A blast of American music

One of the most effective weapons in the defeat of Soviet Russia was rock and roll. American music. No single aspect of American culture contains within itself all of our independence, free-thinking and aspirations. Rock and roll is totally incompatible with totalitarianism, fascism or religious fanaticism.
That’s why, if we’re going to defeat today’s brand of tyranny, we should be exporting rock and roll to the Middle East. I’m not talking about cartoon music like Brittney Spears or Backstreet Boys, which we’re already doing and is probably doing more harm than good. I mean real rock and roll. The first shot fired at Saudi Arabia should be a good dose of the Blasters. The new CD, “Trouble Bound” will hit more targets than the smartest smart bomb. This is a CD that makes you want to dance, and makes you want to shake your fist at all who would tell you how to live your life. There have been few bands over the last 20 years that have embodied the true spirit of rock and roll better than the Blasters.
“Trouble Bound” is the first real Blasters record in more than a decade. By that I mean the line up includes Dave Alvin. The Blasters just isn’t the same band without Alvin, who has been busy building an Grammy-winning solo career. Dave Alvin is the heart of the Blasters, but Alvin will be the first to tell you that nobody sings his songs better than brother Phil. So, Phil and Dave Alvin on the same stage is a religious experience in itself. Fortunately, somebody at High Tone Records had the good sense to capture a spate of rare reunion shows in Southern California on tape and put out a CD of the magic.
The Blasters run through the heart of their catalog, dishing out such master pieces as “Trouble Bound,” “Long White Cadillac,” “Common Man,” “So Long Baby Goodbye” and “Marie Marie.”
Of course, they give a ripping performance of the one song that should make Islamofascists every where tremble: “American Music.” Has there ever been a truer lyric than: “The whole world digs that sound from the USA”?
Speaking of Dave Alvin and live music, his new “Out In California” is another suburb addition to his body of work. The CD shows Alvin at both his rocking best and his poetic subtlety.
I know nothing about Alvin’s politics. He’s obviously proud of America’s culture, but an ongoing theme of his music seems to be the gritty freedom enjoyed by America’s working class. So long as Dave Alvin is making music, freedom is in good hands.

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2 thoughts on “A blast of American music

  1. I saw a documentary about Afghani war lords and they were interviewing a warlord who had spent time in England and spoke english well. His favorite music was rock ‘n’ roll and his favorite band was AC/DC he carried a highway to hell tape with him. I was shocked that a muslim Afghani warlord would enjoy such music but then again he was a major supplier of opium. We (the west) give them rock and they send us dope.

    Rock represents freedom and what person deep down inside doesnt long to be free. Music can transport a person out of the bondage they find themselves in if only for a few minutes.

    I have always enjoyed the Blasters and spent many a night listening to them on headphones.

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