power in opposition to the election of a conservative National Assembly February 1871; republican Parisians feared that when they met in Versailles the royalist Assembly would restore the monarchy. When officials of Adolphe Thiers’s government tried to remove the city guard’s cannons as a precautionary measure on March 18th, the people rebelled. The city guard called municipal elections for March 26th, which saw victory for the revolutionaries, who established the Commune to govern the city of Paris. On March 28th, the new government held its first meeting and was formally declared. The Commune immediately set about enacting socialist policies, which included a ten-hour work day, abolition of the death penalty, end of military conscription, banning established religion and promoting female suffrage. They adopted a plain red flag as the flag of the Commune, and envisioned that the situation in Paris would encourage a nationwide revolution. The Commune’s lack of internal organisation left them vulnerable to attack, but the catalyst for retribution came when Communard soldiers killed two French troops. On May 21st, national forces entered Paris through an undefended area, launching a violent campaign of street fighting known as ‘Bloody Week’. Around 20,000 insurrectionists were killed before the Commune fell on May 28th. The government treated the surviving Communards and their supporters ruthlessly - arresting around 38,000 and deporting another 7,000. The Commune became a symbol of socialist revolution in Europe and further abroad, with their supporters lamenting the martyrdom of the Communards.

Communards at the barricades during the Paris Commune, 1871. A combination of workers and bourgeousie took control of the city of Paris at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, proclaiming a people’s government. The new government controlled the city for about two months until the movement was finally crushed, with over 20,000 residents of Paris being killed.

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On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 - “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on February 19, 1977. Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist from Leland, MS. Signed to Motown Records since 1971, singer Thelma Houston’s self-titled first album for the label is met with only minimal sales. Believing in her talent, the label sticks by her, featuring her on the soundtrack to the Motown produced film “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” in 1976. The same year, she records her third album “Any Way You Like It” with producer Hal Davis (The Jackson 5, Diana Ross). While at a party, Davis hears the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. With Pendergrass’ gospel inflected vocals on the song, and with Houston also having a rich, soulful voice, the producer decides it is a perfect fit for his artist. Playing the song for her, Houston agrees, and they go into the studio to record it. When “Any Way You Like It” is released in October of 1976, initially no single is released from it, as Motown has released the song “One Out Of Every Six”, a song from the comedy “Norman, Is That You?” in September. Meanwhile, club DJ’s serviced with Houston’s new album hear “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and immediately single it out for play. The song is an instant sensation is discos around the country, leading Motown to release it as a single in November of 1976. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on December 18, 1976, it takes a long, slow climb up the chart, reaching the top eighteen weeks later. Thelma Houston wins a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1978. Long regarded as one of the greatest songs of the Disco Era, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” becomes an anthem and rallying cry in the gay community during the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980’s and 90’s, becoming a pop cultural touchstone.  In 1986, British Hi-NRG dance duo The Communards cover the song, taking it to the top of the UK singles chart for four weeks, and peaking at #40 on the Hot 100. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is also inducted into the Dance Music Hall Of Fame in 2004.

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My Kaiserreich game as of 1941. 

Germany attacked the French Commune in 1938, and after 3 years of war, Communard forces broke Mittleuropa, carving out a series of Syndicalist puppet states. 

From 1936-1941, the Socialist Republic of Italy, independant from the French Internationale, reuinted the country, and carved out its own Empire in the former territories of Austria-Hungary. After demanding Swiss territory, the German Empire, only months from falling to the Communards in the 2nd Weltkrieg, declared war on Italy, calling all her allies to send troops to the aid of the Swiss. Two Italian Armies marched through Ukraine- a member of Mittleuropa, and straight into Russia, helping put an end to the three year old Tsarist regime that had come back, and Mittleuropa as a whole. 

