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Music Rundown Guide for March 10, 2012

Fredric Hall

"The Boss" Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen comes back with a new album and Bo Diddley gets re-issued this week.

Well, it’s that time where we turn the clock forward one hour and lose some sleep.  Which sucks.  As you all know, sleep is very important to the college student.  Mainly, when they’re not studying and sleeping all day in the dorm room, dreaming all Kim Kardashian doing nasty things to them.  Because of that lost hour, they won’t know she was going to do with that swordfish and a can of Marshmallow Fluff.  Oh well:-(

Bruce Springsteen – Wreckng Ball [Columbia]

The Boss is back.  I know that was cliché as hell, but it’s the damn truth.  And here’s another cliché: he hasn’t lost a single step.  This is why he’s been doing this for over forty years.  The songs here are not filler tracks whose only purpose is to satisfy a contract.  These songs come from the heart and the guts, and Bruce doesn’t know how to do it anyway else.  Listening to “We Take Care Take of Our Own” really captures the anguish and hope The Boss is conveying to the listener.  The titles alone will show that he’s not one for compromise: “Death to My Hometown”, “Land of Hope and Dreams”, “This Depression”.  You think any of those songs are about some mamby-pamby schoolyard crush?  Didn’t think so.

Bo Diddley – Black Gladiator [Future Days Recordings]

For those who don’t know who he is – which, I’m assuming, is two of you – Bo Diddley was one of the old school blues heavyweights, along with Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry.  His best known songs are “Who Do You Love” and “I’m a Man”, with its trademark unified guitar-bass-harmonica riff that will pound inside your head for two weeks straight.  Black Gladiator came from an experimental period in his career.  Ok, I’ll be honest; it was an attempt to attract the younger listeners because at the time of the album’s release, 1970, young cats were more into the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Velvet Underground, and other bands that Diddley influenced.  The album’s cover is something to behold: Diddley, with his 40-something-year-old body strapped up in an S&M get up, man boobs just hanging out there like nobody’s business.  But the album is a nice blend of blues, rock n’ roll, and funk, like the opening track “Elephant Man” and “You, Bo Diddley”. 

Blacastan – The Master Builder Part II [Brick Records]

Now we go from the classic to the soon-to-be-classic.  Blacastan has been around for a minute, releasing three albums that has been regarded as some of the finest works in hip-hop.  Will he continue the winning streak with The Master Builder Part II? Well, apparently Blacastan thinks so, since this is a two-CD album: one being the regular album, the second is a remix version of the same album.  Freaky shit, right?  “The Booth” is pretty nice, with some hardlined beats and Blacastan flexing his rhyming muscles and letting cats who the best in the game. 

Dance Hall Pimps – Beast For Love [Lakeshore Records]

And last but not least, we have the debut album from the psychobilly, roots rock, and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink band, Dance Hall Pimps.  I guess the closet thing they sound like is the Cramps but with a more bluesy edge to them.  Some of the songs, like “Mommie Was a Zombie” have an underlying dark humor sickos like myself enjoy.  Like most psychobilly bands, they do have horror themed songs, like “…Zombie” and “Transylvania Girls”, but they diversify with the sober opening track “Seems Holy”.  If you want something a little different, check this one out.

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