Tractor Tavern Ballard
Feb 28–March 2, 9 pm 21+
Recommended by Sean Nelson
To hear Billy Bragg extol the practical value of socialist principles—which is to say, collective provision as a necessary function of any democratic government worthy of the name—is invigorating. Songs may not change the world, but they can grease the gears. And unlike so many people making noise about this subject right now, Bragg (armed with an unimprovable East London accent) makes it sound not only like common sense, but like it’s right around the corner if we only pull together. There’s no greater asset in an age that invites cynicism.
His certitude—powered by 30 years of experience—really helps ease the disorienting sense that you’re the only sane person left in the fucking world. Which is also what the best pop music has always done. Though you can’t really separate the message from the messenger, it’s also worth mentioning that Bragg is one of the most charismatic, entertaining, and hilarious performers on the circuit. It’s not like there’s ever been a bad time to see a Billy Bragg show. But at the moment, it feels like there’s never been a better one.