Saturday, August 08, 2020

Album Review: Luke Bryan- Born Here Live Here Die Here

I love women, beaches and alcohol.  So why does Luke Bryan’s latest batch of songs about lust, sand and booze infuriate me?  It’s not that I reflexively reject the superstar’s form of bro-country.  While I don’t often listen to Bryan for pleasure, I’ve given at least two of his concerts favorable reviews in The Kansas City Star.  I’ll never tire of drunken singalongs amid tens of thousands of people in arenas and stadiums.  

Yet I consider Born Here Live Here Die Here a proxy for the flagrant disregard of pandemic safety guidelines I’ve witnessed outside my home for five months.  I haven’t been to a social gathering, bar or restaurant- let alone a concert or an airport- since mid-March.  Meanwhile, a daily block party rages in my neighborhood.  A steady parade of walkers, joggers, skateboarders and cyclists winds its way through the gathering.  Needless to say, no one’s wearing a mask.  The anti-social distancing soundtrack is dominated by contemporary country.

None of this is Bryan’s fault.  Anticipating how fun its songs would sound performed live, I might have raised a toast to Born Here Live Here Die Here a year ago.  Yet in this climate, innocuous party songs like “One Margarita” fill me with impotent rage.


I survey the month’s Charlie Parker centennial celebration events in Kansas City for KCUR.


Opera update: My marathon currently stands at 139 operas in the last 138 days.  Teatro La Fenice’s bold production of "Il Sogna di Scipione" was one recent highlight.  Mozart really is the best, isn’t he?  And Howard Moody’s manipulative but effective "Push" deserves to be performed at churches, synagogues and high schools throughout the world.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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