At Home He's a Tourist


There were two guys, I wasn't paying that close attention but they were doing songs in Spanish.

Billy Bragg - Talking with the Taxman about Poetry. The difficult third album. Like Lach's symbiotic 1980s twin in the U.K., Billy Bragg politicized like The Clash and Woody Guthrie, wailed about romance like Hank Wiliams, and rocked like The Clash, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams. On Talking with the Taxman, Bragg splits his time between being a helpless, albeit cynical, romantic, and a political firebrand. Johnny Marr and Kirsty McÇoll give Greetings to the New Brunette and the Warmest Room folk-rock style pop. A new development for Bragg. Despite his new found pleasantness Bragg gets political on Ideology, There is Power in a Union, and Help Save the Youth of America. Sometimes the sentiments seem overly didactic or empty sloganeering but when you think about how many musical artists never address things like this, you wonder why more don't, I mean people buy your records, and there's something awesome that Bragg, even if it is sometimes clumsy or heavy handed, remembers to remind the people they have rights as human beings and not to be afraid to demand and protect these rights.

They were really good but really clean and neat. I guess like Joe's Pub style. Joe's Pub is really one of the coolest venues in the city, pricey but always fun with great acts. They also had the street smarts of the El Condora Pass band in Times Square with their huge distortion speakers and all the 2 guitar/accordian combo's busking around the city. I always give those guys money because they're so good. So many bars in NYC have such boring I-Pod music they really should hire these groups to play, the music is so good more people would hang out longer and drink more. So I'm at the communal table and there is a copy of the New York Times so I start to read it because I figure it's at the communal table so I figured it was a communal paper so I begin to read it. Egypt, Wisconsin, and the GOP congress. I love the New York Times, a lot of the sections are ridiculous so you have to skip them but their international section is truly amazing. They are really current, articles on all international news and they really stay with a story. Some people say they "bury" stories, but if you want international news you should be able to read 20 or so pages, I mean it's a big world out there. The writers leave a lot of space between the lines so you can really think about things on your own terms. So I look up from the paper and someone was laughing at me, or so I really thought, so I stopped reading, folded up the paper and put it back on the communal table.

X - Under the Big Black Sun
Open the seal on this record and pour it out and you immediately know this is gonna be a different X record. Kicking drums, less punk more rock guitar and bass, and songs that take the band out of the LA minimalist punk ( lyrically and musically) on their prior releases. Doe and Cervenka write the concerns and dilemma's of the common man. They're no longer dying in high society but gritting it out in the down and out trenches. Booze doomed characters suffer through hunger, heartbreak, and the bleakest of hangovers. A Leadbelly cover adds extra grit. Bonebrakes impeccable and under Ray Manzarek more forward in the mix. Billy Zoom takes his incredibly sharp punk-rockabilly sound and plays more complex runs and even mellow to run with the new hungry X. Billy Zoom is so influential, Schwervon!, Black Flag, Peechees, Knoxville Girls, and a host of others borrow from his playing, and why not, the guy is a great guitarist. Under the Big Black Sun is an awesome record.

After the set I go to the bar to get another fancy beer with an unpronounceable name and I notice a woman reading an intellectual book. So I ask her about the book and it turned out she was a college professor and knew a lot about unions and labor. Maybe this is really a Marxist gallery. I didn't really know much about the Wisconsin labor unrest and she said it seemed drastic now but when all the dust settled the situation would be status quo. I think the new GOP congress should stop hassling the Unions. The people in unions generally do hard work for a long period of time and for the most part they do a good job and are helpful and professional. The new GOP congress are going to get voted out in masse next election. Don't they remember Gingrich's 2 year republican revolution? Are those guys even politicians or just a bunch of guys who want two years living their dream at the Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh revolution fantasy camp? Ching Chong Song played next and were amazing as always. Dan plays really interesting, yet still pop piano, and Julie sings like an opera singer. Which she is. Although styled after 70's music Azita plays inventive piano with vocals in an experimental way kind of in the same way. Çhing Çhong Song sound more like popular entertainment with inventive piano. The songs could really be from many styles and suited for many audiences, very inventive, very experimental, and always amazing.