Saturday, August 15, 2009
JACKSON BROWNE: 'Live' in Las Vegas and 'Alive in the World'
" To open my eyes, and wake-up 'Alive in the World.' "
I love JACKSON BROWNE.
I love what JACKSON BROWNE stands for, what he longs for, what he has become. Hell, I love him. I love him with all of my heart.
I wasn't quite old enough to be into JB when he first hit, but, as I tended to hang with people a little bigger than me, I heard the music of JACKSON BROWNE before I listened, and I felt it before I understood. And what's amazing about the songs of one of the greatest American poets ever is that, no matter when you get to them, they are there, waiting for you.
Take, for example, 'Lives in the Balance.' ('I've been waiting for something to happen; For a week or a month or a year.'). This is a great anti-war song, released back in 1986, when Ronald Reagan was President and Jackson Browne had to have been thinking El Salvador and Nicaragua. But, hearing him perform it tonight, it is as if it was written for Iraq and Afganistan. It is as if he had anticipated things to come.
Great songs can take you back to a specific time and place. A kiss. Your girl. That summer. But in the case of the music of JACKSON BROWNE, it is the songs that seem to transmutate, shifting in ways that surprise, inform and often amuse. Kind of like the guy who, as he grew older was surprised how smart his dad had gotten, I am often shocked at how well Jackson knew me, back then.
The sun is just setting over the mountains. I'm Looking East, but dreaming west. The Red Rock Resort is home tonight to JACKSON BROWNE and his band. He looks great and sounds, well, he sounds just like JACKSON BROWNE. And his songs? They sound familiar and also brand new. A few of the selections from the new CD, 'Time the Conqueror,' feel like they could have been written in the 60's, 70's, 80's, or whenever.
It is funny to be watching this beautiful artist tonight, 40 years since Woodstock. It is a feast for the senses and for the soul.
The music of JACKSON BROWNE is irresistable. And now, as I finish thumbing these words into the BlackBerry, I head backstage, humming a line from his most recent hit, a line I've sung for months but somehow only just now heard:
"Time in my mind;
The past of least resistance.
The future almost blind;
Both in need of assistance."
Man, I love JACKSON BROWNE!
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