"Born Free," the 2010 Kid Rock song from the album of the same name, has so much going against it. It was Mitt Romney's official campaign theme song. Its classic-rock hooks are totally basic and worn-to-the-bone. And its vague red-state freedom-lover lyrics are as empty as the old neighborhoods in Rock's hometown of Detroit. It is absolutely dumb as hell. It is also one of my favorite pop songs of the past two years. What can I say? When I bump that motherfucker in my Nissan Altima, I feel like a fucking superhero. I'm not hearing anything I like quite as much on last year's Rebel Soul - it's just more of the same redneck party imagery and Southern-rock plagiarism - but give me a little more time with it, and I'm sure I can find something.
Saturday, February 2, at Sprint Center.
Calexico's calling card - alt-country soundscapes with a Tex-Mex flavor - has long been informed by Tucson, Arizona, the group's hometown and recording headquarters. For last year's Algiers, though, the members migrated to New Orleans and recorded in a converted Baptist church. They didn't exactly morph into the Meters or the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, but they did return with an album that's louder, grander and poppier (relatively speaking) than anything they'd done before. Expect a set that's heavy on cuts from Algiers as well as favorites from Calexico's six other damn-excellent desert-folk albums.
Saturday, February 2, at the Granada.