I’ve been in London on business all week, and I’ve been trying desperately to squeeze in at least one show while I’m here. With a free evening ahead of me tonight, I may just head over to Underworld to see if there’s some way to get myself into The Bronx’s second of two sold-out shows. If that fails, the best I can hope for is a late set from Local Natives tomorrow night so that I can rush over to Scala following my company dinner to catch that show. I guess I am here for work, after all. Having fun is a secondary consideration.
At work today, during some downtime, I engaged in a bit of a political discussion with one of my co-workers. Maybe not the best idea in a work (or blog) setting, but I found myself taking my usual position: our government is basically bought and paid for by powerful interests, so arguing over politics is really a waste of breath. When we were done — and I swear that this is true — I thought back on something I heard Billy Bragg say when I saw him at City Winery over the summer. He said, essentially, that the obstacle to true change in the world is really our own cynicism. I think about that every time I hear myself sounding especially cynical. And wouldn’t you know it? Billy premiered a new single today.
I’ve written about what a big Billy Bragg fan I’ve been over the years, and our own Mike Mehalick can attest to the fact that I recognize all of the Billy Bragg references in a Titus Andronicus song. Imagine my excitement, then, at getting a new Billy Bragg song while I’m in his home country on a day when I’m feeling especially cynical.
“No One Knows Nothing Anymore” is off of Bragg’s upcoming Tooth & Nail, his first studio album in five years, and touches on many of the themes of his past work. It’s definitely more on the folk side than the punk side of Bragg’s style, but another thing he said at that City Winery show was that an advantage to being both punk and folk is that when you’re folk, nobody cares how old you get. Bragg’s matured and slowed things down a bit, but the Bard of Barking still has some bite.
Tooth & Nail is due out on March 19th.