The Last Dive – Ethan Gold (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

As the world moves ever onwards, every advantageous advance is perhaps balanced by an irrevocable loss. Technology constantly replaces tradition and although things might get more logical, easier to access, more conformist, in doing so the world often loses some of its weird charm and its brilliant quirkiness. Nostalgia is indeed not what it used to be, and Ethan Gold honours one small aspect of this in his latest single, The Last Dive.

It is a tribute to those strange, run-down bars, those sleazy watering-holes, those boozy joints which were edgy and exciting, perhaps even illicit and illegal. On the one hand it speaks to the current threat to venues and bars which are the bedrock of today’s alternative arts and music scenes but also it seems to be a celebration of those quaint and quirky places that those of us of a certain age honed our social…and often anti-social… skills in. Chain-pubs and theme bars might make more commercial sense, but such places were never really about commerce and definitely not about sense.

Musically he also seems to capture a vibe from past times, a post-Stooges Iggy groove and an alt-folk, bad-ass busker vibe, he also tips his hat to such mavericks too, the aforementioned Iggy as well as Bowie and Lou Reed in New York, and Charles Bukowski in Ethan’s home base of Los Angeles. Such underground bars where music and madness, art and artifice, cool and con wander hand-in-hand were responsible for a generation of unique and influential music, the echoes of which which seems to now be fading out of the world. To be replaced with what?

The Last Dive reminds us that before music was about arena gigs with a ticket price which can turn your hair white, synch deals, reality TV spin-offs and having your own range of perfume, it was about smaller, more intimate gigs, experiences which could occasionally change peoples lives. Ethan Gold doesn’t want us to forget that, and I’m behind him all the way.

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