• Alejandro Escovedo

At first blush it seems a little weird that Street Songs of Love (Fantasy), the latest album by Austin scene kingpin Alejandro Escovedo, includes cameo appearances by former Mott the Hoople front man Ian Hunter, whose voice has not aged well, and Bruce Springsteen, who—dare I blaspheme?—never had much of a voice to begin with. In most ways these guys are paragons of classic rock, but Escovedo was one of the earliest U.S. punk rockers, playing in a first-wave combo called the Nuns that was among the openers at the Sex Pistols’ final show in San Francisco. As his long career has unfolded, though (with Rank and File, the True Believers, and as a solo act), he’s closed the distance between classic rock and punk. Of course, the kind of punk Escovedo grew up with got its juice from Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5—we’re not talking about hardcore here—so the distance wasn’t as great as it might have been. Still, his new album straddles the divide as easily as you might step over a puddle.