Monday, May 24, 2010

One Year In ...

In the immortal words of David Lowery of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven renown: “Happy Birthday to Me” ... err, well, this blog anyway.

Today marks the one year anniversary of my launching The Mad Archivists’ Club blog as a forum for airing my thoughts on music, the state of modern media and a smattering of other things that happen to strike my fancy.

While it remains (and likely always will be) a work in progress, this blog has managed to stick fairly close to the vision I originally had for it last May (as outlined in my introductory post).

It has, in fact, been mostly about music (40 percent of the posts), secondarily about media-related things (26 percent) and filled out with a variety of other topics. I was a little surprised to note a half-dozen posts about documentary films, but – perhaps somewhat paradoxically – also surprised that there weren’t more posts about history, literature or sports.

It is no surprise, however, that the music-related entries are the ones that garnered the most views. There’s no doubt that they’re the most viral.

The 118 posts were mostly original writing, with a few dozen just being contextual setups for links to interesting and thought-provoking articles or videos I came across elsewhere. A handful were simply funny or interesting photos.

I harbored no illusions about garnering a lot of comments – and a friend wisely cautioned me: “Be careful what you wish for, 90 percent of web comments are argumentative, if not outright hostile” (kind of like the old print world). I have no aversion to a good debate, but I am still grappling with the challenge that most of the comments end up on the Facebook and Twitter links, rather than the blog itself. No matter, I’m not sweating it. I’m just glad that some people are reading it.

Once again, as Mr. Lowery says: “I’m feeling thankful for the small things today.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Neil Young Visits New Dimensions

About three songs into Neil Young’s solo performance Friday night at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Mass., I was struck by the thought: “He has finally surpassed Bob Dylan.” Perhaps he did years ago, but the notion was undeniable in the moment given the power of his singular performance. And that was just the beginning of the show; I was even more convinced by the night’s end.

Despite his own iconic stature, Neil has forever seemed to labor (albeit prolifically) in the shadow of the quixotic troubadour from Hibbing. The Dylan canon is a formidable one to compete with – perhaps as much for its historical and social context as for the artistry itself (though I would argue on behalf of the artistry). Nevertheless, here I was listening to a sublime rendition of “Helpless” – just Neil’s shaky voice and his resonant acoustic guitar and I thought, “This is majestic … Dylan could never do this.” Bob needs his band. Neil, on the other hand, soars with or without accompaniment.

Of course, Neil has an incomparable catalog. Like Dylan, he’s had his highs and lows, his triumphant comebacks and head-scratching misfires. But one can argue (if so inclined) that while Dylan might still have the lead in career home runs, Neil beats him in OBP (on base percentage). So, if I was a GM reviewing my roster for this season and next, I’d have to go with the young(er) Canadian.

I don’t say this lightly, I’m a huge Dylan fan and I’ve seen him in concert well over a dozen times in the last 30 years. I’ve seen Neil less than half as many times over less than half as many years.

In most solo performances by musicians of Neil’s ilk, you simply get more intimate acoustic renditions of the artist’s greatest hits. Perhaps the arrangements are reworked a bit to give new life to the familiar. In Friday’s performance, however Neil gave whole new dimensionality to a number of his classics, especially the songs he performed on electric guitar without the crazy horsepower of his usual backing band. Songs like “Cortez the Killer” and “Down by the River” were not 20-minute feedback-laden jams – though Neil did coax some feedback out of Old Black (his trusty Bisgby-outfitted Gibson Les Paul) and his C.S.N.&Y.-era Gretsch White Falcon at points during the evening. For the most part, however, he relied on tight arrangements and creative use of vibrato, sustain and a few effects to reanimate these and other old favorites in thoroughly engaging ways.

What also made this 14-date solo tour – labeled “Twisted Road” and winding from Massachusetts to Texas – especially promising from the start was the prospect of Neil debuting some new music. In all, eight of the 18 songs in his set were new – and at least five or six of them were truly outstanding.

