Billy Bragg – Brewing Up With
Go! Discs, 1984
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
Want to hear a Billy Bragg story? So, at SXSW last year I’m walking down to the Mohawk to see some band, Islands I think, and on the way I hear Billy Bragg’s “Waiting for the Great Leap Forward” and I look to my right and he’s playing in a parking lot, and he’s updating the lyrics! It was pretty fantastic; I stood behind the iron wrought fence and watched with a bunch of other gawkers. It was pretty incredible. Anyway, I only got into Billy Bragg through KJHK. When I first started Djing, we had this sampler of all his early records in rotation, a sampler from Yep Roc who were re-releasing all his records. I played “A New England,” I was hooked. And I own this record because it has “St. Swithin’s Day” on it, and I don’t know why I was surprised that it’s still just him and a guitar, which I love. I love the later stuff but this is my favorite. And fuck, this album is amazing. Also, the back of this record has a little line that reads “For copyright reasons this album is not for sale in South Africa.” Weird, ok. But yeah, Billy Bragg rules, k? And really, this is the first time I’ve listened to this all the way through. Tracks to return to: “It Says Here,” “The Myth of Trust,” all of them. Fuck, this record is good. It makes me want to go find a copy of Life’s a Riot With Spy vs. Spy or just settle with Back to Basics. I wish I was listening to this when I was miserable. And I really want to cover “The Saturday Boy” next time I play a show, because I’m realizing how much I want to be Billy Bragg when I write songs. Come to think of it, I have a cover of “Little Time Bomb” floating around on one of the tapes in the box with my four-track somewhere.