I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

as heard by my wild young heart, like directions on a cold dark night

They are called The Gaslight Anthem, they're from New Jersey (natch) and they have struck chords of urgency and passion inside of me something fierce. Lead singer Brian Fallon grew up in a home four blocks from E Street (yes, that one) and their music pays a nod to urgent elements of Springsteen, the Hold Steady and Lucero. Bringing a punk aesthetic to the music of their idols, they embody an audacious belief that music can still be heard "like a shot through my skull to my brain."

I've been listening to this acoustic set all afternoon, and identifying so strongly with the high-resolution magnification of emotions laid bare in these lines. There is a resignation that becomes razor-sharp when all the punk defiance in the ragged yell of the album version is stripped away. The way Fallon sings in "Great Expectations" about seeing tail lights last night in dreams about his old life, and the baldfaced line "everybody left me, Mary, why wouldn't you?" just absolutely kills me.

Not that it needed it (their album The '59 Sound is easily one of my tops this year), but these acoustic versions completely reinvent their music in sepia shades of Nebraska.


THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM: ACOUSTIC
Great Expectations (live at Alternative Press) **highest rec**
The '59 Sound (live at Alternative Press)
The Backseat (live at Alternative Press)
Here's Lookin At You Kid (live on FNX Radio)
High Lonesome (live on FNX Radio)
The '59 Sound (live on FNX Radio)

GASLIGHT ACOUSTIC ZIP


And two bonus tracks from Berlin this summer --

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM: LIVE IN BERLIN

Stand By Me --> I'da Called You Woody, Joe
I'm On Fire (Springsteen cover)


[header photo credit]

Labels:

23 Comments:

At November 10, 2008 3:34 AM, Blogger Jacopo said...

They're definitely great !! Any chance to have a hint where to find the whole Berlin gig ? Cheers,
J

 
At November 10, 2008 8:14 AM, Blogger heather said...

hey Jacopo - why yes, I do.

 
At November 10, 2008 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Madison, it was home for a while. The folks in Madison really do love their music, if you do go you must hit Himal Chuli on state street. Get a bowl of dal to warm your soul.

-klaus
ATX

 
At November 10, 2008 10:06 AM, Anonymous Ray said...

Heather,

While I totally understand and admire the idea of the road trip, I'm just wondering...you do realize that The Gaslight Anthem are playing at the Fillmore (in Denver) this week (12th & 13th). Certainly a lot easier for you, I would think.

 
At November 10, 2008 11:18 AM, Blogger heather said...

Ray - I do realize and I might go Thursday night just to see them open. But I really want to see them headline a smaller venue, as the Fillmo' is not my favorite.

 
At November 10, 2008 11:59 AM, Anonymous Ray said...

H...I realized after the fact that it was probably an opener vs headliner thing. Too bad they're not doing more shows as the headliner.

Keep up the good work.

 
At November 10, 2008 1:37 PM, OpenID kting8 said...

Madison is my hometown! if you need people to meet up with to see the show, let me know :) although I"m sure Ryan of Muzzle of Bees would oblige as well.

 
At November 10, 2008 3:38 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Hey! I took that picture. Thanks for the love!

 
At November 10, 2008 10:03 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Read your post, then went over to emusic and DLed it. Just kinda felt right. Like it a lot. Well played, H!

 
At November 10, 2008 10:50 PM, Blogger Jason Bugg said...

I'm making the 6 hour drive to see them in Cincinnati in 2 weeks. Headlining, also. w00t!

 
At November 11, 2008 9:41 AM, Blogger J said...

Grazie 1000, Heather !

 
At November 11, 2008 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather -
These guys are an amazing musical find. Thanks for passing along the music.
- Neil

 
At November 11, 2008 9:37 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Thanks for this! I'm loving their sound and would also throw in a comparison to Against Me! but with a more accessible, heart-felt sound. Love it.
Great sound, great lyrics...hope to hear more of them.

 
At November 12, 2008 8:31 AM, Anonymous Liam said...

Oh my gawd - they're awesome. Grimy and heartfelt and perfect for walking through the irresistible Mancunian rain and dreaming of broken dreams and distant barroom girls 4000 miles away...

 
At November 13, 2008 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather,

Did you notice the counting crows reference (I think) in the song high lonesome?

"And Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand. I always kinda sorta wished I looked like Elvis"

Its pretty close to the lyrics in Round Here:

"Maria came from nashville with a suitcase in her hand
She said shed like to meet a boy who looks like elvis"

Interesting. And the songs are super cool. They really put me in a mood.

THanks,

Kev in STL

 
At November 13, 2008 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://picassoblueyo.blogspot.com/2008/08/gaslight-anthem-59-sound.html

A good article about the band and the reference to counting crows.

Kev in STL

 
At November 14, 2008 5:27 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Oh Heather, you have no idea how much these acoustic tunes made my week! TGA have been one of my favoritest musical discoveries of the year.
Thank you thank you thank you!

 
At November 19, 2008 12:39 AM, Blogger solace said...

good to see them getting some blog love! hopefully there's more where this came from :D

saw them tonight in Minneapolis and they're the real deal live, no doubt.

apparently they're singing to a major label very soon

 
At December 06, 2008 5:05 AM, Blogger Myriem said...

Thanks for this post! I just discovered this band via a performance by the frontman on NPR, and have been eager to get a sense of what they sound like live.

 
At February 10, 2009 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any way to post the link to the full Berlin set again? I just discovered them and I'd love to get a full show recording. Thanks!

 
At April 03, 2009 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the links wont work for me and im desperate to hear some more of their acoustic songs: just downright amazing

 
At August 05, 2009 1:32 AM, Anonymous jrhop364@gmail.com said...

The Links seem to have died. D:
Care to re-share?

 
At August 21, 2009 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the links are dead! repost some new links please!

 

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