I've always been a fan of the free compilation. Before the Internet became the only thing that mattered, the best way for most labels to introduce their not so well known bands was by giving tracks away for free. Hey, maybe the time before the Internet and after really aren't that different after all!
So I downloaded Pretend Record, the lastest check-us-out comp from the always stellar Gainesville, FL-based No Idea Records. While they've got their legion of followers, I’m sure this still attracts attention to some of the bands people would never otherwise hear.
Friday afternoon, I'm driving around, listening to some random and pretty good tracks from their stable of punk, hardcore, and just out there bands when a couple acoustic guitars strike up somewhere around the 12th track. And the two voices start screaming, with excitement and passion and revelry, the words of "Thunder Road." If you've never heard music before, that would be the crucial Bruce Springsteen classic "Thunder Road," the first song on the also crucial Born To run.
It turns out that Paul Baribaeu and Ginger Alford have been touring the country doing this for a few years as the "Darkness on the Edge of Your Town Tour." And all the performances are as good as "Born to Run." Just about blew my mind.
I think I'm about to spend the next few days in a stupor of Springsteen. I wonder if he's a fan, or if he even knows they exist...
Paul Baribeau & Ginger Alford "Thunder Road"
Bruce Springsteen "Thunder Road"