Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big, Bright, Heaping Gobs of American Pop Music

There are just those artists an self described "Indie" music lover such as myself are not supposed to like. These are artists that can come from a variety of genres but that when packed onto the ole' iPod would stick out lick a sore thumb. There is no rhyme or reason for them to be there. In some cases they are bands that I should be ashamed of but in other instances they are songs that have a beauty to them that transcends cool. Here is the first in my admissions of sins against the Indie Gods; I give you BRUCE HORNSBY AND THE RANGE!!!!

(waiting for a moment to you to pick yourself up off the floor and return to a normal breathing pattern...)

If I played Bruce's songs for you without knowing who he was, it is possible that you could see what I see. Here is a highly talented piano player who specializes in painting pictures with words and sounds that convey a sense of the American Spirit. You can almost here the train tracks in the back of the bass line and see the fields of the Midwest in his piano keystrokes. There are just those moments when you listen and get swept away in the feelings of the songs. There's the hopelessness and despair of "The Way It Is" (written at the height of the Reagan Era which was the last time we saw the dire economic straights we see in the US today) and the juxtaposition of that in the hope of the journey ahead with "The Valley Road". I understand how terminally uncool all this is but the emotion and the beauty of the songs make up for the very square nature of it all. Set aside your hipper than thou attitude and just listen...

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