I think this summer’s official campfire whiskey & holler theme song will be a classic White Stripes number. Learn G, C, and D, my guitar-strumming amigos. I’m thinking harmonica and Jew’s harp will be necessary.
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone- Born In The USA (Springsteen cover)
I’ve heard this song covered a bunch of times, reworked to its original blues base in an effort to take all of the synthetic stadium-rock keyboards out of it. Bruce even released an early version of it done acoustically as a 3-chord guitar blues.
Owen Ashworth (maybe just to be contrary?) has taken the opposite tack. What’s left is the musical equivalent of Warhol’s soup cans… there’s something very impressive about it.
This is maybe my favorite Kozelek/Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon song. I guess I like it because I’ve never known how to feel about it, exactly. It’s sympathetic and melancholy, but also so dark, like a Flannery O’Connor story condensed into folk lyrics. The last verse still blindsides me emotionally when it comes; it’s always more jarring than I remember:
I buried my first victim when I was nineteen,
Went through her bedroom and the pockets of her jeans,
Where the devil did this come from? I’ve had it in my collection for years, and I have no memory of where it came from. Some forgotten mix cd from a girl I should never have dated from match.com? A file transfer over AIM from 2001? One of those music blasts from Slowcoustic or Drunkard Aquarium or some other possibly defunct music blog?
I don’t know. But it’s unassuming and obscure and glum. I can relate.
Remember back in 1973 when Bruce Springsteen was trying to build the best road house rock band ever? With lots of Memphis horn sound and thumping bass and distorted guitar? Me neither, since most of us weren’t born yet.