Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Song of the Week: Bruce Springsteen

I have been  listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska a lot lately. I feel this is almost a confession, since it isn’t exactly an album full of songs about unicorns and rainbows, but is it probably my favorite of his catalog.  There is just something hauntingly beautiful about this  album and it also showcases Bruce’s genius of a storyteller.  In my honest opinion, which is always debatable, what makes American music, or at least good American music, great , is the blues. And I want to say, with the possibility of sounding overzealous, that blues is largely and maybe even uniquely, an American tradition. When songs are based on a blues tradition, whether it is literally based on the 12 bar blues, or at least in this feeling of being on the down and out, standing at a hard walked crossroads, that is music that can last. Now, there is true blue Blues, but this tradition is also in the foundation of jazz, rock n’roll, country music, punk rock, folk, bluegrass, let’s even throw in rap.  When you build up from the Blues, that is music that has the potential to transcend generations and genres.   When you take out the blues, and make the music too poppy or too complicated, that is just a music trend, and might be popular for a while, but will eventually end up in the discount bin.

So, what I am trying to say with all this, Bruce Springsteen makes good American music. 

In related news: A new tribute to this great album is currently out:
Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. It features some Gentlewoman of the Road endorsed bands: Spirit Family Reunion, Joe Pug, Trampled by Turtles, and Adam Arcuragi, among others. You can buy it here, for $5, well worth its metadata weight. And 100% of proceeds go to Project Bread, which is dedicated to alleviating, preventing and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. 

In other music news:
Mumford & Sons new album, Babel is released in the US today, finally . “I Will Wait,” is currently being overplayed on the radio here in DC, which isn't always a good thing. 

Chance McCoy’s  (of Old Crow Medicine Show) debut solo album is currently up for free (or donation) on Noisetrade. If you like traditional Appalachian music, especially if you can correctly pronounce Appalachia (App-uh-LATCH-uh, NOT, App-uh-LAY-shuh) you should check this out, heavy on the fiddle, heavy of the foot stomping. 

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