I’ve been thinking about starting a series called “Blogging the Boss” where I listen to every Springsteen album and write about it. Should I do that? Anyway, here’s something I wrote about Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.
It’s almost fascinating how lively Bruce Springsteen’s first album is. The record doesn’t open with a declarative statement as Born in the U.S.A. does. Nor does it open with a cinematic scene that almost feels like a novel adaptation that the author had the perfect amount of control on as is Born to Run (“Thunder Road”). Still Greetings from Asbury Park is cinematic in its own way, especially at its open. “Blinded by the Light” may as well set the tone for arriving at the boardwalk1 (or carnival or backyard birthday party or barbecue) about five minutes after its gotten dark out. The opener is practically in medias res for a slice-of-life from someone who was about to become America’s favorite guitar-slinging storyteller.
In Marc Maron’s 2017 special, Too Real, he recounts seeing a Rolling Stones reunion show and all his fears that it would be bad. One of the jokes many twists is that almost immediately after the show started, Maron starts weeping in awe of seeing The Stones live. While I was not as nervous as the WTF host on Monday night, I was certainly on the more reserved end of excitement in Metlife Stadium for The Stones’ No Filter tour, and, like Maron, I was absolutely floored by how great the band are fifty years into their career.
Jack White was in the building earlier that day. On a day when The Raconteurs put out their first album in over ten years, the band played a small in-store that afternoon at Rough Trade in Brooklyn-the first of three intimate NY shows for the band. The Raconteurs would go onto play Rough Trade Saturday night and Coney Island Baby Sunday afternoon. Jack White exists within a realm that few working rock musicians do; Dave Grohl is probably his only true contemporary. This is all to say that these 200-250 cap rooms are a rarity for someone of Jack White’s stature to perform in. He’s a rockstar in the truest definition of the word, which is very different from how someone would perceived Titus Andronicus who headlined Rough Trade on Friday Night for the release show for their new record An Obelisk.
On their debut album, Parkways capture a classic sense of pop-punk malaise. The band’s debut EP Constant Memory draws from lo-fi and pop-punk past, but it never feels nostalgic. The Trenton-based group create the type of energy suited for jumping around in basements. Continue reading
Supposedly, the ancient Persians would make laws, and then, they would get drunk to make sure they made the right law. Looking through history, some of our greatest thinkers, writers, and figures have been drunks, and it’s makes you think maybe the Persians had something. That’s not to say all important life decisions should be decided when teetering on a blackout, but sometimes brilliance can be whiskey drenched. Steady Hands explore the inner workings of human nature, while downing a Pabst Blue Ribbon on their proper debut album Truth in Comedy. Continue reading
Released almost exactly one year after her debut album, Sidney Gish’s new No Dogs Allowed marks a significant step forward for the Boston singer-songwriter. Gish’s debut marked the scope of her ambition by having her play every instrument, mostly with just her guitar and voice. Dogs sees Gish venturing with different guitar tones, more drum loops, and real bass. Gish also keeps with her writing of catchy songs withs, somewhat random lyrics, although she seems a little bit more thoughtful this time around. With the increased popularity, Gish is placing herself in league with the likes of Waxahatchee, Julien Baker, and other indie-pop songstresses that have taken the music industry by storm so much in the past year. Continue reading
The Front Bottoms were at one time leading figures in the emo-revival. A weird pop-punk band from New Jersey that let indie rock and folk influences bleed through. They had lyrics that masked emotion through humor and wits. Also, they were huge. They could book their own festival at New York’s Webster Hall with their friends and favorite bands and sell it out. They toured with emo-vets Brand New on numerous occasions and wrote one of the decades’ best songs about life on the road. Back On Top was a major creative leap for the band, adding much more electric instrumentation than before, and it paid off. The best songs off Back On Top could square off with any number of songs from their self-titled album or Talon of Hawk. Unfortunately, Going Grey shows them doing just that: greying into a mediocre band. Continue reading
Singer-songwriter Sidney Gish has slowly been building her presence in the Boston music scene since the release of her debut album, Ed Buys Houses. Still, Gish has been prolific in her short career, releasing large amounts of material in a short time via Soundcloud and Bandcamp, while studying the music industry at Northeastern University. Her songs are often catchy and silly, but incredibly well-crafted, especially when you realize that Gish does everything herself. We got a chance to speak to her shortly after the release of Camino ‘84’s new single, “Sounds Fake But Ok,” which she’s featured on.
BAD: What is it like collaborating with a different artist where most of your other work is solo? Continue reading