Real Estate – Self-Titled LP

December 16, 2009

The American Dream takes place in California, of course. But there’s probably an American Studies PhD thesis to be written, if there hasn’t been one already, that resets the story in New Jersey instead.

After all, long before these days of Intel and Apple, Edison spun out innovations one after another from his research lab in Menlo Park. In a twist of irony, in fact, it was Edison’s zeal for harassing his competitors that drove the motion picture industry out West in the first place, at least according to Jonathan Lethem’s essay on the subject from Greil Marcus and Werner Sollor’s “A New Literary History of America.” (hmm, a high-tech giant behaving anti-competitively — now why does that sound so familiar?) Plus, you’ve got the poetry of Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, and the films of Kevin Smith.

Add Real Estate‘s self-titled lp to that list too. Ten tracks, hazy and romantic, all of which speak in one way or another to the paradise of suburban life on the East Coast: singing the praises of Budweiser and Sprite, rocking the beach, and “sweet Jersey.” Maybe not even the Boss could have put it so well.


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