July 20, 2010

Rock Over Boston: Alejandro Escovedo | Middle East

Alejandro Escovedo[Alejandro Escovedo at the Middle East, 7/19/2010. Photo by Michael Piantigini]

Aging rockers of all stripes: you're on notice.

At nearly 60 years old, Alejandro Escovedo puts his more successful contemporaries - the kind of bands that fill (or don't) much bigger venues named after banks and cable companies - to shame. Still turning out songs and albums that are still vital, still rocking, and most importantly, still hungry, Escovedo hit the Middle East last night in support of his back-to-basics rocker of a new album, Street Songs of Love.

The man spins classics - and even the new ones are classics. Escovedo's the kind of songwriter who pulls songs out of the air that surely have always been there. Set opener "Always A Friend" must be from the 70's, right? And that raging closer, "Real Animal" must have been from his Stooges-era punk days? No - amazingly, they're both just from 2008's Real Animal. And, yeah - that randy, suggestive pop number "Anchor" is from the new one. All this is no last gasp, either; I regret even be taking this angle here, because his age is incidental, and last night's energetic set gave no indication that we should expect anything less than this sort of thing for a long while still.

Dedicating the new album's ode to a now-romantic punk era "Down In The Bowery" to his punk-rocker son, Escovedo talked of his son's assertion that his father's music is old music for old people. Maybe so, but if we're all half as hungry for life at that point, we'll be doing all right.

-Michael Piantigini

Alejandro Escovedo: Tubes | Facebook | MySpace | Archive.org

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