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E Street Indie

by Dan Weiss

E Street Indie

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After the grunge cloud finally passed, who would turn out to be one of indie music's biggest focal points but Bruce Springsteen. The E Street Band's theatrical arrangements proved to be the perfect fit for bands like The Hold Steady and their post-punk arena rock, and Against Me!'s declamatory folk-punk protests. There's also the more direct alt country of Marah, who trafficked in both Britpop and loud barnburners in the 2000s (and who even scored a cameo from the Boss himself on "Float Away"), and, more recently, The War on Drugs, who have turned his '80s sound and gated reverb settings into ambient, driving art rock. Titus Andronicus also play off the excess of all those piano flourishes thanks to former Hold Steady ivory tickler Franz Nicolay on "A Pot to Piss In," while The Gaslight Anthem combine Springsteen's rugged vocal frailty with Paul Westerberg's anthem-crafting on songs like "59 Sound" and "Desire." It turns out there's a little Boss in all of us.

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