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Titus Andronicus: The Bosses Of New Jersey

from the swamps of Jersey

from the swamps of Jersey

I really think Titus Andronicus never broke the way I thought they would because:

1. Patrick thought it was antithetical to his punk roots to want it.

2. A naff third album they didn’t follow up fast enough.

3. Fucked up were a band influence.

And four?

Four is Patrick’s definably new Jersey soulfulness which he seems to not play up or play with the way he needs to in order to push himself as a favored son and this despite him being, indeed, a favored son.

I wear tee shirts all the time but I only get stopped when I wear either Stevie Wonder or Titus Andronicus. And with Titus only two sorts of people stop me.

1. Shakespeare fans.

2. New Jersey denizens.

In my green Titus tee I got stopped the other day by three teenage boys, high fiving me, asking me if I was from the Jersey Shore (I was in the Bronx at the time) and discussing the wonder that is all things Titus. They’d seen the band twice last week and were high as a kite on em and if I was a teenager I might well feel the same way. But part of the identification was absolutely geographic: the sense of Patrick being a modern ay Bruce was inescapable; the vibe surrounding the man with the beard is electrifying and the kids who love him really, really love. Their lives, like his, are already over: there is no way round it for these working class blue collar boys but to blow it off and blow it up.

And while Mr. Titus himself, the man who dropped out of college and decided to not to follow his family footsteps and become a teacher but to play in a rock and roll band for the rest of his life, isn’t the blue collar hero he is embraced as, still he is something very special. He is a bruce for another generation and his expectations are diminished in the same way as the music business expectations have been diminished but still, he is that sort of a boss.

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