* * *

A deceptively minimal stage set provided plenty of visual ambiance to complement the rich timbre of the music. Subtle lighting provided dramatic effects when projected on a climbing-wall-like backdrop divided by a few monolithic pillars. The stage equipment was triangulated by three atmospherically lit keyboards: an upright piano at stage left, a vintage pump organ looming in the back and a white grand piano psychedelicized with orange and pink paint splatters to the right. In the middle, four small amplifiers were fronted by a chair for the seated acoustic performance and a mic stand and effects pedal board for the electric playing.

The night began with Neil casually strolling out, and sitting down to play a mic’ed acoustic guitar. Things got increasingly electric as the set progressed, and he was out of his seat, stalking the front of the stage before he finished the first few acoustic songs. More than half of the concert featured electric guitar, with a three-song keyboard segment two-thirds of the way through providing a brief break in the rocking.

The opening song was an understated rendition of “Hey Hey, My My,” followed by a somewhat more energetic version of “Tell Me Why.” By the third song, “Helpless,” Neil was on stride. “Helpless” is far from one of my favorite Young songs, but this highly emotive version was powerful and captivating in its languid lyrical delivery and melancholic harmonica lines.

Then Neil switched from the big Martin dreadnoughts to a smaller acoustic guitar with a pickup that changed the sonic palette for a series of powerful new songs. The first of these, “You Never Call,” is a hauntingly beautiful slow song reminiscent of some of Prairie Wind. It’s likely addressed to the singer’s late father – or possibly God (see comments for further interpretation of the song’s subject matter).

The haunting new melodies continued on “Peaceful Valley,” an engaging and quintessentially Youngian tale that evolved from a dissertation on the costs of pioneer-era Western expansion into a diatribe on contemporary moral and environmental armageddon. It poignantly culminated with the plaintive refrain: “Who’ll be the beacon in the night?”

The third new song in this mini minor-key triumvirate was “Love and War,” about the heartbreak of separation and loss and the musician’s futile perseverance in singing about the two topics of the title.

The introduction of electric guitar for the more familiar “Down By the River” provided a nice segue into the remainder of the set. The song wasn’t quite the same without the band crashing in behind Neil on the transitions, but it wasn’t meant to be. It held up well, nonetheless.

Next, came the musical high point of the night: the historically confessional “Hitchhiker,” in which Neil reflects on his journey from Toronto to California, from youthful indulgence to mature gratitude and contentment. Word is that this is an older unreleased track, but it was new to me. With swirling phaser effects on a churning electric guitar riff reminiscent of some the tracks Young did with Pearl Jam on 1995’s Mirror Ball, this one packed all the wallop of a full band. The insertion of a few lines from “Like an Inca,” from 1982’s Trans, was a nice added touch.

Next, Neil whipped out the White Falcon for a timely take on C.S.N.&Y.’s “Ohio” (it being the 40th anniversary of Kent State and all). The classic guitar riff and macabre recollection of Nixon and his tin soldiers was carried along by the crowd’s enthusiastic clapping. Neil did a particularly nice job singing this one, no easy feat without Crosby and Nash’s familiar vocal backing.

The next new song, “Sign of Love,” is a Mirror Ball meets After the Gold Rush slab of rock in which romantic verses about a lasting relationship are married to a bridge reminiscent of 1970’s “When You Dance I Can Really Love.”

Neil then began working his way around the horn of keyboards, starting with the upright piano for yet another new tune. Young introduced “Leia” as “just a little song about a little girl” (not a granddaughter, he said, correcting assumptions aired in the blogosphere). The songs nursery rhyme-like melody and precious vocal, though sweet in intention, did not make for particularly satisfying concert fodder.

Moving to the back of the stage, Neil grabbed a harmonica and worked the pump organ for another of the concert’s highlights, an elegiac rendition of “After the Gold Rush” that elicited rapturous applause from the audience. From there he proceeded to the grand piano, where he performed a beautiful Lennon-esque take on “I Believe in You” (must’ve been the white grand).

The somber mellowness of the three keyboard tunes provided an effective contrast to the electric bombast that came before and after. Once finished with the keys, Neil returned to Old Black for another new song, “Rumblin’,” which kicked off with a melodic guitar lick recalling The Waterboys’ “Rags” or early R.E.M. before delving into another of Neil’s trademark eco-conscious narratives: “The Earth is talking to me / To me, in many voices / I hear the rumblin’ in her ground ... When will I learn how to listen? / When will I learn how to feel? / When will I learn how to give back? / When will I learn how to heal?”

