The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

23 May

The Gaslight Anthem
The ’59 Sound
SideOneDummy Records
Producer Ted Hutt
Released August 19, 2008

Brian Fallon – lead vocals, guitar
Alex Rosamilia – guitar, backing vocals
Alex Levine – bass, backing vocals
Benny Horowitz – drums, percussion, tambourine

1. Great Expectations – 3:05
2. The ’59 Sound – 3:09
3. Old White Lincoln – 3:23
4. High Lonesome – 3:05
5. Film Noir – 3:29
6. Miles Davis & The Cool – 4:11
7. The Patient Ferris Wheel (featuring Dicky Barrett) – 3:34
8. Casanova, Baby! – 2:57
9. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues – 3:30
10. Meet Me by the River’s Edge (featuring Chris Wollard) – 3:19
11. Here’s Looking at You, Kid – 3:36
12. The Backseat – 4:14

If by some freak scientific experiment you were able to splice the DNA of Mike Ness, and Bruce Springsteen, and cloned this creature, and said go form a band, and spread the news of punk rock, and New Jersey Americana. There would only be one name for this creature: Gaslight Anthem!

I was up late one night, I couldn’t sleep, and I turned on the Fuse channel and the video for Great Expectations comes on, and for whatever reason I still remembered the video in the morning. 90% of the crap I watch in the middle of the night is wiped out of my brain by the time I wake up. So, I wake up, and guess what? I remember the band. So, I bump into my Brother that morning. And the best of my recollection I say I heard a band last night that sounded as if Springsteen started a punk band. Good rock ‘n roll, with a punk touch.

Since that day my Brother has seen them a couple of times live, at least once at The Wiltern in L.A., and he mentioned the place had it’s own mosh pit, and the crowd was full of Bowery Boys looking guys. So, they may or may not be punk, but the draw the punk crowd.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

The standout cuts are: The ’59 Sound, and Great Expectations.

If you can find it, give it a try.

On to the story . . .

A few years back a “family member” went through a bad break-up with his Wife. And like most people that didn’t see the break-up coming, he handled it very badly. He called people in her family night and day. Called her kids saying he missed them, on and on.

One night I was coming home from work in Burbank, and I was on the 5 Freeway Northbound, and this guy (he shall remain nameless) calls me (again), and he starts in with “she was cheating, she hasn’t touched me in ten months, on and on.

So, I tell him to listen to what I’m going to say, he doesn’t. So, I say stop talking for a sec, he doesn’t. So, on the third time I finally cut him off and say shut the fuck up, and stop being a pussy for a minute. Then he mumbles, oh sorry I’m just hurting so bad. Again, shut up.

So, I explained to him that there are steps you have to endure in a break up, the worse the break up the harder the recovery.

1. You wallow in self-pity for a few weeks, maybe a month.
2. You start hanging out with your partners, posse, homies, whatever you call them, and drink like a fish, and hang out in clubs. Hoping to see your ex’s friends so you can insult them.
3. You screw everything in sight, including some of your ex’s friends that you previously insulted.
3a. Somewhere between 3 and 4 you become bitter. You no longer feel sorry for yourself, you hate her; hate her family, and you how stupid you were for ever being with her.
4. Follow steps 2, and 3 for approximately six months, until one day you wake up, and realize you don’t hurt anymore (except for the hangover you haven’t been able to shake for the last four months), and you don’t need to do 2 and 3 anymore, but now you have to do something about the crustacean infestation in your pants.

He listened, and whined I can’t live without her . . . I hung up.

I told you all of that, to tell you all of this:

Some time back in the ‘90’s, before meeting my Wife; I went through a break up with someone that I thought I was very serious about. We had fun, but it wasn’t meant to be a permanent relationship, we were young, selfish, and stupid. But the night we split, I didn’t know this. And like the guy I mentioned above, I wallowed in self-pity “she never loved me,” on and on. I attempted to jump into step 2 immediately, and I crashed and burned fast. I wouldn’t insult the friends; I would hope they would take pity on me. I was a wreck.

It was during this time that a friend of mine from way back, Lance, came by in his supped up Honda that you could hear a mile away, to take out to some club. We pretty much pulled together every cent we had, and spent it all on every bit of booze we could procure. We left the club at 1:30 am, and I had only two things on my mind:

1. Urinating.
2. Sleep.

But would ole Uncle Mike get to do these things? No! Lance gets a page on the way home. He says this chick that works, as a stripper wants us to come by. Then as he is racing towards Northridge, in the heart of the Valley, he mumbles, “You can fuck her Aunt.” I am half-asleep against the passenger window, and I say “what?” He says, “It’s cool.”

I am three sheets to the wind, I want to sleep and pee, that’s it. We arrive. He helps me out of the car, up the walkway, to the door of this “dancer’s” apartment. Leans me against the door jam, and he knocks. This Blonde who looks like she could be employed by Vivid Video, opens the door.

Still leaning, I look over at her, and she is buck-naked. She does this crazy split, where her leg goes straight up, and her foot is facing the ceiling, and says, “See anything you like?” I look at Lance, and state the obvious: “Where the fuck are her clothes?” He laughs. She frowns.

I find a bathroom, come out, and plop down on the couch. The Stripper puts on some music, starts dancing, and puts a beer in my hand, then one in Lance’s hand. I’m almost asleep when I feel someone rubbing my shoulders, and then whisper “Hi” in my ear. I wake up to see “The Aunt.”

The Stripper’s Aunt could be her twin Sister, unless I was seeing double. She’s wearing a Japanese robe of some sort. Stands in front of me, and drops the robe, and starts dancing.

Rather than enjoy this like most guys, I am thinking of different escape routes. I am plastered, and I want to see my BED!

Finally, Lance comes over and whispers to me: “I’m thinking about banging the Aunt, distract the stripper, you could fuck her.” Shit. I thought Lance was going to break me out of here.

The Aunt is now rolling around on the floor naked saying, “We are very free-spirited people.” I think that means “We are ho’s.” Anyway, Lance is eyeing the Aunt like a starving dog, and the Stripper leans over and says to me: “If you want, you can just hop onto to her.”

WTF? But the longer Lances keeps eyeing the Aunt, the angrier the Stripper gets. Finally, over the music I hear “fuck you then.”

I stand up and make my to the door, fumble with the lock, and start towards the walkway. Lance starts chasing me; he’s laughing, and then says, “Where are you going?”

The only thing I can manage to articulate is “this is too surreal, I got to go home.”

Laughing, he says, “OK.” Looks at the nudes, and says, “Let me drop him off, and I’ll be back.”

Needless to say, I never saw the lovely women again. But Lance, that’s another story. We had many more adventures like this throughout the mid-90’s, some I’ll tell, and some . . .

LIFE WON’T WAIT will be out August 2013, reserve a copy today: http://tiny.cc/rutyvw

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