Wednesday, December 4, 2013

High Hopes

So we’ve been on a bit of a (lengthy) hiatus. Let’s call it a sabbatical in search of new music and inspiration. Along with lots of exciting new music, the last year has brought a myriad of changes to my professional life that have drastically changed the way I discover and consume music.

 In the lab I was a jukebox unto myself.  Armed with tons of independent work and an ipod, I could spend 8 hours a day with headphones in my ears. I listened to what I wanted, when I wanted, as many times in a row as I wanted. Obsession was easy and encouraged; discovery slower, perhaps, but it was not uncommon to fall down the ‘rabbit hole’ of a new band. 

Exit headphones, enter people.   

Now life is a hospital pharmacy filled with great people who also (thankfully) love and appreciate music.  Our tastes are common but also very divergent. Days are a constant cycle of personal favorites and Pandora shuffles, everyone trying to turn people on to their artists and tastes. It’s wonderful. And fun. And inspiring.

So we are going to try The Fabled Automatic again. I know we have both been very excited about what we have been discovering and listening to in the last year. Hopefully we have a lot to say.

I’ll start, naturally, with Springsteen. New album ‘High Hopes’ due out 1/14/14. Rather than the overt political statements or attempts to capture a particular sound that have characterized his work since 'The Rising',  this record looks like no more than a collection of known and new songs that Bruce thought deserved to get a full studio workup. And that's a good thing. The muse for this album was apparently guitar virtuoso Tom Morello, best known for his band ‘Rage Against the Machine’. Morello has made several guest appearances with EStreet in the past decade and filled in for Steve VanZant during the most recent tour when his acting obligations conflicted with the tour schedule.  With EStreet, Morello is known for his amazing live guitar workup of ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’, which appears on the new record.  Morello’s style is different but striking. A perfect example is the first single from the record, title track ‘High Hopes’.  This song was originally released on the ‘Blood Brothers’ EP, and (to me) has always had the feel of a great song that lacked something in presentation. Here, Morello delivers the missing piece, creating a fantastic centerpiece for a new record.  As usual, Bruce does a great job of capturing how we feel and what we want, asking for love, strength, peace.  Looking into our kids' eyes and knowing that they 'stand a chance'.  We hope you enjoy and have ‘High Hopes’ for The Fabled Automatic. 

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