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Four for the Fourth

Ted Hawkins, “Peace and Happiness”

After a lifetime of continental drifting, our everyman busker anchors himself on the California coast, channeling the ghosts of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke as he pleads for some peace, love and understanding. And what’s so funny about that?

Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, “Misirlou”

Once you get beyond know-nothingism and nativist paranoia, nothing could be more American than having the Boston-bred son of Lebanese and Polish immigrants electrify a Greek rebetiko classic, turn his guitar into an oud with a lit firecracker, and forge a new music that makes everyone think of … summer in California!

Gaslight Anthem, “American Slang”

Meet the new slang, same as the old slang. Despite packing more Jersey cliches than your average episode of the Sopranos and more Springsteen references than your average Hold Steady song, blue-collar standard-bearer Brian Fallon shapes a ’10 sound that at times seems more than the sum of its social distortions.

George Gershwin, “An American in Paris” (in North Korea)

The former Jacob Gershowitz and Tin Pan Alley teen sensation reached adulthood spinning melodies that are tough as body armor, remaining bulletproof in the most surreal of locations from Paris to Pyongyang.

From → Quick Shots

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