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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
Bruce Springsteen fans from Asbury Park and beyond blog about The Boss
COLUMN: The old-fogey Springsteen fan’s guide to new(er) music
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
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Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put \x34Born in the U.S.A.\x34 or \x34The River\x34 down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
July 10, 2013 12:12 p.m.



617542 MA_NS_fogeysIt’s happened to so many People Of A Certain Age — you wake up to Foghat’s “Slow Ride” blaring through your little clock radio, and you suddenly realize you’ve been listening to the same 100 classic rock songs over and over again for the last 25 years. If that’s not enough to make you pull the covers back over your head, I don’t know what will.

But what to do? Sure, some 40-somethings (like the aged staff at Popdose) are hip to the new sounds, and you can tell by the fact that they would never, under any circumstances, use the phrase “hip to the new sounds.” But the musically clueless are out of luck: Turn on Top 40 radio and they’re all playing the latest Katy Ke$ha Gaga song on continuous loop; ask your kids and they’ll just roll their eyes in a fashion that indicates serious strain on the optic nerves, and then Instagram their friends about how weird you are.

Fortunately, thanks to vast amounts of time on the Internet and my status as a spare-time fill-in music critic, I’ve managed to become familiar with a fair number of artists who’ve actually launched their careers in this millennium — and much to my surprise, some of them sound not that unlike the acts we’ve been listening to on classic rock radio lo these many years.

So never fear, fogeys — grab some of the music below based on your own personal tastes, and never again feel out of touch. And no, I’m not talking about the Hall and Oates song, although now you’re going to have it in your head for the rest of the day.

617542 MA_NS_gaslight1If you like Bruce Springsteen, try The Gaslight Anthem: If there’s one defining trait that Springsteen brings to his work, it’s sincerity. And it just so happens Jersey’s own Gaslight Anthem has that quality in droves — not to mention a lyrical penchant for girls in swaying dresses, edges of towns and secrets revealed through open car windows. Frontman Brian Fallon throws himself so un-winkingly into his delivery that you can’t help but get caught up; he makes you feel like hand-scrawled words on lined paper really can save your soul. And the thousand guitars and pounding drums don’t hurt either.

LISTEN TO: 2008’s “The ’59 Sound,” which actually includes several direct references to Springsteen lyrics (along with those of fellow dad rockers Bob Seger and Tom Petty).

If you like Led Zeppelin, try The Black Keys. It sounds far-fetched, but think about it: For all its hard rock trappings — the hair, the bare chests, everything John Bonham did, ever — at the end of the day, Zep was essentially a blues band. (A hairy, bare-chested, very loud blues band.) The Keys may be a little (OK, a lot) more laid back, but sonically they share quite a bit with Led Zeppelin’s gruff and muddy blues-drenched early work. And what the Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney lack in flamboyance they make up in not suffocating on their own vomit.

LISTEN TO: Their 2010 breakout smash, “Brothers.” (And if you like your Zep proteges a little louder, you may want to consider the entire White Stripes catalog.)

If you like Paul Simon, try Josh Ritter. No one mixes whimsy and melancholy quite like rhymin’ Simon, but Ritter, on an increasingly impressive body of folk-rock, sure comes close. Like Simon, Ritter tackles subjects like personal alienation, divorce and romantic ennui and somehow remains uplifting, or at least doesn’t make you want to drive off the road — “New Lover,” off Ritter’s new album “The Beast in Its Tracks,” has a bouncy matter-of-factness that recalls classic Simon songs like “Slip Sliding Away.” Bonus: Ritter also writes songs about mummies.

LISTEN TO: Ritter’s 2007 instrumentally ambitious “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.”

If you like Queen, try fun.: The one group here you’ll actually hear on Top 40 radio thanks to the unexpected success of 2012’s “Some Nights” LP, fun. and its leader Nate Ruess may not share the sheer audacity of Freddie Mercury and company. (Or, frankly, the outsized talent of that once-in-a-lifetime combo.) But the group’s penchant for outre arrangements and a certain baroque frenzy puts them in contention for inheriting Queen’s theatrical quirk-rock mantel — or at least ELO’s. Meanwhile, Ruess’ slightly skewed take on the everyday challenges of simply being human keeps them appealingly grounded in the real world.

LISTEN TO: The group’s striking 2009 debut, “Aim and Ignite.”

617542 MA_NS_arcadefireIf you like Talking Heads, try Arcade Fire: When Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” won Album of the Year in 2011, many people were left asking the age-old question: Who the heck is Arcade Fire? (Well, at least Katy Perry’s fans were asking that.) If you love the Talking Heads, hopefully you’ve figured out the answer for yourself — Win Butler’s affected, almost spooky, delivery recalls David Byrne at his quirkiest, even if Arcade Fire’s output tends to be more anthemic than the Heads’ deadpan verse. (Blame the Springsteen influence.) And both bands deal in biting observations about a world so much weirder than they are.

LISTEN TO: The aforementioned “The Suburbs,” basically an album-length dissertation on Byrne’s 1981 declaration that “This is not my beautiful house!”

Want some more? Check these out:



  • Like Janis Joplin? Try Alabama Shakes.


  • Like The Clash? Try Frank Turner.


  • Like Blondie? Try the Dum Dum Girls.


  • Like Lynyrd Skynyrd? Try the Drive-By Truckers.


  • Like Jackson Browne? Try Rhett Miller (and the Old 97’s).




And if you like Foghat? You might want to stick with your clock radio.

Who’d I miss? Leave suggestions in the comments.

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