Wonder & Mystery: Voice of America

That Little Steven Van Zandt is such a nice boy.

Who? You know, Silvio Dante from The Sopranos, or the other guy singing “Glory Days” in the Bruce Springsteen video for the same song and the  guy who does Underground Garage on Sirius XM satellite radio or as I sometimes refer to the program, “Zen and the Art of Rock n’ Roll.”

So in the box of Wonder and Mystery I find this gold nugget; a gold nugget so big that it reminds me of that Great Big Gold Rock found under that river boulder in Pale Rider.

What I mean is that I got Little Steven’s Most Excellent 1984 album Voice of America.

Maybe this album resonated with me because one is it Very Good and two the themes explored are prescient and prevalent over thirty years later in the tumultuous political and social climate of the United States in 2017.

Possibly The Big Song on the album is “I Am a Patriot” which has been covered by Jackson Browne and Pearl Jam.

And I ain’t no communist

And I ain’t no capitalist

And I ain’t no socialist

And I ain’t no imperialist

And I ain’t’ no democrat

And I ain’t no republican

I only know one party

And it is freedom

I am, I am, I am

Given the proclivity of extremism in the U.S. right now which is either Left or Right or as I prefer to call it “Bug Fuckin’ Nuts” or “Not Bug Fuckin’ Nuts” (these two terms are interchangeable for both sides); with no reasonable middle ground the sentiment in these lyrics is powerful. And the two predominant political parties of the U.S., meaning the Big Bosses at the top of those parties don’t have a clue.

Trump won because the Democrats really thought Hillary was the answer. Really? That was the best you could do? It was More Of The Same and if Trump won on anything it was that he wasn’t That.

Not to get political but to get political, Little Steven is a member of The E Street Band after all…

The music on this record, dare I say it, is almost punk. Really it’s just good, raw rock n’ roll which punk is at its best. I discovered my love of punk by reverse engineering my love of thrash and speed metal; at its core punk is visceral and honest like good thrash and yes good rock n roll. That is this record and part of why it not only holds up now but I think needs a nice 180 gram remastered reissue.


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