Jumping from the new take on a familiar theme to an old take on a lasting one (Native Americans), Young single-handedly galloped toward the climax of the set. He worked whammy-bar wonders with the Bigsby on a spare, but evocative version of “Cortez the Killer” (another of the night’s many highlights) before concluding with a rip-snortin’ run through “Cinnamon Girl.”

He returned for a quick encore, beginning with another White Falcon flight of distorted twang on “Walk with Me,” the last new song of the set. Once again, it was proof of why, after all these years, Neil Young remains the Godfather of Grunge – and he doesn’t even need any help.

The 95-minute performance concluded with my only disappointment of the night (and a minor one at that). In the previous two concerts of the tour, Neil had opened with the acoustic “My My, Hey Hey” and closed with the electric “Hey Hey, My My.” In Worcester, however, he dropped the heavy back bookend in favor of an acoustic strum through the poppy apex of his catalog: his 1972 No. 1 hit “Heart of Gold.” Well-performed though it was, and perhaps welcomed by his more “light weight” fans, the more hardcore among us missed the final thrash in the name of The King and Johnny Rotten.

Rare Treat

As if a great Neil Young performance alone wasn’t enough, an added treat – a big one to me, though unfortunately apparently not as much so to many in the audience – was the rare appearance of Bert Jansch as the opening act. The Scottish folk guitar legend was invited by Neil to open the tour, and next month he’ll be playing some shows out west with Neil’s wife, Pegi, who has a burgeoning solo career in her own right. (Click here for my brief review of Bert’s set.)

Full Set List – Worcester, Mass. (5/21/10)

• My My, Hey Hey

• Tell Me Why

• Helpless

• You Never Call (new)

• Peaceful Valley (new)

• Love and War (new)

• Down By the River

• Hitchhiker (new)

• Ohio

• Sign of Love (new)

• Leia (new)

• After the Gold Rush

• I Believe in You

• Rumblin’ (new)

• Cortez the Killer

• Cinnamon Girl


• Walk with Me (new)

• Heart of Gold

Bert Jansch Graces Worcester

Bert Jansch is making rare stateside concert appearances as a special guest on Neil Young’s current 14-date “Twisted Road” tour. Unfortunately, aside from hardcore guitar enthusiasts and British folk fanatics, few people seem to be aware of who Jansch is and how lucky we are to be graced with these appearances.

Neil knows. He has called Jansch the Jimi Hendrix of acoustic guitar and acknowledged the spikey fingerpicker’s early and lasting influence on his own playing. Bert’s unique stylings are readily heard in Neil’s early work with Buffalo Springfield as well as his award-winning 1993 Harvest Moon L.P.

Along with Davy Graham and Anne Briggs, Jansch was in the vanguard of the British folk movement of the 1960s. Without him, there wouldn’t have been a Fairport Convention, Nick Drake or his own jazz-folk-blues group Pentangle, among many others. Jimmy Page’s early acoustic guitar style draws heavily on Jansch’s seminal 1965 and 1966 albums, and Neil has admitted that his own “Ambulance Blues,” from 1974’s On the Beach, is derived directly from Bert’s style.

Jansch has recorded dozens of albums over the years, but stateside concert appearances have been rare. Apparently, it took the Neil’s esteem and influence to change that.

At Friday’s performance in Worcester, Mass., the nearly septuagenarian Scotsman, appeared surprisingly youthful and relaxed, decked out in blue jeans, a blue work shirt and incandescent white leather sneakers. The only indication of his advancing years was his departure from the stage after his set: he walked with the gait of a guy who has known back pain. His fingers were as fleet and fluid as ever, his voice rich and resonant.

I missed the first two songs of Jansch’s 35-minute set, arriving just in time to catch him running through his classic “Black Water Side” from 1966’s Jack Orion. This was followed by seven more smoothly rendered blues-tinged folk songs – part Davy Graham, part Big Bill Broonzy. As the crystal clear yet chunky acoustic guitar lines rung out through the hall, it seemed at times as if there were two guitarists on stage, interweaving intricate melodies behind the lilting vocals. Such is Bert’s musical magic. For me, the highlights, sprinkled among a few lesser-known tunes, were Jackson C. Frank’s “Carnival” and Bert’s own “Poison” ... but it was all good.

