This Guitar Says BEST

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I wish I had the time to do a proper review of last night's Billy Bragg show. It was brilliant. Brilliant and weird. Brilliant because it's the fucking Bard of Barking belting it out about 10 feet from where I was sitting, playing a wealth of old stuff, some new stuff and talking about Morrissey, the Magna Carta and everything (and I mean everything) in between. Weird because the Birchmere is a strange venue. It's disturbing when you're watching a show, sitting down, with the odor of BBQ chicken and pulled pork wafting through the air. Even moreso when you are likely the youngest person in the room.

Bragg was in top form (apparently his voice has been pretty ragged on this tour, but not last night) and any night that you can hear "The Milkman of Human Kindness" and "A New England" is a good one. And again, even moreso when he plays the entirity of Life's A Riot With Spy vs. Spy as the encore. Best.

Billy holds a special place in my heart (as if you can't tell). Old friend Ed Bellafiore got me into him when we did our college radio show together in the mid to late 90's and when I was interning at Epic Records, I made the shrewdest trade of my music career when I sent Mike DePippa the entire Ozzy Osbourne catalog in exchange for the entire Billy Bragg catalog. Hearing Bragg's first three albums (now packaged together as a box set) really reminds me of my first few years in New York, listening to those songs on mix cassettes I made for my walkman and later, my mini disc player as I walked all over the city. Billy Bragg, so necessary.

One of the highlights of last night's gig was a rendition of "Tank Park Salute", which was a request from a fan that came to the gig from Juno Juneau, Alaska. Like Woah. Here is the album version:

Billy Bragg | Tank Park Salute (MP3)

Also, here's a live version of Billy doing "Milkman":
Billy Bragg | The Milkman of Human Kindness (live) (MP3)

Here's a free Billy Bragg download from Billy's official site.

CNN interviews Billy [via a vacationing, but ever vigilant Chromewaves]

Bradley's Almanac has Billy's Boston show available for downloading.

No photos due to the venue's stupid no camera policy (which really is too bad because I had a great line for pictures).Oh, I almost forgot...what are you doing on April 8th?

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