George Thorogood and the Destoyers: Live in Boston 1982

Everybody should have at least one Destroyers album in their collection.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Live in Boston 1982

Label: Rounder Records
US Release Date: 2010-07-27
UK Release Date: 2010-07-27
Artist website

It's nice to know that in this ever-changing world, some things remain constant. George Thorogood and the Destroyers have been playing the same brand of guitar-heavy blues boogie for thirty-plus years, anchored by George's gravelly vocals and slide guitar, wedded to a pounding rhythm section and (in this case) Hank Carter's honking sax. The formula hasn't changed much: for proof, bend your ear toward Live in Boston 1982, then compare it to, say, 1995's Let's Get Together. The sound is the same, and even the patter between songs is largely recycled. When I saw the Destroyers play in New York in 2008, I could have closed my eyes and imagined myself back in the Reagan era.

This is no bad thing. George knows what he does well and sticks to it. Highlights on this record include the chugging "One Way Ticket", whose classic thumping riff anticipates "Bad to the Bone", and the Isley Brothers' "Nobody But Me". Thirteen minutes of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" is either an extended exercise in brilliance or else too much of a good thing, depending on your point of view. John Lee Hooker's "New Boogie Chillun" and Elmore James' "Can't Stop Lovin'" are among the numerous covers of classic blues artists that the band strove to keep current. With few hits so early in the band's career -- a fiery version of "Move It On Over" is likely to be the only song a non-fan will recognize -- the record relies on deep cuts and previously unreleased live songs. There is a certain redundancy to the frantic tempos, but it's tough to argue with the energy.

Everybody should have at least one Destroyers album in their collection. This fine document of the ultimate hard-rocking bar band is a good place to start.


Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.