The Worcester audience was politely enthusiastic during Jansch’s set, but clearly not that aware of the opener’s legendary stature. It was just short of heartbreaking to hear Bert only somewhat facetiously thank the crowd for not throwing things at him as he wrapped up his performance.

For his part, Neil attempted to clue the crowd in during his set: “I hope that you appreciate and realize how lucky you are to hear Bert Jansch,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure to appear on the same stage as him.”

The pleasure was all ours.

(Click here for my review of Neil’s performance.)

This video of Bert performing “Black Water Side” is from about 30 years ago. Jimmy Page borrowed heavily (to put it mildly) from Bert’s rendition of this traditional folk tune for his slightly more Indian-flavored version, “Black Mountain Side,” on the first Led Zeppelin album. Questionable song attribution aside, Page (like Neil Young) has readily admitted Jansch’s huge influence on his playing in interviews over the years.

• Since 1965, Bert Jansch has released dozens of albums under his own name and with his group Pentangle. Of the solo material, my favorites are Jack Orion (early period), Rosemary Lane (middle period) and The Black Swan (later period).

• Bert Jansch’s website has more background and his MySpace page has some streaming audio samples.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Google View on the Future of News

... It’s not necessarily what you think.

This article by James Fallows in the June issue of The Atlantic offers a very interesting and surprisingly upbeat view of the future prospects for serious journalism. It explores potential paths through the current business challenges facing the news industry and sheds light on how technology can enhance substantial coverage and context, rather than undermine it in favor of dumbed-down, superficial content. It’s a very lengthy (it is The Atlantic, after all) but insightful and worthwhile read.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quite Optimistic

This is an interesting video clip of Esquire editor David Granger’s interview with Steve Forbes at the 2010 Publishing Business Conference and Expo in New York City back in early March:

I’m not sure how Forbes reaches such an optimistic conclusion about whether America is in decline or not given the economic facts as he lays them out in his answer, but he’s more knowledgeable about this stuff than most of us. (Personally, I avoid discussions of monetary policy like the plague! ) Thought-provoking, nonetheless.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Merely Survive, or Thrive?

A recent PBS Mediashift report (read it here) provides an interesting overview of an ongoing exploration by of the future of journalism as seen by a variety of industry veterans and thought-leaders – all nicely packaged in 12 short, digestible quotes. It covers a wide range of topics, from the evolution of the advertising model, digital opportunities and pitfalls, to citizen journalism and what audio and video can and can’t add to more traditional text-based reporting. A worthwhile read for those of us navigating our way through this “difficult and exciting time” in journalism.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo Ejection

Timely in more ways than one ...

Jack tells it like it is at 2:25.

Little Engine Thrives, Big One Takes a Dive

This is a feel-good story from journalism circles (an industry hard pressed for any good feeling these days) in which the little guy proverbially sticks it to the big guy.

In this neo-post-Great-Recession-era, people remain justifiably suspicious of big enterprises – be they big banks, big government or big media. And this anecdote reflects the rampant arrogance the bigs continue to exhibit in the face of the little engines’ nose-to-the-ground work in the trenches.

This simple-but-pride-filled Editor’s Note from a recent edition of the Bristol Herald Courier, a small newspaper covering communities along the Virginia-Tennessee border that recently won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, details the pompous, cavalier and distorted treatment the local newspaper and its staff got in the coverage of their award-winning efforts by the big men on campus – most notably, the Washington Post, which sent a reporter to spend nearly three days with the Bristol news team.

The tale, as related by Herald Courier Editor J. Todd Foster, highlights the media elite’s detachment and fundamental lack of understanding of where and how most of us live – a disconnect that is among the many forces at play in the current demise of the major media industry. The fact that big media powerhouses like the Post can’t match what a locally focused, passionately committed media enterprise can do is nothing new. But the misguided sense of self-importance behind the notion that you cannot produce great journalism unless you work at the Post, or some such place, is blind insolence.

