Re-blogged via my Tumblr site, An Expat in London.
I need to thank my Chicago friend Patrick for re-introducing me to Billy Bragg.
He insisted that I listen to this song by Wilco (who I didn't know about this was in 2002/03, in between Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born, before Wilco blew up) and Billy Bragg called "California Stars." Just starting to cement my musical knowledge, I was humbled at knowing Bragg or Wilco and of course fell in love with the song.
But Bragg's name resonated for some other reason but where? Then I remembered seeing his name attached to a quote from Hillman Curtis' amazing new media design book, MTIV: Making the Invisible Visible:
Our enemy really isn't capitalism, it's cynicism. That's one the things I learned from Woody (Guthrie)... Not to be cynical... That cynicism... It destroys you, it rots you away from the inside. So that sense of optimism and humanity... which 20 years ago I would have called socialism but now I'll call compassion... You know, that idea is still out there and alive and if you can plug into that and encourage that it makes it all worth while.
So I still don't really know Billy Bragg that well but give this song, "I Keep Faith" a listen and you'll better understand what makes him unique and noteworthy in a musical landscape dominated by the same manufactured crap sound.