It’s the time of the summer for warm nights, where the air hugs close to your skin. One of my absolute favorite tracks on my summer mix is the combustible “July 4, 2004″ from musician Jason Anderson. My introduction to this urgently wonderful artist came via this one song, dropped in my lap by a friend and played on repeat until I can sing along almost every word about falling in love on Independence Day, and do the drumbeats on the steering wheel from the moment they kick in:
July 4, 2004 – Jason Anderson
I cannot stop recommending that song to everyone, and I cannot listen to it enough times to sate me.
Jason is a musician from New York who has taken a prolific, do-it-yourself approach to getting his visceral music out there: releasing several albums for free, recording mostly live (to capture that fantastic energy), and playing shows standing amidst the crowd to gain enthusiastic singalong audience participation.
It’s undeniable that songs like these owe a debt to Springsteen (even with the occasional haunting wisp of a saxophone coming from a long way off), but also punch forward with modern, literate, rock counterparts like The Hold Steady or Bright Eyes at their fiercest and most honest. One reviewer wrote “The life in his voice is enough to fuel the whole of us,” and I agree completely.
Every once in a long while I come across a song that pricks sneaky tears into the corners of my eyes despite it being a rock and roll anthem, and gives me goosebumps just simply because you can hear the triumph of optimism in the face of the struggles.
This second song of Jason’s that I fell for makes me believe, and goddamn it is beautiful. It is (most of) all I want tonight.
El Paso – Jason Anderson
dusk was hugging the foothills as i drove in
the mountains were draped with shadows east of I-10
the first couple stars like light bright pegs
like a candle in a colander
my brother telephoned from new york state
and he told me about a disastrous date
he said i know there’s lots of fish in the lake
but sometimes it seems like they hibernate