Surely, there’s little in the print world to compare to big media’s coverage of some important global affairs, but when it comes to thoughtful and committed effort on regional and local matters, the big media players should be smart enough to avoid looking down their noses at sound – hell, Pulitzer Prize-winning! – local journalism. As Editor Foster suggests, most people will stop reading the Washington Post before they stop reading their dependable source of local news.

The smart guys at the Post should remember that Tip O’Neill’s famous quote applies to more than just politics.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

20 Great Protest Songs

“Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming, we’re finally on our own. / This summer, I hear the drumming, four dead in Ohio.”
... It was 40 years ago today.

Penned with celerity by Neil Young and captured in cathartic splendor by his bandmates only a few weeks after the infamous shootings at Kent State, “Ohio” is without a doubt one of the great protest songs of all time. Today’s remembrance of the events in Ohio on May 4, 1970, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s impassioned musical response, got me thinking about other outstanding songs of protest in the rock canon.

Of course, there have been dozens of notable protest songs over the years, dating all the way back to the early 20th century. Heck, Woody Guthrie alone could fill a whole songbook with tunes of objection and dissent. (Speaking of songbooks, as I write this, an old folk guitar book, titled Songs of Work and Protest, sits in a bookcase an arm’s length away … Funny how those two go together, isn’t it?) More recently, Billy Bragg has occupied a similar place on the podium of folky protest productivity.

One of the tricky things when considering the genre of protest songs, particularly modern-day ones, is drawing the line between social commentary and actual objection. To me, true protest music must, at the very least, condemn social injustice, abuse of authority, misguided militancy, greed or corruption. Where songs fall in that spectrum of possibilities is purely personal judgment. And I have no doubt that a sound argument could be waged asserting that many of the selections below are more commentary than protest. Nevertheless, this is where I draw that line.

Protest Playlist

I’m not claiming that these are the 10 “best” protest songs – personal or otherwise – because I honestly haven’t given it all that much thought. But these are some good and noteworthy ones that readily come to mind.

Many of these songs deal with war. Nothing gets people’s ire up like the prospect of getting killed – or having to kill someone else. Not surprisingly, many of these tunes hail from that most fertile period of protest (the 1960s), but the early 1980s (the Reagan years) also seem to have elicited a fair amount of outrage, too – at least for musicians and listeners of my vintage. I’ve found many of the anti-Bush/Cheney protest songs of more recent years to be forced or formulaic, thus not quite cutting it for artistic reasons, even if the dissent had some appeal.

OhioC.S.N.&Y. (1970) – As the impetus for this piece, this tune is number one in my book, not only for its sense of wounded indignation and outrage, but also for its searing guitar riff and soaring vocal harmonies (particularly on the later live versions on which David Crosby’s pain-filled howls of “How many more …” reach the heavens). An extra punch of protest was delivered on the B-side of the original single release of this song with the haunting a capella of “Find the Cost of Freedom” … It’s buried in the ground. Say no more.

For What It’s WorthBuffalo Springfield (1966) – Young’s early dueling partner, Stephen Stills, penned his own successful rapid response record following the Sunset Strip riots that hit L.A. in 1966. The ringing harmonics of the guitar and the strong vocal chorus of this song are nothing short of iconic. “Stop, hey, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

HurricaneBob Dylan (1975) – Dylan had already logged his share of protest songs, but this epic ballad from the Desire/Rolling Thunder Revue-era is one of his best. Bob teamed with playwright Jacques Levy to compose a potent protest of the legal injustice and racism that saw boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter unfairly tried, convicted and imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit: “Rubin Carter was falsely tried … / To see him obviously framed / Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land / Where justice is a game. … / Now all the criminals in their suits and their ties / Are free to drink martinis and watch the sunrise / While Rubin sits like Buddha in a 10-foot cell / An innocent man in a living hell.”

Masters of WarBob Dylan (1962) – This song (along with “God On Our Side” and more general expressions of the Civil Rights era, like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’”) are what got Bobby pigeonholed as a protest singer to begin with. This was something he protested against, of course, eventually drifting away from social causes into another motor-psycho nightmare/daydream all together.

WarBob Marley(1976) – Despite its subsequent association with Sinead O’Connor’s infamous Pope-ripping appearance on SNL, this stark, talking blues with a reggae groove is a simple and direct condemnation of social and political injustice, with explication of the assuredly continuing state of affairs until those injustices are recognized and reconciled. This is protest music above all else!

