Radio Nowhere

Ah, the only thing better than a new Springsteen album (called Magic) and tour announcement is the release of a song from the album. That, and how it activates my network of friends who are Springsteen fans.

This is Radio Nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?

I’ve been listening to and loving the new song, “Radio Nowhere,” which makes me think of Joe Strummer in all the best ways every time I hear it. I also like it’s positive out of negative motif. Like Beck’s “Where It’s At” (Two turntables and a microphone), Radio Nowhere also captures something essential that I find about blogging (and that ain’t about using blogs as legal marketing tools).
I mentioned to a friend the Strummer/Clash comparison and wanted to share the response I got back:

The cadence of the verses are “Clampdown.” With hints of “I Fought the Law”–both the Clash version and Bruce’s more “authentic”-to-Fuller response version, which we heard in Champaign. The low sustained rumble of that, w/ the phrasing of Strummer.
It’s so summational of his artistic position. Such a declaration. In that way, tonally, it reminds you of Badlands. A rage-against-futility howl.

It”s great to have friends who are great writers.
I’m also getting a chuckle out of all the different versions of the lyrics that you can find. This one seemed the closest to my best guess. Part of discovering a new song is figuring out the lyrics on your own, even though I always like the official lyric sheets.
I remember the old days when you’d try to hear a new single first on a radio station or by going to a record store on the release date. The Internet makes it so different now.
I read that a Spanish TV website was making the new single available for download at 6:00AM yesterday. I worked my way through the Spanish instructions (a bit of a trick since I only had a six week class in Spanish in the 8th grade) to get an mp3 download, only to find later today that there was a free iTunes download, presumably with instructions in English. The Guardian also has an mp3 download, presumably without DRM. The distribution channels are a-changing. With a warning about not safe for work language, Bob Lefsetz has a fascinating riff on this single and how the music business well could be changing.
Unfortunately, catching the early part of this tour does not look like a possibility. As the distribution channels change, I wonder if YouTube will provide the best seat in the house for concert tours?
I don’t even pretend to be objective about Springsteen, so I won’t offer anything like a review. I do suggest that you grab this song and give it a listen. If we still listened to radio, it’d be a hit. What does “hit” mean in an iPod world?
I’m also reminded, on this Katrina anniversary, to salute Ernie Svenson, another Springsteen fan, and the author of this moving post about the aftermath of Katrina two years later. See my earlier thoughts about the scariest time of my blogging career when we lost touch with Ernie after Katrina hit.
This is Radio Nowhere . . . .
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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