old artists today
  • depeche mode: depressed mode
  • pet shop boys: pet shop men
  • kraftwerk: kraftywerk
  • devo: vevo
  • simple minds: complicated minds
  • oingo boingo: spoopy soundtrack
  • gary numan: gary now-getting-a-bit-oldman
  • genesis: revelation
  • queen: still the kings
  • t. rex: extinct
  • mecano: branching out into toys
  • art of noise: art of being on crack
  • the communards: the commusofts
  • omd: overused memes in the dark
  • jimmy somerville: jimmy fall-setto
On This Day: May 27
  • 1525: Death of Thomas Müntzer. German theologian who was a leading figure in the German Peasants’ War.
  • 1797: François-Noël (Gracchus) Babeuf, French communist revolutionary, executed in Vendôme, France.
  • 1818: Birth of Amelia Bloomer in Homer, NY. She was an early activist for women’s rights.
  • 1871: End of the Paris Commune and the Bloody Week that destroyed it. Communards were executed against the “mur des fédérés”.
  • 1919: During the Civil War, leading Bolshevik Fyodor Raskolnikov exchanged for fourteen British prisoners of war.
  • 1936: Just a month before his death, Alexander Berkman was released from a hospital in France.
  • 1937: The Union Anarchiste (UA) found in Paris during a meeting of over 4,000 anarchists. Emilienne Morin was one of several speakers.
  • 1942: Stjepan Filipović, Yugoslavian communist and anti-fascist partisan, is hanged in Valjevo, Serbia by Nazi forces.
  • 1958: Ernest Green becomes first African-American to graduate from now desegregated Little Rock Central High School, Arkansas.
  • 1968: Grand Jury indicts “LA13” (conspiracy to disturb peace) for role in Chicano school walkouts over inferior education for Latinos.
  • 1968: School and university students call general strike of exams in Dakar, Senegal, over government cuts to student grants.
  • 1968: Large meeting of the UNEF, Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (National Union of Students), attended 30,000 to 50,000 people in the Stade Sebastien Charlety in Paris. The meeting was extremely militant with speakers demanding the government be overthrown and elections held.
  • 1980: An inquest into the killing of socialist and anti-fascist Blair Peach by the police Special Patrol Group finds it “misadventure”.
  • 1980: Kwangju Uprising against dictatorship in South Korea ends. Several thousand unarmed civilians are killed by the military.
The Communards of the Belleville district in Paris, who fought the battles of the barricades and died by the tens of thousands under the guns of the Versaillais, refused to confine their insurrection to the private world described by symbolist poems or the public world described by Marxist economics. They demanded the eating and the moral, the filled belly and the heightened sensibility. The Commune floated on a sea of alcohol — for weeks everyone in the Belleville district was magnificently drunk. Lacking the middle-class proprieties of their instructors, the Belleville Communards turned their insurrection into a festival of public joy, play and solidarity.
—  Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism
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On this day in music history: May 1, 1971 - “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 3 weeks, also peaking at #2 for 3 weeks on May 8, 1971. Written by Clifton Davis, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the superstar family group. The track is cut at the Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA in June of 1970 with Bob West (bass), Art Wright and David T. Walker (guitars), Joe Sample (keyboards) and Gene Pello (drums). Yet another departure from their trademark “bubblegum” uptempo pop/soul sound, it is “more adult” in nature than their previous hits. During the vocal recording session, the then eleven year old Michael while looking over the lyrics to the song asks the producer Hal Davis the meaning of the word “anguish”. Davis quickly explains, then Michael nods and picks up where he had stopped singing. Released on March 16, 1971 (four weeks ahead of the album), it is the first single from The Jackson 5’s fifth album “Maybe Tomorrow”. “Never Can Say Goodbye” becomes the group’s sixth consecutive million selling single in the US. The song is covered by a number of different artists over years, most notably by Isaac Hayes whose version is released only a few months after the The Jackson 5’s. Gloria Gaynor record “Goodbye” in a dramatically revamped disco version that also becomes an instant classic, peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 and topping the Billboard Club Play chart. UK synth pop duo The Communards record a Hi-NRG dance version of the song in 1987 based on the Gloria Gaynor arrangement of the song, taking it #4 on the UK singles chart, and #2 on the US Club Play chart.

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Happy Birthday James William Somerville born 22 June 1961 in Glasgow, better known to us as Jimmy Somerville 

Jimmy  co-founded Bronski Beat in 1984 and from the band’s debut single “Smalltown Boy” onward, Somerville’s songs dealt openly with his own homosexuality, a recurring theme which met with surprisingly little commercial resistance as both the record and its follow-up, “Why?,” cracked the UK Top Ten. The much-acclaimed album Age of Consent preceded Bronski Beat’s 1985 cover of Donna Summer’s disco anthem “I Feel Love,” Jimmy left Bronski Beat in 1985 but shortly after formed The Communards, which topped the British charts in 1986 with a rendition of another disco classic, Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”

After hit albums, however, Somerville opted to go solo in 1988, resurfacing the next year with a cover of Francoise Hardy’s “Comment Te Dire Adieu;” the follow-up, a rendition of the Sylvester club perennial “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” rocketed into the Top Five, and the LP Read My Lips was a Top 40 entry as well. 

A reggaefied (is that even a word?) rendition of the Bee Gees chestnut “To Love Somebody” was next. Jimmy took a break in 1991 but returned to recording in 1995 with the album Dare to Love, his sixth solo album, Homage was released in 2015. 

Jimmy was saddened to hear, last January that his friend and former band member of Bronski Beat Larry Steinbachek had died, he posted on his Facebook page  “In memory of Larry Steinbachek whose death was announced yesterday. "We were young, brave and determined. Too OUT to stay in! Thank you for that moment Larry.” Jimmy, 12th January 2017.“  and this song on his Youtube channel in honour of his friend.  It is from their first hit album Age of Consent.

i think it’s worth pointing out that during the paris commune, the communard national guard destroyed all the guillotines in paris to mass fanfare
so like, yes, the guillotine was used to kill working class socialists you fools

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The Communards - Don’t Leave Me This Way (Official Music Video)