WarBruce Springsteen (1985) – This live cover of the late 1960s’ soul-tinged tune by Edwin Starr was popularized for a later generation by The Boss. Springsteen’s reflective introductory comments and impassioned delivery make this a mighty protest that is all his own. He explodes into this song, like only Bruce can.

My City Was Gone The Pretenders (1983) – Sticking with the Ohio theme, Chrissie and Co. lament the rape of the urban landscape and vitality of downtown Akron, misguidedly replaced instead by shopping malls and parking lots.

Country at WarX (1983) – John Doe and Exene Cervenka’s L.A. quartet compares actual warfare to the social combat waged upon the down-and-out in Reagan-era America. A forgotten gem.

Sunday Bloody SundayU2 (1983) – From The Edge’s descending guitar riff to Bono’s hummed intro and Irish fiddlemaster Steve Wickham’s wicked embellishments throughout the song, this tune transcends Ireland’s 1921 Sinn Fein/Black-and-Tans conflict and the tragically repetitive events that occurred in Derry in 1972, applying the indignation and disgust over those notorious incidents to all senseless acts of violence. “I’m so sick of it,” indeed.

Give Peace a ChanceJohn & Yoko (1969) – It’s atypical in its lack of vitriol relative to most of the other protest songs on this list, but this early Lennon-Ono gem is as defiant as any of the songs here. It’s utterly connected to the era, yet timeless, too. Proof, once again, that the most poignant protest is often the simplest (think man sitting in front of tank).

Fortunate SonCreedence Clearwater Revival (1969) – One of the quintessential songs of the ’60s counterculture’s disaffected youth, this CCR classic condemns a generation, a whole way of life, class inequity and militarism. Potent stuff.

Common ManThe Blasters (1984) – At the time, this was a specific indictment of President Reagan and his faux populist posturing, but it remains equally applicable to any insincere smile flashed in front of a flag. Dave Alvin’s blistering, bluesy, rockabilly guitar provides perfect punctuation to brother Phil’s condemnation.

I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.The Clash (1977) – Given the pervasive influence of American culture around the world, it makes for a worthy target of protest by those powerlessly subjected to its omnipresence ... especially London punks in 1977.

Wasted LifeStiff Little Fingers (1979) – This is another anti-soldiery ode (re: either literal or metaphorical war) with a more personal perspective; barked out in a Belfast accent with driving guitar and speedy snare drums.

WarriorSteve Earle (2004) – Earle has many songs that could merit a place on this list (perhaps most notably “F the CC” from the same album), but this is an interesting twist on the lefty troubadour’s usual schtick. This urgent spoken-word recitation over a rock tune remonstrates the noble warrior’s fall from grace and esteem ion our culture (think Native American warrior vs. modern-day Army grunt).

Mercury PoisoningGraham Parker (1978) – This is a great protest/kiss-off pop song, even if it’s only protesting record company ineptitude. Self-described by GP as sounding like “cavemen on crack,” he is ably assisted by his protégés in snide: The Rumour. “I got a dinosaur for a representative. It’s got a small brain and refuses to learn.”

Sun GreenNeil Young (2003) – Sure it’s embedded in the context of Neil’s much-underrated audio play/concept album (Greendale), but character details and story aside, this is an artistic and powerful condemnation of corporate greed and governmental corruption – even if the pro-environment message goes a little over the top at points. “Hey, Mr. Clean, you’re dirty now, too.”

Roosevelt RoomConor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (2009) – The Bright Eyes boy seldom rocks like this, sounding here like Jon Langford (The Mekons et al) meeting Cracker – a kick-ass combo, in my book! Anti-authoritarian with a vengeance. (Bonus points for name-checking HST.)

I Shot the Sheriff Bob Marley (1973) – The height of personal protest: “They say they want to bring me in guilty for the killing of a deputy. But I say, ‘I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot no deputy.’”

BrainwashedGeorge Harrison (2002) – On one of his last recordings, the quiet Beatle remained true-to-form and crafted a poppy, spiritual protest against the consumer and institutional brainwashing inherent in so much of modern life.
I’m sure there should be some Pearl Jam on here somewhere. What would you add, from them or others?