There may be songs whose histories are uncorrupted or wholly unrecoverable. “(The) Lonesome Road” is not among them. The road that everybody, including “E.V. Body,” in this story tredges on is crowded with two-way traffic: some stretches are dusty, others are paved with Tin Pan Alley gold or earnest populist intentions, and it is constantly being dug up and laid anew.
Franklin Bruno is a musician and writer, raised in Southern California’s Inland Empire and based in Jackson Heights, Queens. He has released a dozen albums of original songs as a member of Nothing Painted blue, as a solo artist, and with the Human Hearts, whose most recent release is Another (Shrimper), and recorded or performed with the Mountain Goats, Laura Cantrell, and Drew Gardner’s Poetics Orchestra. He is the author of a monograph on Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces, in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, and a poetry collection, The Accordion Repertoire (Edge). Other scholarly and critical writing has appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Popular Music and Society, The Oxford American, The Believer, and two volumes of Da Capo’s Best Music Writing series. He is currently completing a book on bridges in pop music for Wesleyan University Press. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from UCLA, and teaches symbolic logic at SUNY Purchase.
Posts by Franklin Bruno
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.